Casino Lily Vol. #01 (

By:Patricia Beard
Review Date: Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Release Date: Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Ever want minor characters to get their own moment in the spotlight?  This is why you shouldn't.

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist: Youka Nitta
Translated by: Emi
Adapted by: Emi

What They Say
Love is in the cards...for Magira Yuri, a gambler with an international reputation for success, whose blond hair and piercing eyes have earned him the nickname, Casino Lily.  The world is his oyster until he travels to a famous Las Vegas casino and meets the handsome owner, Anthony Monte Carlo. Now Magira must master a new game, one of cat and mouse, where the winner takes all: including the body of his opponent!

The Review
BeBeautiful's price has always been a contentious point with readers and it will be so with this volume.  At this price, one would expect the addition of color plates along with a cover of a better stock which would improve the feel of the volume. Print quality should be much better given Youka Nitta's undemanding visual style. 

It is Youka Nitta, and you won't find more elegant, desirable men that those that she puts on the page. Her depictions of sex are strong, vital, and imaginative without being in the realm of the ridiculous. She knows what her fans want and she delivers without compromise. 

Sfx are translated and the text reads well with only one grammatical error.
Contents: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Magira Yuri is a gambler with a curse - he cannot win when he bets with his own money.  This has become well-known in gambling circles and has made Magira very desirable, not only for his ability to win when funded, but also for his very hot body.
Magira's reputation as the "Casino Lily" has preceded his arrival in Las Vegas, where he meets up with and seduces a newly out-of-work dancer who is down to his last $50.  Using the $50, Magira parlays it into $50,000, an amount that alarms the pit bosses, but not the owner of the casino, Anthony Monte Carlo, who is fascinated by the reputation and the beauty of the Casino Lily.
Amid the bouts of hot and heavy sex and a change of venue from Las Vegas to Monaco, Magira talks about his curse to Monte Carlo. There's a lot of cheap psychologizing that goes on about the origin and demonstration of the curse, but this is just background conversation for the sex. Magira can't accept Monte Carlo's honest affection for him and moves on to prove that he can rid himself of his curse. 
After another fling at the tables and with a good looking guy in Macao, Magira returns to Tokyo to confront the man who challenged him to shed his gambling ways.  There is revelation here that is intended to be a surprise, but it has no dramatic interest or impact.  Magira and Monte Carlo do reunite, but it's difficult to care.

The volume closes with a short story, Not Guilty.  This story of a lawyer and a Yakuza son whom he comes to defend is well-paced and decently told.  However, its cruelty is nasty and mean-spirited rather than righteous and well-deserved.  

Youka Nitta has stated in the afterword that she wanted to do something "gorgeous and glittery" and that drove the creation of Casino Lily. It certainly reads that way. All the characters, even Magira and Anthony, seem as if they're an afterthought. They aren't that well-developed and it's difficult to see the attraction they have for one another. Magira and Anthony would have been better off in a support position for another series. And the "gorgeous and glittery" background is also a letdown.  There's not much of the high-rolling life-style here.
If you're looking for the compelling relationship of Iwaki and Katou in Embracing Love, it isn't here, and even the gambling background is flat and perfunctory. There is no real drama, all the excitement is between the sheets. For those of you who read only for the sex, Youka Nitta does not disappoint. But if you're looking for some romance and sexy dramatics, look elsewhere.   

Mania Grade: C
Art Rating: A
Packaging Rating: C
Text/Translatin Rating: B+
Age Rating: 18+
Released By: Be Beautiful
MSRP: 15.99
Pages: 216
ISBN: 9781933440224
Size: B6
Orientation: Right to Left
Series: Casino Lily