Author/Artist: Momoko Tenzen
Rating: M – ages 18 and above
Genre: Yaoi, Drama, Romance
*** Review originally appeared at The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society at http://liheliso.org/. Check it out! ***
We all know that breakups are hard. Megumu Okazaki is a popular grad student who is trying to put his life back together after a heart-wrenching breakup. Hisashi Kina is a handsome 3rd year college student who seems to have fallen for Megumu. The two end up in bed together after Megumu runs into his ex. The problems arise when both Kina and Megumu have no idea what direction their relationship is headed. Do they love each other or is Megumu only using Kina as a rebound fling to heal his broken heart?
Another couple, professors at Megumu and Kina's university, also makes an appearance in their own story. Kikugawa and Shibata attended the same college and now teach at said college together. Kikugawa is quiet and comes across as somewhat aloof. Shibata, on the other hand, is social, personable, and gets along with everyone. This is truly a sweet romance where opposites attract and that if you are truly compatible you can have long, fulfilling relationship.
Suggestive Eyes is definitely the style you've come to expect from Tenzen-sensei. The stories are dramatic, romantic and beautifully drawn. But the way sensei presented the story is somewhat interesting. Instead of starting the story by introducing us to the beginning of their story, we jump into the middle of their romance. Kina is unsure of Megumu's feelings and Megumu wants to end their relationship because he's doesn't know what his own feelings are. When we pick up the second chapter its there that we find out how Kina and Megumu met. Megumu is a grad student working with Shibata-sensei and Kina is a 3rd year student. After witnessing Megumu crying over a pack of cigarettes (which Kina actually left in the classroom). Megumu seems to be drawn to Kina but when Kina finds himself being somewhat attracted to Megumu he finds out that Megumu was only interested in the cigarettes. It comes out at a drinking party that Megumu dated a guy that smoked the same brand and the relationship ended badly. Once we finish this story then we continue on with what normally would have followed what happened after the first chapter. It is really kind of confusing if you ask me, but upon the third and fourth readings I found the lineup intriguing.
The couple who really makes this manga worth picking up is the story of Kikugawa and Shibata. They may be professors at the same school but these two have a rather long history together. They started out as classmates. Kikugawa can be rather intimidating but it's just because he's quiet. Shibata is bubbly, friendly, and has the tendency to be the center of attention. The two struck up an unlikely friendship and soon found themselves attracted to one another.
With this story I liked how even though this book featured two different couples the two stories are intertwined and the four of them have to interact with the others. I liked the Megumu/Kina story but I would have to say that the better of the two is the one that features Kikugawa/Shibata. It is very romantic, which you come to expect when you read a Tenzen-sensei manga. Her soft, thin lines and excruciating detail make what could be a typical yaoi story something beautiful and entertaining. Tenzen-sensei could illustrate boring instructional manuals and I would automatically pick it up and enjoy it.
The book is up to Juné's usual standards and is beautiful. The translation seems smooth and I don't remember seeing any spelling mistakes or grammatical errors, but it's entirely possible that I over looked them because I have to turn off my proofreading mode sometimes. I have to give my thanks to Juné for licensing and publishing works by Momoko Tenzen. She is a gifted mangaka that I recommend!
***Review Copy provided by Juné***
***Reposted with permission from The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society***