Sunday, July 19, 2009

Naughty But Nice by Naduki Koujima review

Naughty But Nice

Author/Artist: Naduki Koujima

Publisher: Deux Press

Rating: M – 18 and up

Genre: Yaoi, Comedy, Drama, School Life

Grade: C+

*** Review originally appeared at The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society at http://liheliso.org. Check it out! ***

Mr. Wakasa is Kakeru Kiba's homeroom teacher. Everyone loves Mr. Wakasa, he's handsome and kind. But Kakeru is a bit of a klutz. Because of this weakness of his he learns that Wakasa is not the kind teacher he sees at school but is actually a bit of a jerk. What happened was Kakeru was out running errands for his mom when he saw someone that looked like his teacher being threatened by thugs. But this man was drunk and rather rude, so how could it be Wakasa? Just as the thugs go to punch out Wakasa Kakeru ends up distracting everyone, slips on a can, and pushes Wakasa into a river. Oops!

Feeling guilty, Kakeru takes Wakasa to his home. Once Wakasa wakes up he seems to be suffering from amnesia. Since Kakeru knows who he is Wakasa takes advantage of the situation by preying on that guilt and makes Kakeru take care of him. But once Wakasa's memory comes back he's still a jerk towards Kakeru. It seems that he behaves the way he does is because he had to be on his best behavior around his step-brother, but he's really a jerk in sheep's clothing (I know that's not the metaphor but this describes him the best.) Kakeru is the only one who gets to see the Wakasa behind the mask. Because of this Wakasa is determined to make the moves on Kakeru and he doesn't know how to deal with this!

Also included in Naughty But Nice is a one shot called Bouquet of Love. It is a sweet tale of a building owner who falls in love with a florist that works in a shop in one of the buildings that his family owns. There's one downfall to falling for a florist though, the owner is allergic to flowers.

There are a few things that define Naughty But Nice as typical Naduki Koujima. First, it's the art. Her ukes always have ginormous eyes that take up half of their face, but are well defined. She stated that she spends a lot of time working on the eyes to really bring out the emotion (I read that in one of the authors note sections at the end of one of her books…I think). Next is when her ukes are protesting they seem to grow fangs and look like adorable small, threatened animals. And trust me she has nailed the protesting uke and has turned it into her thing. Which brings me to my final point. It seems that in almost every Koujima-sensei title that I've read contains a very forceful seme and a loud, somewhat annoying, contradicting uke. I wonder if sensei is trying to corner the market on the "tsundere" character. She's definitely mastered the "Your mouth is saying no but your dick is saying yes" type of story. Out of the two stories in the book Bouquet of Love is the better story. It's a bit more believable and the relationship starts out more normally. Plus we don't get the rape=love story line.

Naughty But Nice is the first of three in a series so there is always the hope that things will improve. For another insight into the story be sure to read April Kimm's review!

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

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