Friday, April 2, 2010

Seven by Momoko Tenzen review


Author/Artist: Momoko Tenzen

Publisher: Juné

Rating: YA – ages 16 and above

Genre: Shonen Ai, Romance, Drama

Grade: B

It was originally supposed to be Momoko Tenzen week but it looks like March turned out to be Momoko Tenzen Month. I better get cracking on the rest of her titles if I want to get this wrapped up by the end of the month! Pfft! Yeah right, like that'll happen!

Nana has no memory. Mitsuha has no home. These two with mysteries abound come together due to interesting circumstances. Nana was picked up off the street by a man who gave him his name (nana can mean no-name in Japanese, it also means seven hence the title!) It seems that the man was rather cruel. But to someone who doesn't remember anything about his past this help was accepted. Now in the present the man has passed away and the man who now owns the business has allowed Nana to stay on. Here is where Mitsuha enters.

Mitsuha grew up in an orphanage and now has become an author. He travels around the country and writes about his adventures. As it turns out the new owner of the business that Nana works for and lives above happens to be from the same orphanage. Not only is Mitsuha looking to have adventures but he's also trying to locate his little brother Nanao. Sadly Nana isn't Nanao but Mitsuha seems to be intrigued by Nana and convinces his pal to let him crash at the apartment above the shop, where Nana currently lives. Will Nana be able to allow someone else into his life? And is Mitsuha really interested in getting to know Nana or is he just a replacement for his brother?

The second story in Seven, called Within Plain Sight, features another story with a Nana and the struggles between a brother being attracted to his brother. If you have issues of lovin' in the family, blood related or not, this may not be a story you'll enjoy.

OK, I first need to apologize for the really poor synopsis of the plot. There are a lot of characters and back-story, which makes it difficult to try and describe it in just a few short paragraphs. So reading the back blurb might be your best bet.

It took me a while to actually pick this title up. Every time I saw the cover I thought the character on the left (who happens to be Mitsuha) looked way too much like Steven Tyler from Aerosmith and that thought just creeped me out. But that's what you get when you are looking at an image off the net, they have the tendency to not be that clear. Another reason why it took me so long was I didn't know if I was going to like Momoko Tenzen-sensei's work. But I finally broke down when I found a copy at my local Borders (and by that point I had read The Paradise on the Hill and fell in love with Tenzen-sensei). I discovered that Mitsuha doesn't look at all like Steven Tyler and that the physical book is really quite beautiful. Because this is an older release it features the older look with the pink branding bar at the bottom and a dust jacket. But they chose to use a beautiful matte finish on the jacket as opposed to the glossy finish. With that choice it makes this release classier.

The story takes a while to get going and when it does it ends and we switch stories. Luckily we get another glimpse of Mitsuha and Nana at the end of the book which helps wrap the story up nicely. I liked the story but it isn't one of her stronger ones. Probably I gave it a higher score because I love Tenzen-sensei so much. With her thin lines, thick lipped, and perfectly coifed characters the art is very classy indeed. I've read this book several times and I still have questions that I feel need to be answered. Because of those issues I felt the book could have much to improve on.

So do I recommend this title? Well this would be a great title to be an introduction to the genre if it is something that you're not familiar with. It's also a must have for hardcore Tenzen-sensei fans. But other than that I'll leave it up to you to decide whether you want to read it or not!

***Review Copy purchased at Borders***

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