Title: Alcohol, Shirt, & Kiss
Creator(s): Yuko Kuwabara
Genre: Comedy/Romance (Boys’ Love)
Publisher: Digital Manga, Inc. (Juné Imprint)
ISBN: (Volume 1) 1-56970840-1 or 978-1-56970-840-8
Where to Buy: Wherever books are sold
(Volume 1) Amazon
Naru wakes up after being drunk in Kita’s bed. After several more times of this, he wakes up naked, unable to remember what they did. To make matters worse, they have to constantly see each other at work!
I don’t remember buying this manga at all. I remember wanting to buy this manga, but I don’t remember actually buying it. Most of my manga I remember buying to an extent (or at least I can acknowledge that, yeah, I bought this at some point). It was released around the time that BL seemed to largely pick up in the USA, which is probably why it stood out to me.
Needless to say, I wouldn’t recommend this manga to most people. I thought finding it boring was a result of me reading Afterschool Charisma, but reading it with a clear mind has made me realize that nope, the manga is just really that boring. I wish I could dismiss it as Yuko Kuwabara’s first yaoi manga (which it is), but there’s other yaoi manga – such as Love Mode by Yuki Shinizu – that were the artist’s first that came out well, so I can’t.
The manga lacks a grounded story of some type. I don’t expect yaoi manga to have a deeply involved storyline. I expect it to have the bare minimum of a storyline though and give you enough time to not only care about the characters, but the couple as well. I also expect a yaoi manga with an “explicit content” label slapped on the front to have sex scenes. The manga mostly fails to deliver all the content.
The story starts with the rather clichéd “wake up naked in another guys bed” which fails to move the story forward successfully. The manga supposedly spans over a year or two and the relationship between the two character barely moves forward within that time. There’s a few really good kiss scenes between the two and them just simply sleeping in bed (no sex) together, which is actually really cute, but not much past that. By the time the sex actually happens, it’s the end of a rather long, drawn out manga, and doesn’t make up for it. I do feel like the sex scenes would have been emotionally deep if I actually cared about the characters.
But I don’t.
None of the characters have any impact and feel pretty one dimensional. Any dimension they have to them isn’t explored. Some characters had ex-wives or ex-girlfriends that left them for what seemed like a significant reason, but it was never fully explored, just flatly said to be the reason for them to behave or feel a certain way. We did have a brief look into Kita’s past as a child, something about taking hold of someone’s hand, but that’s as deep as the exploration goes.
The manga is written at a rather slow pace and for a manga that features police officers, it’s boring! I know the reality of police work can be boring, but in fiction, it doesn’t have to be! It feels like there’s a lot text on one page and quite a few panels which does nothing to help the story. If there was more chances to see Kita and Naru actually on the job and just not in the office, I think it would have helped develop their characters more.
The artwork isn’t bad. I think the toning for the most part is really nicely done and I REALLY like how Kuwabara does the close up of her characters. They have a lot of emotion and are beautifully drawn. Her full body drawings though aren’t that great in comparison.
I honestly don’t think you should read this manga unless you’re totally up for reading something that has no story and little sex.
If anyone is interested in buying my copy, drop me an e-mail at trainerkelly[at]live[dot]com! (replace [at] with @ and [dot] with . )
Next up, Antique Bakery…