June 11, 2008 at 11:13 am 5 comments

I usually get so caught up in reading new stuff that I never get around to writing about it.  This week I’m going to try to write a short blurb for my new manga purchases.  I hope the key word there doesn’t end up being “try.”

First up is Restart by Shouko Hidaka, a yaoi book of short stories from June.

Tadashi and Aki are both male models.  Aki is the newest hot young thing, Tadashi hasn’t been getting as much work lately.  When the story opens it’s a few weeks after they’ve shared a drunken sexual encounter.  Tadashi (he gets the POV in the first story) was too drunk to remember much of what happened, but things are definitely awkward now between he and Aki, with both men seemingly going out of their way to avoid each other.  Of course it’s the product of a misunderstanding.   The second story in the book focuses more on Tadashi’s career – he’s just failed his tenth audition while his lover Aki is getting more popular by the day.  Tadashi starts backing away from Aki who has his own complicated reasons for wanting to succeed.  Third story goes back in time (which took me a couple of pages to figure out) to the night they first got together, this time from Aki’s POV.  Poor Aki is in love with Tadashi, with not a little bit of hero-worship thrown in.  Their fourth chapter is the last story in the book and goes back even farther so we can see how Aki gets into modeling and his fateful first meeting with Tadashi (who actually remembers this one).  :)

I am normally not a fan of standalones full of short stories, but with so many in this volume dealing with the main characters there was more of a chance for character development, which I like to see in my manga.  You can tell me they’re in love, but I’d really rather see it for myself if that makes sense.  While I didn’t mind the plot (it was interesting to see how their relationship was complicated by their different levels and ambitions in the modeling world) I didn’t really get a sense of much passion in their relationship.  There almost seemed to be more drama with their enounters with their manager than with each other.  Yes, there were some sex scenes in there, which helped with the feeling that the two were together, but Tadashi spends so much time focused on himself and ducking Aki that it didn’t really feel like he was as into the relationship as Aki was.  My impression there.  As I said – they told me things but I didn’t quite believe it.  I got to learn more about them as individuals (not a couple) which I liked. 

There were two other stories in the book.  The first was a photographer shooting a younger model (still in high school) who is confused as to what kind of pictures the guy is looking for.  No, it’s not dirty.  :)  The photog wants to capture different expressions, and is looking for something a little more real and varied than the usual model’s smile.  When the photographer confesses to the model that he’s in love with him, he gets a new expression that he quite likes.  Poor confused little model…

The second standalone story was probably my favorite in the book.  A college student (Tatsumi) is in a bar reflecting on his first love, a boy who disappeared while scuba diving.  Tatsumi is hung up on the memory because he didn’t realize he was in love until after Shinozaki went missing.  The next day he’s on the train to go home for a holiday when he sees Shinozaki on the train!  (dun!)  Turns out that Shinozaki had a younger brother named Ryo who looks just the same, but is the complete opposite personality wise.  Ryo is grumpy and rude, but Tatsumi is drawn to spending time with him over the holiday and starts to develop feelings for the younger brother.  The complications here should be evident.  :)

While I liked Restart more than the average collection of short stories, I can’t say that I loved it.  It was… pretty good?  I’ll be happy to keep it on my shelves and will most likely be rereading it.  I would say maybe three and a half stars out of five, if I liked giving stars to things.  :)

Sort of on topic: this is the third manga from DMP/June that I’ve read in the past couple of weeks that had editing mistakes.  While I don’t really mind missing letters or wonky phrases in manga that much, to have three of four volumes with errors is kind of unusual.  Are they just really busy?

(Would you consider this to be short?  This is why I don’t write as much as I should.  I talk too much.)


Entry filed under: manga.

I don’t care if I don’t need it Sweet Admiration and New Beginnings

5 Comments Add your own

  • […] reads vol. 10 of Gals!, and David Rasmussen checks out vol. 1 of Priest. Cathy writes about Restart at It can’t all be about manga. At Anime on DVD, Danielle Van Gorder takes a look at one of […]

  • 2. badtzphoto  |  June 12, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    imo, “short” is a subjective thing – how’s that for being diplomatic? :)
    joking aside, I’d say this is medium length since it’s a review of more than one short story and you give each one attention. So for a review of a book from a continuing series, this length may be long. But then again, if there are too many arcs in the said book, then this is short – so, it’s kind of case by case basis, you know.

    “I talk too much.”
    Well, I think it’s good :) That means you like it, if you don’t like the topic, you wouldn’t want to talk about it at all. I get to know the book to see if I care for it or not. Now, I talk too much ;)

  • 3. cathy  |  June 12, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    *Very* diplomatic. :)

    How’s this for short: two hot models fall in love with each other, but one is insecure about his career, the other about their relationship. Drama ensues. I liked it, not loved it.

    See? I can do it… heh.

    Oddly enough, though, I will be wordier when writing than talking. I can’t tell a story more than twice without boiling it down to the shortest version possible. And I can get really formal when I write emails and notes, so I always have to reread everything to make sure I’m not coming off as bitchy or condescending. sigh. Thank goodness for emoticons! :P

  • 4. badtzphoto  |  June 12, 2008 at 5:17 pm

    the short version: boring : ha ha :D
    That’s what I always do. Bullet points. Now I understand why my writing is usually cut and dry. I should say more. hm.

    “And I can get really formal when I write emails and notes …”
    That’s really interesting.

    Aren’t emoticons fun?

    Chapter 7 of honey hunt is out :)

  • 5. pajcat  |  June 12, 2008 at 10:35 pm

    Well, when you get too verbose it’s tempting to start skipping things I think.

    I don’t think I got up to chapter 7 of that one. I think I was waiting for a bit more to come out so I could read a big chunk at once. The trick is remembering to do it!


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