Escape Journey Graphic Novel Volume 3 cover image
Rated “M” for “Mature”
Escape Journey is a yaoi manga from manga creator, Ogeretsu Tanaka. Yaoi manga is a subset of boys' love (or BL) manga, which depicts amorous situations between male characters. Yaoi manga usually features explicit depictions of sex between those males.
Naoto Hisami and Taichi Hase were high school lovers. Naoto thought they were dating, but during a heated argument, Taichi tells Naoto, “You're nothing but a fuck buddy I blow off steam with sometimes.” That leads Naoto to dump Taichi's ass. A year later, Naoto is a student at S University, a liberal arts college. Still angry about what Taichi said to him, Naoto is shocked to see him on campus. The two soon find themselves forced together, again, with Taichi being an aggressive seme (top) to Naoto's submissive uke (bottom).
As Escape Journey, Vol. 3 (Chapters 13 to 15 to Final Chapter) opens, the rift that had opened between Naoto and Taichi closes. Once again, they are back in each other's arms and having the best (and most graphic) make-up sex. Now, determined to be together forever, they must face their family and friends and reveal that they are a couple, even as they prepare to graduate from college.
For Taichi that means dealing with his estranged mother, who abandoned Taichi and his father (and her husband) to make a new family. How his mother handles what he has to tell her will determine if Taichi will ever have a relationship with her. For Naota, he has to tell his parents and his three siblings, but how will they react to his “adult adoption” idea?
Meanwhile, Naoto's best-friend-forever, Mika Yuki, is furious that she cannot get in touch with him. How will she react when she learns that Naoto has a boyfriend and he never told her?!
[This volume includes a bonus story, “Special Escape” and “Afterword.”]
THE LOWDOWN: Yaoi manga is not pornography, but it can feature explicit and even highly graphic depictions of two males engaged in sexual intercourse. Explicit depictions of sexual intercourse may be inevitable in this genre, but yaoi mangaka delivers boys' love stories that are about drama, character, and romance. In the best of the genre, the creators also take their characters' careers, professions, jobs, and/or social status seriously.
Escape Journey Graphic Novel Volume 3 is the final volume of the Escape Journey series, and it features as much explicit gay sex as the previous two volumes. In fact, the “Special Escape” episode of Vol. 3 is essentially an extra dose of sexual intercourse for readers.
However, Escape Journey is more about the drama and the characters – their lives, personalities, hopes, and conflicts. Creator Ogeretsu Tanaka went into as much detail in drama and character as she did in drawing hot, sweaty, and fluids-heavy sex. By focusing so much on drama and character, Tanaka made the graphic sex scenes become beautifully composed sequences of intimacy and lovemaking. By the end of the final chapter of Vol. 3, readers may not know what the future holds for this young couple, but we believe that they are truly, madly, deeply in love.
Dear readers, I cannot escape the fact that Escape Journey is one of the best yaoi manga and romance comics that I have ever read, and I will insist that it is a must-read for fans of boys' love manga. Escape Journey Vol. 3 practically demands an encore series.
I READS YOU RECOMMENDS: Readers looking for a yaoi manga that gets down with the drama as much as it gets down in the sheets will want Escape Journey.
9 out of 10
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