Yellow Vol. #03 (Mania.com)
Review Date: Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Release Date: Saturday, April 01, 2006
Translated by:Studio Cutie
What They Say
A routine drug bust is all in a day's work for Taki and Goh. When a dead doctor turns up at the scene of the crime, these veteran "snatcher" partners are suddenly forced to follow a twisting trail of clues (and a mysterious dog) for the answers. While bullets fly, Goh's fierce desires also seek their target in Taki's heart! The clock is ticking, and a criminal must be caught...but will Goh every truly catch Taki's eye?
Yellow takes over the streets with the ultimate tale of "opposites attract"! Taki and Goh are a talented team when it comes to battling the crazy and criminal, but they're worlds about in matters of attraction! Fate truly moves in mysterious was...will the same boys who work and play together finally stay together? It's too late to be careful when there's this much lust on the line.
An excellent penultimate volume moves this series from yellow to green and makes it red-hot in the process.
DMP has some of the best packaging on the market. This book is presented in a big A5 size, with a beautiful glossy dust jacket, complete with author profile on the inside flap. DMP uses the original cover art, a suggestive shot of Goh and Taki against a beautiful sunset. Not only is this a lovely cover, its clever hint at content had my heart racing: Volume two referred to sunset as a magic hour; perhaps their magic hour has also come? The logo, which is already in English, has been placed along the top and the colors all around are very complimentary. Inside the printing looks good, and overall this is a really attractive product. The author's postscript and ads for other DMP titles close up the book.
I really like the artwork here. The guys are gorgeous and the scenes between them plenty sexy. In this volume there are more panels focusing on character art (which have been the strong point all along) so things seem a bit more detailed and clean this time. There is also some nice perspective work and I really noticed the color work more this time (even though inside it is reproduced in black and white). Background art is scarce but the negative space is more often as a tool in this volume. The panels have some great composition and flow really nicely, particularly in moments of emotion. DMP's art reproduction looks good with crisp lines and tone work, though I spotted an occasional bit of fade in some of the dark spaces this time. Overall it is still on par with their usual releases, though.
The SFX and in-panel text are translated primarily using the subtitle method and generally look complementary, matching in size and style. There were a couple of technical nit-picks I had but they were minor issues (such as punctuation and my personal pet peeve: the proper phrase is "I couldn't care less"). Otherwise the script reads fine. One thing that I have truly enjoyed in reading this series is understanding the characters and their feelings through their dialogue, which has always been nicely written/adapted here.
Contents:(please note the following contains spoilers)
Attempting to snatch drugs from a dirty doctor, Goh and Taki find their job botched when they find their target dead. Their mission changes when it comes to light that an infamous assassin team, Sandfish, may have murdered the doctor. Tsunaga (Cafe Roost's owner) has a particular interest in bringing these criminals to justice and tasks the team with doing so. What Taki's not telling anyone is that he knows Sandfish quite personally -- they were once his guardians -- but what none of them realize at the time is that the job had all been a set up to test him.
Taki's memories begin flooding back as some rather large emotional wounds rip open inside him. Goh's no idiot though and he notices the dramatic change in Taki. When a man named Katsuro shows up and claims to be the one who raised his partner, along with a someone named Mizuki, Goh's certain they're the cause. Meanwhile, Sandfish targets Goh next and the team find themselves in a rather sticky situation. Taki can't bear to lose Goh to these killers, but neither can he confess the truth about his past for fear of losing him himself. Goh won't pressure Taki for the truth though, so instead he'll just have to stay alive and wait for Taki to trust him completely.
Taki doesn't have the luxury of time though; his guardians want him back and they'll stop at nothing to succeed. He wants to confide in Goh, but when the final twist comes to light Taki knows he can't stay at Cafe Roost anymore. Desperate to protect the man he loves, Taki agrees to the unthinkable. But there's one thing he absolutely must do before he disappears - if he can't come clean to Goh, he can at least take his love with him.
When I first started this series I was feeling lukewarm. Though they weren't really boring, I wasn't particularly interested in the cases; instead I wanted to know more about the guys. I was also afraid it would be a teaser series all the way up until the very end (ala FAKE). But I can honestly say I am glad to have stuck with it. Kei's arrival brought Goh's, Taki's and even Tsunaga's pasts together, and that's just the kind of connection these characters needed for this series to surpass the trappings of the episodic, need-for-nooky feel that was ailing the first few chapters. Not to mention this volume builds up to a walloping gut punch of an ending. By the time I realized what was happening, my heart was sinking rapidly to my feet. I love when a book does that to me!
Taki got a lot of good development here and I love that it left me with mixed feelings about his character. He may have sacrificed himself for Goh's sake, but he ultimately chose the easy way out -- to run, rather than to stand and fight. But he at least deserves a nod for finally recognizing the futility of living in "yellow" and letting risk be the scapegoat for his own inertia. My heart's about to burst for Goh though, the poor guy! This series has improved steadily since the beginning so I'm looking forward to an ending that really delivers the goods.
Mania Grade: A
Art Rating: A-
Packaging Rating: A
Text/Translatin Rating: A-
Age Rating: 18 & Up
Released By: Digital Manga Publishing
Orientation: Right to Left