Junko “Kimi Note”
I became interested in Junko when a scan group on LJ posted a story from her (which, incidentally, is the second chapter in this book) and at the time I liked her art style so much that I instantly went and found her first—and at that time, only—tankoubon. She has now released three original tankoubon (and one doujinshi anthology), all of which are from different publishers. Not a single one of her tankoubon has anything less than 5-star reviews as I write this, and two of those reviews belong to Kimi Note. One reviewer even went so far as to say that Kimi Note was the first ever book she’d read by Junko, but it made her a fan from the bottom of her heart. Kimi Note is also currently #10 on Chill Chill’s tankoubon ranking (with Junko’s other most recent tankoubon, Ouji no Kikan, two places ahead at #8).
Within the tankoubon there are three chapters of the original story, one extra for that story, and then three more older oneshots—two of which are from GUSH magazine, and one, incidentally, that was originally published under a Marble anthology. I’m going to try to not describe each story to death for once so as to keep this short enough that people will actually read it, so I’m sorry if it seems like I’m skimping out with this review compared to other ones. The only story I’ll try to describe in detail is the first (main) one.
The first chapter is the story that coincides with the title and cover, Kimi Note. In it we’re introduced to Miyasaka, a high school student who’s enamored by the scent of his attractive male classmate Sawatari. When he tells Sawatari this, Sawatari seems flustered but smiles gently and thanks Miyasaka. At the mall, Miyasaka happens to find the same scent and then loads it on like a waterfall, stinking up the place at school the next day. After getting chased out of class for being overwhelmingly smelly, he admits to a helpful Sawatari that he bought it and put so much on because he likes the way Sawatari smells so much. Flustered he tries to backpedal, saying it’s because Sawatari is just so cool and attractive, which… doesn’t help his case very much at all. Sawatari chuckles and does that gorgeous mysterious smile again, and says Miyasaka is cute—though he goes on to play it off as a joke.
Then back in the classroom, a breeze blows through the windows and Miyasaka muses that it feels weird to have the breeze blow in but to not smell the scent of Sawatari sitting in front of him. The next day Sawatari approaches him at school and asks why Miyasaka isn’t wearing the cologne again, and Miyasaka realizes that the smell just reminds him of Sawatari which is possibly why he likes it so much. But he doesn’t have time to let himself be flustered by this thought as they’re approached by another student who wants to know what kind of cologne Sawatari wears. For some reason this irritates Miyasaka who, before stomping off, says it’s gross to copy someone else in such a way.
Flustered and confused, Sawatari rushes after Miyasaka and says that what Miyasaka did, really, was pretty much the same—wanting to know the name of Sawatari’s perfume because he liked it so much. Miyasaka vehemently denies it, but can’t get himself to give voice to the real reason he wanted to capture Sawatari’s scent so badly. Suddenly a strong wind blows through and Miyasaka catches Sawatari’s scent, and without even thinking he blurts out “I like you!” and starts crying at his own realization. He embraces Sawatari, who stays rigid at first but then relaxes into Miyasaka’s arms, admitting “what should I do; you’re being so cute right now.” Then they go back to the classroom and indulge in some mutual masturbation lol. /o/ The chapter ends with Sawatari giving Miyasaka a small bottle of mint cologne.
The next two chapters use the same characters. The first one takes place at the beach while they’re on vacation together, only for them to be bothered by a gaggle of girls who recognize Sawatari from a street fashion magazine. This causes Miyasaka to question whether his dull, average ass is worthy of Sawatari and causes a short rift in their relationship. But all’s well that ends in a filthy sex scene with Sawatari crying sexy moe uke tears. The third chapter deals with their sex life getting the way of them studying together to the point where Sawatari decides to withhold sex. Which only causes Miyasaka to become sexually frustrated and get hard merely from sitting next to Sawatari, even after masturbating to the smell of the cologne bottle Sawatari gave him. But this chapter also ends in fluffy happiness with a delicious uke-takes-the-lead sex scene in a public bathroom stall. The extra is just a six-page short of Sawatari reminiscing.
Onto the oneshots! The first of the three is a bit angsty and about a businessman meeting an old friend (and lover) whom he had previously felt abandoned by. Though he rejects the other man’s advances toward making up at first, in the end they’re able to walk home holding hands. The second chapter is about a first-year boy in the track club who’s sleeping with his third-year senpai. Since his senpai treats him as a kouhai even in the bedroom, the boy is left unsure about their relationship and depressed about it only being sexual—which is made worse when an Old Boy that his senpai was supposedly close to comes back and senpai is more than willing to show a gentle expression in front of him. Senpai’s previous relationship with this other man causes them to fight and acknowledge their real feelings for each other. The third and final story is about a college student who lets his senpai move in with him for a while only to develop feelings for the senpai somewhere along the way.
I definitely have to agree with the reviewer I mentioned previously. While this wasn’t the first thing I’d ever seen by Junko, it really made me fall for her. Her art was already lovely before, but looking at the characters in Kimi Note you realize that her style has been slowly becoming polished in a very attractive way. The characters are cute—the ukes aren’t always fluffy and agreeable but also aren’t crazy assholes and the semes aren’t perfect but I wouldn’t really go so far as to call them hetare. Interesting characters with unusual relationship dynamics that really draw the reader in.
My favorite story, of course, is Kimi Note. I think the uke, Sawatari, is absolutely gorgeous and can completely understand Miyasaka falling for him. I though it was cute and somewhat original that Miyasaka’s attraction to Sawatari started out with something as simple as a Sawatari’s scent and blossomed into an obsession with Sawatari himself.
Also, I have to give a shoutout to Junko’s sex scenes. They’re so filthy, oh man. Perhaps not quite as explicit as, say, Aniya Yuiji or Ootsuki Miu but she’s not afraid to draw a penis and poses her boys in many different sexual positions. From simple things like wet make-out scenes and licking and soft petting to harder scenes like frottage and riding and dirty talk, this book had just about everything the pervert in me could possibly ask for.
Not to mention her ukes. Her ukes—! Because I am truly a fan of pretty, sassy ukes. And when it comes to those, Junko knows how to deliver.