Finder Series: Target in the Finder (aka: Finder no Hyouteki) Vol. #01 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Art Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Released By: Be Beautiful
  • MSRP: 15.99
  • Pages: 186
  • ISBN: 193344000-7
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Finder Series: Target in the Finder (aka: Finder no Hyouteki) Vol. #01

By Eduardo M. Chavez     December 22, 2005
Release Date: August 08, 2005


Finder Series: Target in the Finder (aka: Finder no Hyouteki) Vol.#01
© Be Beautiful


Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Yamane Ayano
Translated by:BunnyBotX
Adapted by:

What They Say
During a routine assignment, the mysterious Asami, a powerful leader in Japan’s underworld, captures freelance photographer Akihito Takaba. Asami forces his captive to undergo a night of pleasure and pain, but before long, the son of a Chinese mafia boss sets his eyes upon Akihito, demanding critical evidence he is uncovered - or is it something else about him he seeks?

The Review
Packaging:
CPM shows off how good they can get with the Finder Series. First, they use the original cover art, which features the leads of the title property Target, in the Finder. The image is actually larger than the one used by Biblos giving readers more of Yamane's clean great looking character art. And as a warning for parents and children, CPM clearly labels this title mature right on the front with a magenta warning message. The opposite cover features another image of Takaba and Asami. What is up with boys and barbed wire?

Inside, CPM's printing looks pretty darn good. Usually, my complaint with CPM Press is how dark their printing can be, but this volume has clear tone and sharp crisp lines. The alignment looks a tad bit off, but that is hardly notable. CPM keeps all of the chapter headers with the original logos. Very nice. This volume includes a character introduction at the very start of the GN, a two-page ato-gaki in the middle of the book and the first part of an interview with the mangaka.

Artwork:
Yamane's art has always been one of my favorites. She seems to have an ideal form she likes - stereotypical manly man! Her leads are very top heavy: strong chins, broad shoulders, bare chests and lean stomachs. Characters tend to be on the long side, but they seem to be to scale with their surroundings. Yamane's eyes tend to show a lot of emotion. They are not very big and Yamane mixes up expressions and angles to get maximum effect from them. Strong line work and good inking gives Yamane's characters a very clean look even when she does SD.

Background art really varies. Sometimes she can put quite a bit of detail, but for the most part, it is simply there. Considering the type of stories that are in this volume, I wish she would be a little more consistent in regards to backgrounds, because I would like to get a better feeling of where the stories were set in. There is a tremendous amount of diversity with the panel sizes and placement, so the layout is very impressive. This helps control the pacing of these short stories (sometimes to the betterment of some chapters and sometimes to their determent).

Text/SFX:
I love the way CPM handles SFX. They sub theirs and with most titles, this is a great compromise for those who want to see the original FX and those who cannot read kana.

The translation itself is solid. Some of slang used seemed to work for the context and the personalities seemed to stand out very well. One of the things I did notice though was that CPM was using an old favorite of adult manga/anime - calling specific characters "college students". You know what I am talking about (look at the uniforms and you can figure it out if you do not).

Contents : (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Similar to the BeBoy Comics presentation by manga publishing house Biblos, CPM Press presents this title as a collection of short stories from Yamane Ayano.

Target in the Finder
Fixer
Love Lesson
Plants in Love
Risky Business
Hold onto the Everlasting Night


The following are descriptions of three of those stories

Target in the Finder

Takaba Akihito is an up-and-coming journalist. While Akihito feels his work should be serving the public good, sometimes he is not aware of the consequences of his actions. As a freelance photographer, Akihito does not mind getting in the middle of the action for a scoop. He understands that he might occasionally run into some trouble doing this, but he seems to have some sort of understanding about keeping a distance at times when the situation is too hot for him to handle.

