tbh I don’t know how long the covers have been out for—perhaps I’m fairly late to the party, unfortunately. orz;; But I wanted to share Yamanaka Hiko and Kumota Haruko’s covers for their upcoming late July onBLUE releases since they’re pretty fab.
Kumota’s is more humorous than I was admittedly expecting, since later in the series (the last two chapters?) it was actually a borderline-depressing story. But Kumi-kun is wonderful and it’s a really endearing cover for a strange comic about a man in the porn industry and all the things around him that shape his life.
As for Yamanaka Hiko’s, it’s much more serious which would definitely be expected with her story. Admittedly I’ve only partially read it (since it’s really one of those books you want to sit and read in full imo) so I’m really looking forward to picking this book up. The cover is really so pretty—it’s reminiscent of her gorgeous cover for Ouji to Kotori, which is the cover that tempted me into checking out Yamanaka Hiko’s work in the first place.
So many really amazing BL releases coming up lately and somehow I’ve barely talked about any of them. orz Sorry.
I actually have posts I wanted to do these past couple days but instead I spent them being lazy and indulging in my other hobbies. (Finally got a PS3 YESSSSS!!!) But hey here’s a low-key thing I can post about that’s still crazy exciting, so–! Upcoming release update!
found from Kijitora’s blog:
Nakamura Asumiko “Sora to Hara”
to be released May 19th through Edge Comix
found through random search:
Yamanaka Hiko “Gives”
to be released May 30th through Dear+
Dear+ is also releasing volume two of Ninomiya Etsumi’s Momoiro Club ni Youkoso and -ZE- Kami no Hon by Shimizu Yuki. A lot of fan favorites this coming May, it would seem!
I am just generally excited about Sora to Hara because I’m hoping so so so much that there are some fluffy extras between those two (though I shouldn’t hold my breath…) but I am super super super pumped about Yamanaka Hiko since her works are always like magic and glorious and I love her and it’s a book I actually have not read anything from by one of my favorite artists and that almost never happens so sd;gljsgs yay!!
Though talking about Yamanaka Hiko reminds me… next month it’s already time again for a new issue of onBLUE to be released. It’s kind of crazy how fast time flies—even though it comes out every four months it still sneaks up on me every time.
Yamanaka Hiko | Marusumiya no Yometori
Recently I finally completed my Yamanaka Hiko collection by purchasing her two earliest books. Before, I just had the scans on the computer and I really really prefer to read Japanese comics in actual book form (English ones, too, for that matter but I unfortunately have less of a choice in that category) as opposed to squinting at the computer screen for an hour. So now I’m finally able to read her complete collection properly, which is really exciting!
As for Marusumiya itself, I liked the first story but I loved the second one. It starts out with a man who lives by a very strict, lonely schedule until he meets another man at work whom he can open up to more. But in the end, after they’ve opened up ‘too much’ to one another, could that be the end of their relationship? This was just one of those stories that really gave me that amazingly bittersweet heartache feeling—it was just the right amount of angst and longing, balanced well with some really adorable romance. Also, I just generally love when characters are just straight-out gay in BL. Usually it’s that whole “I’m not gay but I fell for this random guy” thing, which is also okay. But idk for some reason it makes me smile when the mangaka makes their character sincerely gay and shoulders them with the realistic troubles (in this case, not being able to get close to anyone in case they find out) that people can relate to a bit more.
Minazuki Akira | Noboseru Karada
This is another one where, though I really really liked the first story as well, I really enjoyed the second story. Though this time around it might be more because I was excited to get some new content from a book I was originally thinking I bought just to complete my collection of Minazuki’s works. The first story is about a breadshop owner named Suzumi with a very pretty face, and then a young, accomplished man, Kusaba, who meets Suzumi when Suzumi bathes at his bathhouse. While he’s initially attracted by Suzumi’s face, in the end he falls for Suzumi due to his hard work and determination (shown outward by all the burn scars on his arms that tend to be synonymous with people in cooking/baking professions) to achieve his dreams and sets out to make Suzumi his.
