Freefall Romance Vol. #01 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: A

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Info:

  • Art Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Released By: Digital Manga Publishing
  • MSRP: 12.95
  • Pages: 180
  • ISBN: 978-1-56970-803-3
  • Size: A5
  • Orientation: Right to Left
  • Series: Freefall Romance

Freefall Romance Vol. #01

By Danielle Van Gorder     November 29, 2007
Release Date: September 30, 2007


Freefall Romance Vol.#01
© Digital Manga Publishing


Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Hyouta Fujiyama
Translated by:Emily Ohno
Adapted by:

What They Say
Reni and Youichi were nothing more than drinking buddies. But when a night of imbibing goes a little too far, they find themselves drinking buddies with "benefits"! What begins as a drunken lark soon becomes a passionate affair. But Renji and Youichi aren't really gay... or are they?

The Review
This is one book that no BL fan should skip.

Packaging:

The cover features an attractive image of Reni and Youichi in business attire, with Youichi looking slightly uncomfortable. The striped background works nicely with the pink logo and June Manga bar at the bottom. DMP's standard dust jacket is included, and the print quality inside is very good, with clean lines and dark blacks.

Art:

Fujiyama's art could be described as slightly sketchy, but her linework is more assured than that would usually indicate. The main characters here are men rather than boys, and there's no doubt that they're both mature - and easy to differentiate. Her panel layouts are varied and she's not afraid to go outside the panel borders when it serves the flow of the page. Overall, this is a very attractive book.

Text/SFX:

All sound effects are subtitled on the page in a font that closely matches the original. The translation flows smoothly with no obvious rough spots.

Contents (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):

Renji and Youichi have been working together on a joint project between their companies for some time, and the friendship that's grown up between them is one they both value. It's not uncommon for them to go out drinking together after work on a regular basis, and this night is no exception. Youichi, disturbed at the discovery that his younger brother is not only gay but a bottom, gets far more drunk than usual, gets sick all over Reni, and winds up back at Reni's apartment to clean up. Despite the fact that he's not gay, Reni is struck by an uncontrollable urge to touch Youichi, and impulsively acts on it.

Reni and Youichi are both confused by this unexpected turn of events, but while Youichi tries to deal with it by pretending it never happened, Reni finds himself more and more drawn to Youichi. Further experimentation only makes the desire stronger, and the two have to struggle to find a balance between their working relationship and Reni's desire for something more outside of work.

Youichi has no idea how to handle this situation. Having gone to the notorious Kinsei High, where 90% of the population is gay, he's no stranger to men hitting on him, but his own refusal to reject Reni outright is something even he doesn't understand, and it's starting to affect even his professionalism at work. Will he find the courage to reject Reni directly - or accept his own growing emotions?

Comments
This is a book that really surprised me from the first page with how good it was. The story is well written, the characters are fully realized and believable, and the emotions they display and the actions they take as their own feelings fly out of their control is something that feels incredibly authentic. These are men, not boys, who are accustomed to knowing their own minds, and the different ways they deal with this abrupt shift in how they have to view themselves offers incredible insight into the men themselves. Fujiyama has been getting quite a bit of exposure from English BL publishers lately, and rightly so, since her art and stories are both excellent. But of all the titles I've read from her, this is easily the best, and one I can recommend without hesitation to any BL or romance fan. Highly recommended.

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