Sunday, February 9, 2014

Manga Review: NightS by Kou Yoneda

Rating (Out of 5): ~4-4.5
Publisher: SuBLime (VIZ Media)
Release Date: January, 2014
Volumes: 1
Spoilers?: No.

Goodreads Synopsis:

A collection of masterful, sensual stories by popular yaoi creator Kou Yoneda! In the title story, Masato Karashima is a man paid to smuggle anything from guns to drugs to people. When he's hired by yakuza gang member Masaki Hozumi, he finds himself attracted to the older man, and what starts out as a business transaction quickly spirals into a cat-and-mouse game of lust and deception. In Emotion Spectrum, a high-school student tries to be a good wingman for a classmate, with an unexpected result, while Reply is told from the alternating perspectives of an emotionally reserved salesman and the shy mechanic who's in love with him.

Reads R to L (Japanese Style) for mature audiences


I’d heard quite a bit about this book, or at least about the author. That alone had me curious, since I’d never heard of the author, or read any of her other books (that I know of). The cover didn’t particularly spark my interest, but I do like one-volume manga, and so given the chance to get a copy, I took it.
Up to this point, I have read a lot of one-shot, short story collection manga. And have had a noticeable bad luck with them, as a lot are just not done very well, for a number of reasons. And I’m really happy to say that this was one of the few really good ones.
First, the art is very pretty. Bodies are perfectly proportioned. The faces are done really nicely, and the expressions are portrayed really well. I’m a bit picky with art, so I was happy to see how overall pretty the art was.
Then there are the short stories, of which there were three (some of them split into a couple chapters). Overall the stories were all really well done, the characters fully developed, the plot believable and not even a little rushed. The characters were a definite happy point for me, as there were very different personalities, and I actually grew fond of some them, given the short time they had.
These three things have all been very big problems in other one-shots I’ve read, so I’m really happy, and very impressed, with how well they were done in this book.
The first short story, featuring a yakuza drug delivery, kind of, was probably my least favorite. I just had a hard time getting into it at first. The tiny story at the end of the book to go with it, though, had me laughing.
The second story was a school-boy love one, and it was very cute and sweet, and it had me smiling. Especially the ending, which was adorable and hilarious. It was my favorite one, until I moved onto the third story.
The third story, a work romance-ish one, really had my emotions going. I loved both of the main characters, their differing personalities and how well they were portrayed and their process of getting to know each other and then falling for each other. This one was also the longest, with four continuous chapters (some of them very short).
There actually wasn’t that much sex in this book, which I was surprised by. The sex there was, was nice, though, and actually important to the plot. 
I’m just really impressed and happy with this volume. It was good all-around, well-done. It had me smiling and laughing, some of the characters were really adorable, and the humor was nice and a little subtle, not exaggerated. I really liked this book, and would definitely pick up something else by Yoneda.

A review copy was provided by the publisher, VIZ Media/SuBLime, and Erik Jansen from MediaLab PR. Thank you so, so much!

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