Saturday, February 7, 2009

Desire by Maki Kazumi and Yukine Honami


Author/Artist: Maki Kazumi/Yukine Honami

Publisher: Digital Manga Publishing

Rating: M – ages 18 and above

Genre: Yaoi, Drama, Romance, School Life

Grade: B

Love isn't all fluffy bunnies and fuzzy slippers (huh?!) and Toru Maiki is the first one to admit that. He's fallen in love with his best friend Ryoji Nakajo but he can't do anything about it. Ryoji is a star on the swim team and sought after by girls near and far. So Toru must deal with his emotions alone. One day at lunch Ryoji tells Toru that he gets turned on when he looks at him. What kind of a comment is that to make when talking to your best friend of the same sex? Of course that weirds Toru out because he knows that Ryoji is a playboy. A few days later we find out that Ryoji and his new girlfriend have already started sleeping together. This bothers Toru because of his feelings for him. Toru is a talented artist and those around him have high hopes. One day during Art Club Ryoji made a point to stop by and ask Toru to wait for him after school so they could walk home. Earlier that day Ryoji basically propositioned Toru. Because of Toru's feelings he couldn't really say no to him.

After their first time (which is kind of disturbing the way everything went down) Toru is more confused than ever. He begins to confide in Kashiwazaki, president of the Art Club. Not long after Ryoji and Toru are sleeping together on a regular basis and Toru is struggling with it. He knows that Ryoji has no feeling towards him other than friendship and it makes this whole situation harder. Kashiwazaki comes up with a plan. Can Toru go through with it? Does Ryoji actually feel more for Toru than he is letting on?

Yukine Honami is a truly gifted artist. She has a beautiful, soft style that can bring any story to life. The story that Maki Kazumi created benefits greatly by having someone like Honami-sensei illustrating it. Desire as a whole is a good manga, but it does have some issues that make it a smidge disturbing. Most of that concern is that "No" doesn't mean no in this manga. I feel that if someone is pushing you in a direction that you don't want to go they need to respect your wishes. But this is a normal yaoi plot point and because I read this manga after I've been exposed to everything under the sun in the yaoiverse it didn't surprise me as much. I still feel that "No means no" regardless of whether your body is saying something different. Besides all that that this was a good read, mainly because of the art. It is riveting and you will want to read it to the end. Ryoji is definitely dead sexy and Toru is pretty gorgeous as well. I find the side characters interesting as well. You can't help but feel for Kashiwazaki in his unrequited feelings towards Toru. Tadashi, Toru and Ryoji's friend, is the conscience of the story.

This is an early title from Digital Manga, seeing how the copy I have has the purple DMP band at the bottom of the cover. For some reason the feel of the dust cover on this volume has a different feel to it (at least to me, but when it comes to tactile sensations I notice weird things like that!) Also instead of the Parental Advisory warning wasn't printed on the cover, they just placed a sticker on it. But that isn't really important, is it. This is what I get for writing a review when I'm very tired and on the verge of falling asleep at any minute.

I say check out Desire even if it's only to admire Honami-sensei's art. Juné has also published the light novel Desire: Dangerous Feelings that covers the material found in the manga but also added more to the story after the happy ending. If you decide to read Desire picking up the light novel is also a good idea because it adds to the story and solidifies the story.

***Review Copy purchased through Yaoi Club***

1 comment:

Oliver said...

Hey Kris!

I read Desire a while back, and thought it was pretty angsty but you're right about Honami's art. It kind of pulls the story through even if the plot is a downer. A classic June title, though.