The second story is then about childhood friends who promise to be together forever when they’re young, but then a wrench is thrown in their plans when one considers moving abroad to study after high school. It’s a fairly simple story about the unsure feelings of parting with people you care about and the consequences that follow, and it’s yet another ones of those great stories with a perfect dash of angst to make the feelings of the characters really shine through. Also, it has some pretty delicious H scenes. :9 My favorite. Thank you, Minazuki, for another really great story!
Yamanaka Hiko | Hatsukoi no 70% wa,
And here is my other Yamanaka Hiko book. This is actually her debut comic and the one that really caught my eye re: her artwork, so it feels kind of special to go full-circle and really read it and give it the attention it deserves. I truly liked it, once again—I’m kind of a sucker for those types of stories where a guy will date girls over and over and wonder why the hell they’re never really all that special to him or never make him fall passionately in love, and then suddenly he’ll fall head-over-heels for another boy. That’s pretty much the premise of Hatsukoi: Kasukabe has spent much of his teenage life not really caring about anything—not his schoolwork or the people he dates or his future. He’s more of a ‘drifter’, finding people who work hard to achieve things confusing and weird. But that’s until he meets Sugiyama, the star runner for the school track team. Sugiyama is so passionate about track that he cares little about anything else, his mind always on practicing and times and stretching and figuring out how to improve. This astounds Kusakabe, and he finds himself oddly attracted to Sugiyama. And then before he knows it, his attraction has turned into something of a ‘schoolgirl crush’.
idk it’s just a really all-around charming story—not very deep but still a tiny bit thought-provoking in some aspects with very cute and relateable characters and a fairly realistic (by BL terms, of course) plot that is quite emotionally involving. I really liked it and am super glad I finally caved and bought the book and was able to read it to completion.
so the other day onBLUE released their cover and information for the latest issue. Even though onBLUE only comes out once every four months, it feels like it doesn’t take long for a new volume to be released. I’m not really sure why that is. Anyway, this month’s cover and big interview is Yorita Saemi!
Ahhhh I love the combination of green and pink. orz
Admittedly, I haven’t read much by Yorita Saemi. Actually… I don’t know if I’ve read anything by Yorita Saemi. I should probably remedy that. Anyway, along with the cover onBLUE also posted up a listing of all the stories in this issue as well as some short commentary to pique your interest. You can check all that out here if you’re interested. I’m happy to see Shinomiya Shino and SHOOWA joining the team this time around! And of course, I’m looking forward to new installments in Hideyoshico, Yamanaka Hiko, Kumota Haruko, Est Em, Yanagisawa Yukio… well, pretty much every series really.
They also posted all the covers for their line’s comic releases this month: click! Admittedly, I am most intrigued by Nanaki Katsura’s cover—
—for fairly obvious reasons. orz
→ Actually I was considering putting this blog on hiatus since I’m currently going through some really stressful stuff in my personal life and, as fun as this blog is to run, sometimes posting here feels tedious and stressful. But I don’t really want to put it on hiatus, just in case I read something that makes me so passionate that posting about it is very simple and fun. But I just wanted to let you all know that even though I’m not posting as much and it takes forever for me to reply to comments, I am still around and I still answer my emails (slowly) and formspring questions (somewhat less slowly) so if you ever need to contact me with a question then you need not hesitate.
→ Anyway, official blurb aside I just have a couple small things I want to talk about! First, Kobato Mebaru has the cover of F-Book Comics’ second BiQ anthology!
I think it’s really cute, and just in general it’s nice to see something from her again even if it’s just a anthology cover. I’ve been trying to keep up with her shoujo title that runs in Sylph, but that still doesn’t feel like enough haha.
→ Then there’s also Gateau’s latest covers by Koiwazurai Shibito and Kumonosuke.
