Blue Morning Volume 4 cover image is courtesy of barnesandnoble.com.
Rated “M” for “Mature”
Blue Morning is a series of graphic novels from creator Shoko Hidaka. Blue Morning is yaoi manga, a love story 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 Kuze, the heir to a viscount-ship, and Tomoyuki Katsuragi, his very capable butler, to whom Akihito is attracted.
After the death of his father, Akinao Kuze, 10-year-old Akihito 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. 4 (Chapters 16 to 20) opens, the truth of Katsuragi’s lineage has already been revealed. With this truth revealed, Katsuragi leaves the Kuze household, and enters the employment of Soemon Ishizaki, the father of Akihito’s friend, Soichiro.
Akihito is determined, however, to have his way. He attempts to live a life different from the one meant for him, and he breaks off his engagement. He makes such a bold move regarding the standing of the Kuze family that Katsuragi is forced to counter them with strategy of his own.
THE LOWDOWN: The Blue Morning manga is a romantic period drama. It is like a comic book version of one of those Merchant-Ivory films from 1980s and 1990s. The series does sometime earn its “yaoi” label with a sex scene. Blue Morning Volume 4 offers a torrid love scene that leaves the characters in need of a bath. Everything that Akihito and Katsuragi can’t or won’t say to one another is translated into urgent lovemaking, complete with pants, moans, and groans.
Beyond the sex, there are more reveals. Through the dialogue, Shoko Hidaka opens the characters, their lives and secrets, in ways that cement Blue Morning’s status as an exceptional character drama and period romance.
POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: Boys’ love readers who enjoy period dramas will enjoy Blue Morning.