Thursday, October 21, 2010

La Satanica by Momoko Tenzen review

La Satanica

Author/Artist: Momoko Tenzen

Publisher: Juné

Rating: M – for ages 18 and above

Genre: Yaoi, Drama, Romance, School Life

Grade: A

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

Motoki Matsushima is one of the most popular guys in class. Girls are always confessing their love for him but there’s only one Matsushima has his eye on, Shoji Mashita. Mashita comes across as quiet and brainy but in all actuality he has a cruel streak. Mashita knows how Matsushima feels about him and Mashita enjoys teasing him mercilessly. The two are really close friends and the chances are pretty high that Mashita feels the same way. Unfortunately the secret comes out when Mashita gets jealous of a mutual friend (the friend, Natsuki, has known Mashita for a long time) because Matsushima was getting the dirt on Mashita. Mashita may be able to keep his cool in everyday situations but when passions are high its Matsushima who’s in control. Will these two be able to get together or will Mashita’s inexperience with the physical aspects of their relationship hinder these two from moving forward?

Sorry for the poor synopsis but action packed this manga is not. It feels like it moves slowly but it’s over before you know it. This definitely falls into a unique category. When I first read it it took me a while to get the right name with the right face because the names are just too similar (at least in my mind). But once I got past that aspect of story I was able to sink in and truly enjoy it. Matsushima is like a giant puppy and an ongoing joke is that he grew out his hair because the person he liked said it reminded him of his dog’s hair. Of course Mashita has a dog and the two do share similarities. Mashita does have a mean streak but it’s pretty obvious to everyone (except Matsushima) how he feels. Of course true love does not run smooth so there are a few bumps that these two will need to overcome.

As always I rather enjoyed this title. It is, of course, a Momoko Tenzen title and will get my attention simply for that fact. She is a rather interesting story teller. Not only does she approach things in a little bit different way but she doesn’t always follow the yaoi conventions. Like in this story it’s the uke who seems to be the cruel one in everyday life. Now following the typical conventions it’s almost always the seme that has the cruel streak. I noticed, too, that at the beginning of the manga we jump right in to the middle of their story and then backtrack a little bit (I noticed the same pattern in her title Suggestive Eyes.) But the thing I love most about this title is the art. Tenzen-sensei’s men are impossibly beautiful (with thick lips and windswept hair) yet still have an everyday man quality to them. She isn’t shy to include beauty marks on her characters (that is a statement over all, none of the characters in La Satanica have any that I’m aware of but in some of her other titles you’ll catch them) which makes them more realistic to me (no one has flawless skin). Because much of her stuff falls into the realm of drama there isn’t much need for chibis but when she inserts some humor her chibis are darling.

When it comes to Tenzen-sensei I’m running out of things to say because I’ve said it all once before in previous reviews. She continues to be a favorite mangaka of mine and unless she ends up writing some really weird, distasteful manga she will continue to be a favorite of mine. I really enjoyed La Satanica for the storytelling, the art and the pacing. Some may not feel the same way. But if you enjoy pure romance you’ll like La Satanica.

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

2 comments:

Ayame said...

Great review! I loved "La Satanica"! at first, the title got me thinking it would be a depressing story, but it was actually so adorably cute!!! it'd be nice if all yaoi manga would be like this one.and, just like you said, the art is amazing!
looking forward to your next recommendations :)

Kris said...

@Ayame - Thanks for stopping by I love it when people leave comments! I adore Momoko Tenzen so anything of hers I'm going to read regardless. I even have a few of her newest titles in Japanese with the hope that they'll be picked up for English licensing.