To be honest, after reading Shiawase ni Naru no sa! I have become a bit obsessed with Kumonosuke. Yesterday volumes three and four of Gateau arrived and she had a story in there and I pretty much shrieked in excitement and accidentally slammed the book shut when I saw her art haha. I totally did not budget for this new-found love-affair oops. So now if I want her new book I’ll have to slip a different one out of my order. And I should probably look into purchasing her debut tankoubon as well. orz
→ drap’s upcoming releases are pretty exciting. I know a lot of you have been asking me fairly often about when Ootsuki Miu’s Familiar will be released, so I’m happy to let you know that it’s scheduled for early November. Like with Ouji Hiroimashita, it’s going to have a special-addition first printing. (Perhaps it will also come with a nice booklet of gratuitous sex scenes!) In late October drap will be releasing Yukimura’s Honto no Tokoro, and also Yoshizuka Mayako’s debut in early October. And of course, Chidori Peko’s tankoubon is still scheduled for late September. Lots to look forward to from them!
→ Also release news, through Hanaoto Miike Romuko will be releasing a book in late October. I’ve been excitedly waiting for a new book by her so I’ll have to try and be patient.
→ Finally, the next issue of Dear+ is very tempting! Miike Romuko, Ootsuki Miu and a color page by Yamanaka Hiko. Speaking of releases I’ve been wishing on for quite a long time now, I hope Yamanaka Hiko releases something new soon. My life feels so empty without being able to read anything new from her. Oh well, I guess at least I have her wonderful story in onBLUE.
So I was asked this question on formspring:
I started to think about this question after I saw the gorgeous Equus cover :D Your top ten beautiful/brilliant BL manga cover’s. Manga you’ve read, want to read or even manga you didn’t like but the cover is still wonderful.
And started answering it but then it occurred to me that it’s difficult to answer a question about visuals on a site that doesn’t allow HTML so the links would be clunky and unattractive and it’s not like I could actually post the covers I like. So I figured I would instead answer it on here. Makes my life a lot easier.
So here are my top ten BL covers that I deem very pretty or eye-catching. It depends on what the question means by ‘beautiful’—covers that have a lot of artistic merit, or covers that I just personally really loved and found to be quite pretty. Since I’m not really much of an art critic, I’m going to go with the latter. Sorry if you meant the former! It’s just easier for me to talk about covers I just personally found quite lovely or ones that peaked my interest.
♔ → First off, we must talk about the latest cover of Shousetsu Lynx.
By Takashima Kazusa. It’s so nice to see her beautiful artwork again—that cover is seriously the most beautiful magazine cover I’ve seen in a long time. Absolutely stunning. *w*
♔ → Dear+ finally updated a few days ago after getting behind for a while (likely due to the earthquake). Mostly I’m just posting about it so everyone can go look at the gorgeous Hashimoto Aoi color illustration. Her art style seems to be evolving more and more into one that I really like. Also, if you click the next issue preview you’ll see that there’s a gorgeous Yamanaka Hiko color page. Kind of want. Must resist ahhhh! orz;;; If Yamanaka Hiko is continually in Dear+ then it hopefully won’t be too long until there’s another tankoubon release from her.
♔ → Some of the mangaka under Libre have posted sweet ‘ganbare nihon!!’ messages that can be read here. Includes mangaka like Nakamura Asumiko, Kuku Hayate, etc.
Aoi Seri also posted her own message here on her blog. She sounds quite down, understandably. ;w;
♔ → Not necessarily BL-related, but Aniya Yuiji is currently on ITAN’s header: click!
♔ → I generally do not buy moca (which is the BL anthology released though Chocolat Comics) even though it almost always looks gorgeous, but while I was doing ~the rounds~ and checking the BL line and publisher websites the cover for the latest volume caught my eye. So I went to the site and they already have the new list for the next volume and it. Is. Amazing.
Shorts by Kojima Lalako, Moto Haruko, Manako, Katou Setsuko and Takarai Saki, full-length stories by Yamada Torico and Matsuo Marta, and then a pin-up by Sunae Hata. Is it even possible to get any more amazing? Thank goodness it doesn’t come out until May so I can start saving up for another book I don’t usually buy.
♔ → Finally, I have a small-ish recommendation thing in the form of a scanlation from Echochi scans: Hanamai Koeda ni Aimashou by Kazumi Maki and Kano Ayumi. It’s about a young man, Daisuke, who was raised as a girl in order to avoid him having to take on his father’s prestigious legacy and the sleazy-but-serious lawyer who is in love with ‘her’. A very cute story with snazzy art.
See? You should all read it!