By Leroy Douresseaux
Dec 31, 2008 - 12:41
|Sighing Kiss cover image is courtesy of Anime Castle Books.|
Rated “M” for “Mature Audiences 18+”
Akira Yui is in love with his best pal, Tatsuya Oka. Tatsuya, a tall, athletic, dark-haired young man, is always looking out for the shy, retiring Akira, making high school an enjoyable experience for him. Akira wants to tell Tatsuya how much he loves him, but Tatsuya has a girlfriend. The last time Akira admitted his romantic feelings to a straight friend, it ended badly.
Enter, the new student – the mysterious Haruno Tanabe. Rumors swirl around Tanabe about why he left the last school he attended. Tanabe is especially troublesome for Akira, as he seems to know all Akira thoughts, wishes, and yearnings – even his deepest secrets. So when things take an unhappy turn, why does Akira find himself in Tanabe’s arms?
THE LOWDOWN: I finished reading Sighing Kiss, a yaoi manga by Riyu Yamakami, and immediately realized how involved I was in the outcome of this surprisingly deep romantic drama. In Sighing Kiss, Yamakami is thoughtful and engaging in her portrayal of homosexuality and gay romance among high school age males. Issues such as dating, bisexuality, identity, conformity, coming out, etc. make their appearance in this volatile love triangle.
What also marks Yamakami as a yaoi manga-ka talent to watch is her deft visual storytelling. Not only is she good at composition and figure drawing, Yamakami is also exceptionally skilled in presentation and execution in both panel and overall page design in creating the visual motifs and page ornamentations (patters, shapes, toning, etc.) that are familiar to yaoi readers. This visual language implies characterization, sets mood, and defines the narrative. Yamakami’s yaoi manga sequential art works.
POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: The high-quality Sighing Kiss will appeal to many yaoi readers.
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