Title: A Gentleman’s Kiss
Volume(s): 1 & 2
Creator(s): Shinri Fuwa
Genre: Drama/Romance (Boys’ Love)
ISBN: (Volume 1) 978-1-56970-581-0/(Volume 2) 978-1-56970-582-7
Where to Buy: Wherever books are sold
(Volume 1) Amazon
(Volume 2) Amazon
I thought it would be kind of fun (okay, maybe not), if while I was rereading my manga, I did a bit of a review on them all. Summarize the story, talk about what I originally thought about it, and what I thought about it now. That’s why I call it a “re-review” because I’m reviewing it…again.
To start off the re-reviews, I’m doing my large manga. Which starts with A Gentleman’s Kiss, a boy’s love manga from Digital Manga Publishing’s Juné line.
Homura Yasobe is a business man and part of the yakuza and is sleeping with Toji Karasuma, the successor to a rival yakuza group. Yasobe is very bent on keeping their relationship a secret, since it could cause majour trouble for them both. When a host named Kyoya from one of the host clubs Yasobe owns seems to start getting in the way of their relationship and combined with his love for Yasobe, Karasuma starts doing things behind Yasobe’s back to make their relationship easier to have, though Yasobe doesn’t know this and is confused why Karasuma seems to be doing such hurtful things.
I don’t remember what I thought of this series when I first picked it up and I kind of wish I did. I’m sure I picked it up because it was BL and I’ll pretty much read anything. I wonder if I picked it up too because of the yakuza-based storyline? I kind of forget I have an interest in those and then I read them and…HOLYSHIZNIT INTENSE MAN. Okay, not always, but some of it. I think the yakuza-based stories always appeal to me because they always involve two rivals forced to work together and I love those kinds of stories.
I was really hesitant to reread this manga. I couldn’t remember anything about it (I think I thought it was about hosts; while I’m not entirely wrong, the story was about two yakuza successors, not about two hosts, but there was a host trying to get in between them) and I was afraid it would be one of those manga I used to like, reread it, and wish I didn’t have it. I was surprised it wasn’t. Instead, it filled me with happiness with all its cheesy goodness. There was a slight part of me that cringed at its cheesiness, but on the other hand, I loved it.
I wasn’t a huge fan of the writing of the characters. For the most part, the composure of the character conflicted with how they spoke, particularly their thoughts. Occasionally, Yasobe sounded like he was talking like how I’d expect a girl in a manga too. If his character had more of a hint of “gayness” to him, I probably would’ve been more okay with the writing. Other than that, I didn’t have an issue.
The story itself was mostly serious, although there was some injections of comedy at usually the right times. It did feel a bit odd though, reading a mostly serious manga, with serious looking characters suddenly have a comedy moment.
The drawings match up with what a lot of people probably associate with real yaoi manga (as opposed to fan art), complete with yaoi hands. The anatomy in general looks whacky in parts. Particularly there was this side-of-face panel where the characters look like their skulls had somehow stretched backwards. Most of the drawings felt rather hallow too, being just lines on a page and not two living, breathing characters.
Okay, that might sound ridiculous to say, since they ARE just lines on a page, but I’ve read plenty of manga before where you could “feel” the characters, even though they aren’t really.
I particularly enjoyed the panels where the characters were drawn more “deformed” for expression purposes. These mostly came when a character was flustered and snapping at another character in such a way to encourage a giggle. I felt kind of disappointed Shinri Fuwa’s drawings weren’t constantly like that. They looked better than how she normally draws.
Luckily, the hollowed drawings didn’t distract from the story too much.
Overall, I enjoyed this manga, especially more than I originally thought I would. I’m glad I took the time to reread it.
Next up…A Love Song for the Miserable by Yukimura…