Monday, February 9, 2009

Sea View by Ayumi Kano review

Sea View

Author/Artist: Ayumi Kano

Publisher: Juné

Rating: YA – 16 and up

Genre: Shonen-Ai, Drama

Grade: C+

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

Kei Tsuwabuki grew up admiring his grandfather. After the two were separated they exchanged letters. But then the letters stopped which encouraged Kei to travel to the island that he inhabits. He decides to attend the college that his grandfather taught at for many years, hoping to unearth clues of his whereabouts. When he arrives at the college he meets school eccentric Michiru Bangi. He is a very talented architect in the making and knew Kei's grandfather. Kei and Michiru became friends due to this commonality and Michiru reminded Kei of his grandfather.

Yet there seems to be something a bit strange about all of this. Why did his letters stop coming and why can't Kei seem to locate anything about where his grandfather might be? He tries to confront Michiru about all this but is unable to get any information from him. Soon Michiru begins to act even stranger than usual and the situation surrounding the disappearance of Kei's grandfather seems to be the root cause.

In Sea View there is also a brief story called Thou of the Blossoms. It is about a young photographer who has been granted unprecedented permission to photograph the gardens of a prestigious family in Kyoto and the relationship he forms with the young head of the family.

I think I might be a bit idiotic but I can't seem to see any yaoi aspects to this story. The only clue to this being a boys love title is the fact that it is published by Digital Manga's Juné imprint. The two tales just seem to come across as these men becoming good friends and that's it. Which there isn't anything wrong with that, it just doesn't fall into my definition of yaoi. I'm still trying to decide whether I like this story. The art is definitely gorgeous and Ayumi Kano-sensei definitely has a beautiful art style. It reminds me a little of Yuko Kuwabara-sensei, which is another artist I really enjoy. The story was a bit confusing to me, but that might be my idiocy showing through again. It also ends a bit strangely. It is only a one-shot deal but you want to find out if they locate the grandfather. That just might be me wanting to have a happy ending and have everything wrap up nicely. The setting is quite nice though. You can't beat a small rural community on a small island.

This is presented with the signature dust jacket that Juné is known for, but it is one of the final volumes that you will see with the jacket. Juné continues with the excellent quality and this is visually beautiful.

I don't want to compare volumes by the same artists but I enjoyed Sea View more than Passionate Theory. But still you'll have to decide on your own whether you want to read this title or not.

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

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