Akihito's latest job has him on the tail of a corrupt politician. To play this safe he has tried very hard to keep his cover. By using his telescopic lens cameras and positioning himself high atop buildings, he has the confidence that he could quietly keep his finder focused on the wrongdoings of this influential member of the underworld without compromising his safety.

Unfortunately, there really is no distance far enough to escape the intelligence web of Asami Ryuichi and his underworld network. Now that Akihito has meddled into the affairs of something he did not fully research, Asami is going to have teach the young journalist not to mess with other people's affairs, especially if he does not know the whole story. And the only way he can properly do this is by teaching Akihito's body how to sharpen his senses to survive in this dark world.

Fixer

Apparently, one run in with the Japanese underworld was not enough to stop Takaba Akihito from getting deeply involved in his investigative reporting. This time while on undercover assignment, not only does he runs into Asami again but he finds himself caught by a rival gang intent on getting revenge on the sadistic Mafioso.

If there is anything Asami does not like is someone touching his property. You know he is going to do what it takes to get his new treasure back.

Hold onto the Everlasting Night

Something is definitely wrong with Akihito these days. While his work seems to be improving, there is something on his mind that he cannot shake. When did he begin to feel this way? And why can't he let go despite the pain? Maybe he did not want those previous experiences to ever end.

Comments
Six short stories from Yamane Ayano find themselves caught in the collection that is Target in the Finder. Great looking men, short but intriguing action and guys taking advantage of each other, in that order, are common elements in each one of the stories. Moreover, there appears to be a hint of masochism in each one that really did not give me a feeling that these guys were much in love, more than they were hot for a nice washboard chest and tight buns.

The three stories featuring Takaba and Asami were not necessarily the best ones of the bunch, but they did have the best characters. Takaba's naivety really carried this title, as it made the repeating thread of him being caught in each chapter plausible. The chemistry shared between the two was hot from the start as Asami quickly proclaimed he would have to personally punish the young journalist. The scenes with the two together were always on the angsty side; where Asami would often either ignore Takaba or simply have his way with the young man. As a main character, Asami was definitely the right guy for this story. Strong, handsome and mysterious, Asami could possibly accomplish anything. I am still not sure if he is a bad guy or not but I know he show's his affection in a twisted way. I am not too sure why Yamane always had Asami force himself on Takaba, as it proliferated a strange stereotype found in Japanese adult stories - have enough sex with someone, even if it's forced, and they will either fall in love with you or need the sex. To remedy the situation Yamane, in the final chapter, tries to giving a sense that Takaba always felt that way since the first time he had Asami in his finder.

Unfortunately, having to have a sex scene in each chapter took quite a bit away from a few of the stories. FIXER, possibly, the most intriguing of the Takaba stories, starts with what seemed to be a complex tale of betrayal and revenge. Takaba only initially aware of one part of this tale, then ends up becoming the focal point to both plotlines before a sex scene ends up finishing the chapter. If the sex was so important, why not go the route of Hold onto where Takaba's feelings of sexuality are explored instead of creating a story and not finishing it. Actually, Yamane admitted in her ato-gaki that she wanted more for FIXER, but her slow drawing style prevented her from doing that. That style was better served in stories like Plants in Love and Love Lesson where the attraction was set up from the very first page of each story.

The best story was Risky Business where three public servants end up trying very hard to understand each other and their jobs to rid the country of evil-doers. Yamane is able to bring in the best elements of her action stories and combine them with a romance that seemed to build up in a much more conventional format than the rough stuff seen in her other chapters.

Altogether, yaoi fans should be pleased to see some beautiful men do exciting things before jumping each other's bones. And in typical yaoi fashion, the stories are very much in the real of fantasy, where there really is no deep emotional attachment or commitment involved. All of the relationships could easily go one or not, but what is critical is the moment and the passion that is felt then. What makes the Finder Series so appealing is that each story builds up to that moment of passion with well-drawn action and some steamy chemistry. Yaoi might not be my thing, but the excitement and passion is something that cannot be denied.

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