"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Reviews in Brief: Masara Minase's Der bittere Kuss der Lüge

Now that I've finished volume 8 of When a Man Loves a Man (and if volume 9 ever comes down to a reasonable price, I'll go back and finish the series), I've gone on to a BL manga by an artist new to me, Masara Minase. If Der bittere Kuss der Lüge is any example of her work, I'll really be looking forward to the next one on the stack, a two-volume series.

Tatsuya Soga is trying to find a long-lost half-brother, and his investigation is about to bear fruit. While out one night at one of his favored establishments, his eye is caught by a young waiter who also plays the piano, and quite beautifully. It brings back memories of his little brother, Haruka, and his toy piano. Tatsuya strikes up a conversation with the young man, Haru Igarashi, and eventually takes him home. After some initial misgivings, Haru realizes that he's in love with Tatsuya, who is more than willing to return the favor: Tatsuya is smitten. Enough that he insists that Haru move into his apartment.

And then he discovers that Haru is the long-lost Haruka.

This is another "brothers who fall in love" story, similar to Yugi Yamada's Open the Door to Your Heart, this time through a agency of a somewhat fickle mother: while Tatsuya was the product of his father's first marriage, he's convinced that Haru is his half-brother by his father's second wife.

The story is knotty enough, and carries enough tension, to keep the reader engaged. Tatsuya's reaction to finding out who Haru really is, and the involvement of another of Haru's "altere Brüder" only serve to complicate an already complicated situation. (Did I mention that Haru is underage?) Minase's drawing is appealing, somewhat reminiscent of Kae Maruya (who also seems to be quite popular in Germany) -- clear and open, and subtly expressive. Layouts are fluid enough to be interesting.

The German seems somewhat simpler than WaMLaM, or else I've improved more than I thought. I'm not quite done with the actual translation/adaptation, but I cheated -- I read ahead to the happy ending.

This one's from Carlsen.

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