Thursday, November 26, 2009

Clan of the Nakagamis: The Devil Cometh (vol. 2) by Homerun Ken review

Clan of the Nakagamis: The Devil Cometh (vol. 2)

Author/Artist: Homerun Ken

Publisher: Juné

Rating: YA – 16 and up

Genre: Yaoi, Comedy, Romance

Grade: B

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

Everyone says that their family is crazy (believe me I’ve used that excuse a time or two) but in the case of the Nakagamis, they are truly crazy. You have a family obsessed with the middle son Tokio, an older son who is a cross-dressing shojo artist, and a younger brother who is somewhat gullible when it comes to his older brother. But the siblings are just the tip of the iceberg. The mom and dad are eternally youthful and look much younger than their children and the grandfather is the youngest looking one out of the bunch, if you didn’t know any better you’d think he was around the age of ten or so. If you’re interested in checking out reviews for the first volume you can read mine or a great male perspective by Tom Good.

Things seem to going OK with Haruka Iijima and Tokio Nakagami but they aren’t moving fast enough for Iijima thanks to the butting in of the rest of the Nakagami clan. But an ominous wind blows in the son of the head of the family and president of the Nakagami Group, Hibari Nakagami. It seems weird to the rest of the family that Hibari just shows up out of the blue to collect Grandfather Mitsuru (the ten-year-old looking grandpa). But instead of leaving with Grandfather he seems to have taken Tokio’s heart with him leaving Iijima, and the rest of the family worried. Only they’re worried about different things, Iijima feels that Hibari is taking his beloved sensei away from him, and the Nakagami clan figure that Hibari is using the fact that Tokio once had a thing for him to take advantage of him and his youthful appearance. Will Iijima and the rest of the Nakagamis be able to rescue Tokio before anything horrible will happen to him?

The second half of the book features a story starring Takamaru (the third son), Hibari, and Kijinojyo (the eldest son and the cross-dresser). Takamaru gets lost on an island famous for its mushrooms and its pirate legend while searching for a legendary mushroom that will save Tokio from a dreaded family disease (which turns out to be just a joke that their father told them). But who knew that while on the island they were going to be roped into the mystery of the pirate treasure.

This series is honestly a hidden gem. There are many hardcore yaoi fans that wouldn’t pick up this book because it has a YA rating. Usually with that rating it means that the sexual content isn’t as prevalent. But if you haven’t read this series you are missing out, big time! It is absolutely hilarious. The story is far-fetched but that’s what makes it fun. There is a scene in the first story where Hibari and Tokio are having dinner but to protect Tokio’s innocence Iijima, Kijinojyo, Takamaru and eventually Gokurakuchota (the father) show up in various types of dress but they’re all wearing different types of neckties because it is a requirement for men (and Kijinojyo is in his cross-dressing mode). I laughed out loud, which I usually don’t do (I choose to just snicker to myself). The storytelling is done well and the story moves rather quickly. It is a quick read but definitely worth you time.

Not only is the story great but I have found that I really like Homerun Ken-sensei’s art style. It is very clean and detailed and the characters actually look Asian (which often times the look is more generic). Everyone is gorgeous and beautifully designed. The art will really blow you away (at least in my opinion). The art and the story work really well together and the characters are well developed.

Since Juné decided to lose the dust jackets they store better and look rather nice on a shelf. I do admit that I miss the dust jackets because on the inner flaps you usually get a blurb written about the author. Without the jacket you don’t get them and I miss those comments, they were always good for a giggle. But, oh well, I think I’ll live. The translation was done smoothly and they did a great job on the clean-up. But Juné usually does a bang up job when it comes to high production value.

I don’t know if there is a third book in the works but in the Afterword sensei makes it seem like the chances that she’ll (I assume it’s a she) continue the series. I really hope so because not only do we have the Tokio x Iijima pairing, but we also have the new couple of Takamaru and Imaizumi, and there is the building sexual tension between Hibari and Kijinojyo. I’ve found myself completely entranced by sensei’s work and hope that more will be brought to the English-speaking market.

If you haven’t checked out Clan of the Nakagamis, you should really pick it up. You can read it as a stand alone story, but I do recommend reading the first volume before you read The Devil Cometh. It makes more sense that way and is way more enjoyable. I do recommend this series and I think you ought to check it out!

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

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