Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Yaoi Review: BLUE MORNING Volume 6

SUBLIME – @SuBLimeManga (Chara Comics)

CARTOONIST: Shoko Hidaka
TRANSLATION: Jocelyne Allen
COVER: Shoko Hidaka with Shawn Carrico
ISBN: 978-1-4215-8806-3; paperback (September 2016) Rated “M” for “Mature”
250pp, B&W, $12.99 U.S., $14.99 CAN, £8.99 UK

Blue Morning is a series of yaoi manga graphic novels from creator Shoko Hidaka.  Yaoi manga features love stories in which the romantic leads are males.  A subset of boys’ love (BL) manga, yaoi can also feature explicit depictions of sex.  Blue Morning focuses on Akihito, the heir to a viscount-ship, and Katsuragi, his very capable butler, to whom Akihito is attracted.

After the death of his father, Akinao Kuze, 10-year-old Akihito Kuze moves into the Kuze mansion, as he prepares to inherit his late father’s viscount-ship.  There, he meets the Kuze family butler, Tomoyuki Katsuragi, who is tasked with raising Akihito.  By the time he is 17-years-old, Akihito finds himself relentlessly drawn to Katsuragi, but also frustrated by the distance between them.

As Blue Morning, Vol. 6 (Chapters 28 to 33) opens, Akihito and Katsuragi make love, but then move apart.  Katsuragi begins to run the household and business affairs of Soemon Ishizaki, the father of Akihito's best friend, Soichiro.  Then, it is announced that Akihito will leave to obtain treatment for a long ailment (which he is feigning).  However, Akihito does plan on leaving to study abroad, so will this planned departure be the thing that forces Akihito and Katsuragi back together?

The Blue Morning manga is a romantic period drama, but is also something of a domestic drama.  I have compared it to being something like a comic book version of one of those Merchant-Ivory films from the 1980s and 1990s.

Much of Blue Morning Volume 6 is about character drama; people talk, but talk around those with whom they are familiar or have a romantic relationship.  While this series begins and ends with intimacy, creator Shoko Hidaka uses everything else to play with the big “if,” which is the question of whether the romantic leads will ever truly unite.  I like this series; it is a good one, but the story is ready to be resolved.  I don't see it remaining a quality manga past a seventh volume.


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

The text is copyright © 2016 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


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