Body Language Vol. #01 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: F

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Info:

  • Art Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Text/Translatin Rating: F
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Released By: Digital Manga Publishing
  • MSRP: 8.95
  • Pages: 250
  • ISBN: 1-56970-767-7
  • Size: 4.5 x 6.75
  • Orientation: Left to Right
  • Series: Body Language

Body Language Vol. #01

By Briana Lawrence     March 14, 2008
Release Date: January 30, 2008


Body Language Vol.#01
© Digital Manga Publishing


Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Aki Morimoto/Tsubaki Enomoto
Translated by:Gemma Collinge
Adapted by:

What They Say
Kanae Hayakawa is pretty, popular, and sought after. What could possibly be wrong with his life? Everything. Though he's known as the "Cool Beauty" of his college, the rumors couldn't be farther from the truth! Socially awkward, shy, and a little bit tired of all the attention, Kanae doesn't know how the entire school came to view him as seductive, easy, and willing to sleep with both men and women. Whispers behind his back, propositions for one-night stands, and fanciful rumors ensure that his life, unlike his supposed sex like, will never be easy.

But there is another boy who has become the talk of the entire college: Yuichi Nagao, notorious womanizer and general jerk. He's famous too, and like Kanae, its for all the wrong reasons. He's been with more women than he came remember, and it's earned him a horrible reputation. Now that he's dated the entire female population of the school and made bitter ex-girlfriends of them all, where is he to look for the occasional bout of casual sex?

As fate would have it, Yuichi and Kanae have become fast friends, and the entire school is talking. What is the world is the Cool Beauty doing with the school jerk? Yuichi and Kanae aren't talking, not that words are necessary--these boys speak the language of the body, so this rumor might not be false after all!

Aki Morimoto's sultry novel follows the stories of Kanae and Yuichi, both social outsiders looking for someone to please them sexually as well as accept them for their true selves. As their relationship grows, will they remember to open up and understand one another? Or will words go unspoken in favor of the pursuit of bodily pleasure?


The Review
It's offensive to the word "sultry" to have itself associated with this novel.

Packaging:
There are two gorgeous men on the front cover, one of them holding the other one's chin as they lean in close enough to kiss each other. They're both looking towards the reader, inviting any boy's love fan to grab the book, a drink, and find a cozy spot to read pages full of pretty boy smut. The back of the book has a small passage from the novel in italic bold letters, then the description of the book is written underneath in bold text.

Artwork:
There are only about ten pictures in the novel, but each of them are beautifully done and they all focus on Kanae and Yuichi. The few pages of art are key to the story because without it, there'd be no way to know what the main characters look like. The only descriptions that are given of the two boys are "Cool Beauty" for Kanae, and Yuichi is described as being "good-looking, tall, and fashionable."

Text/SFX:
While reading this I was tempted to grab a red pen to correct all of the grammatical mistakes that I spotted. At first, I thought my reviewer side was being too picky, and so I let a few unnecessary new paragraphs and the need to have Kanae speak out some generic, porn-tastic sounds ("Ah" "Oh" "Mmmm") slide. But as I read it got to the point of me having to stop, reread a sentence, reread it again, then ask a friend to read it to see if it was just me. But no, there were indeed moments where words were missing from sentences, where the dialogue was just plain bad (when will author's learn that a boy telling another boy he looks good enough to rape isn't sexy), where details were stated too many times in the same breath, and when the story flipped from past to present tense for no reason. It felt like reading a rough draft to a story that needed to be edited a few more times before it became a final copy.

Contents: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
For fun, I'm going to rewrite the back cover description to explain what the story really is about. Here it goes:

For some reason people think that Kanae Hayakawa is a slut who'll sleep with anyone, man or woman. Instead of defending himself from these rumors, since in truth he's a virgin, he continues to let people believe that he's easy. One day, Yuichi Nagao comes to his defense, which is odd since Yuichi is an all-around rich boy jerk who has slept with women and crushed their feelings to the point of them contemplating suicide. The two become friends, and (of course) Kanae falls in love with Yuichi--though constantly tells himself that he's a jerk.

One day, Yuichi is complaining about how unfair his life is since he hasn't had sex in quite sometime. As a joke, Kanae comes up with the brilliant idea of the two of them sleeping together and Yuichi agrees! Instead of telling his best friend that it'll be his first time and he's in love with him, he lets Yuichi believe that he's a slutty-slut-slut who has a ton of experience, fearing that Yuichi will think lowly of him if he knows that he isn't a slut.

So they sleep together. A lot. They miss class for it and they even do it on a train like a bad hentai anime. And as they sleep together Kanae figures that Yuichi won't want him anymore, but with a turn of a page, months pass and they're still together! Just when Kanae starts to feel comfortable, he spots Yuichi walking down the street with another woman! Instead of talking to his lover about the other woman he takes the mature route and decides to dump him without any sort of explanation. But its hard to let go of the jerks in your life, especially when you're madly in love with them.

Comments
Never have I had such a hard time finishing a book. There is nothing good about this entire story, with the exception of the art. The plot is beyond cliché and every moment is predictable. The descriptions are poorly written, right from the first page's description of Yuichi being "good-looking, tall, and fashionable." Without the pictures I had no idea what these two boys looked like, and I still don't know what their homes, their school, or what other students looked like.

There is nothing "sultry" about the novel. Attempts to make moments hot fall flat from overly repeated details about how happy, sad, and embarrassed, Kanae is while Yuichi continues to be a pervert who molests his lover in bathroom stalls, trains, and thinks he's cute enough to rape. I cannot stress enough how corny the dialogue gets, and I cannot stress enough how gross sounding some of the details are that describe intimate moments (seriously, I did not need to know that Yuichi sucks in Kanae's saliva when they kiss and it makes a slurping noise).

I've never read a boy's love novel before, but I haven't heard terrific things about them so I went in expecting the worse. Somehow, I got something much worse than "the worse." The horribly overdone plot could've been resolved in less than thirty pages if it weren't for the bland sex, and I could care less about the two characters. I spent more time wanting to smack Kanae for being so whiny ("I love him but I can't tell him, what should I do?") and stupid ("It's better that he thinks I'm a slut instead of a virgin whose in pain as he has sex with me for the first time."). And Yuichi's change in character is just plain awful, how he goes from being a guy who is happy when a girl miscarries his baby to a guy who brings Kanae flowers and wants to cuddle him is beyond me.

Do yourself a favor, when you see this in bookstores and get tempted by the pretty cover... just walk away.

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