Monday, February 9, 2009

Blue Sheep Reverie vol. 1 by Makoto Tateno review

Blue Sheep Reverie vol. 1

Author/Artist: Makoto Tateno

Publisher: Juné

Rating: M – ages 18 and up

Genre: Yaoi, Drama, Romance, Action

Grade: A

*** Review originally appeared at The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society at Check it out! ***

Kai has traveled to this city with no name for one reason, to find the murderer of his lover Maria and exact revenge. Maria wore a distinct ring and when the murderer fled the scene he was wearing her ring. While watching the television he saw a man wearing Maria's ring. That man was Lahti Bara, a one-man killing machine in the nameless town. Kai will get a job working under Lahti and take his chance at revenge. But Lahti isn't nicknamed "Steel Lahti" for nothing. He is the public face of the gang Sarte. He is quick thinking, light on his feet, and has a knack for fighting. Kai figures that being one of his posse will be the quickest way to get his vengeance.

After jumping Lahti on the street to show him his fighting prowess Kai is taken in by the Sarte group and he does become one of Lahti's bodyguards and even begins training with the man himself. Kai finds out that Lahti is gay and uses this opportunity to get even closer to Lahti. While in bed Kai tries to take the ring and some of the truth comes out. Even though Lahti wears a ring, it's not Maria's. Kai loses face because of this incident but continues to come to Lahti's aid. A surprise is in store for Kai. It turns out that Maria isn't dead at all. She implanted a chip in Kai's head and had used this to alter his memory during the incident. Maria is also Lahti's twin sister. It also seems that Maria is now aligned with the rival gang. It's just the beginning of this intense action packed tale penned by the one and only Makoto Tateno-sama.

I thought that the name Blue Sheep Reverie was a very weird name for a manga. It still is a weird name but at least now I know the origins of the name. It seems as though the rings that Lahti and Maria are blue and look like sheep's eyes. This is the "prequel" (in a very rough sense of the word) to another title Tateno-sama title, Steal Moon. Really all that these two stories have in common is Lahti and Kai showing up as minor characters. If you are looking for a hardcore yaoi title you won't find it in this volume of Blue Sheep Reverie. According to Tateno-sama this was originally written as a shojo title but then a boys love magazine picked it up. So yes a woman plays a larger role and there isn't much in boys getting it on. But I have high hopes for the next volume. The series currently has two volumes released in Japan and is still ongoing so who knows what is in store for us.

I can't rave enough about the art that Tateno-sama provides for us. But along with her immaculate art style she is an amazing storyteller. I was riveted from the beginning. Each character is unique in their look as well as their personalities. Maria is the ultimate villain. Tateno-sama has the ability to create strong women characters for her stories and Maria is definitely strong character, even though she's the antagonist. Lahti is a character that you can't help feel for even though he is a cold guy. Kai is endearing and he brings a lot to the story.
For fans of Makoto Tateno-sama this is a don't miss title. If you've checked out Steal Moon this is a title that you'll want to read as well. Even if you haven't read Steal Moon I recommend it. If you're new to her work just sit back and enjoy her gorgeous men, beautiful women, and all around stunning art. Definitely check out Blue Sheep Reverie vol. 1.

***Review Copy provided by Juné***
***Reposted with permission from The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society***

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