Hot Steamy Glasses Vol. #01 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: A-

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  • Art Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Released By: Digital Manga Publishing
  • MSRP: 12.95
  • Pages: 200
  • ISBN: 978-1-56970-745-6
  • Size: A5
  • Orientation: Right to Left
  • Series: Hot Steamy Glasses

Hot Steamy Glasses Vol. #01

By Briana Lawrence     May 02, 2008
Release Date: April 08, 2008

Hot Steamy Glasses Vol.#01
© Digital Manga Publishing

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Tatsumi Kaiya
Translated by:Sachiko Sato
Adapted by:N/A

What They Say

With computers being so much a part of people's lives nowadays, we can safely say that this is the era of the nerd. Nerds rule! Well, not all of them. As the president of a successful I.T. company, Takeo is considered an eligible bachelor. So why hasn't anyone landed him yet? Because ever since high school, he has been pining for his best bud, Fumi. Problem is... Takeo is a die-hard otaku while Fumi is a passionate anti-moeh otaku hater. Will the two ever get along?

The Review
This manga gives hope to those guys who have the original Akira DVD, Gundam figures in display cases, and cute anime girl standees littered all over their living room... at least it gives them hope in the boy's love sense.

Usually, in boy's love, it's the cover image that draws the reader's eye. However, the front cover of this manga isn't terribly thrilling. It shows two guys standing with each other, though the title "Hot Steamy Glasses" does make the story sound pretty porn-tastic (but it's not, trust me, it's not). The back cover is a bit more interesting, showing one guy reading a book while the other pours himself a cup of coffee. It's all rather... plain, but that does give more focus to the description of the story, which sounds like an odd mix of boy's love and nerdy otaku-ness.

I love the art for not being unbelievably beautiful, but rather, for having normal looking characters . The boys are attractive, mind you, but they aren't the boy's love bishonen with sparkles and bubbles and long, flowing hair. The art makes the story feel a bit more... relatable, or realistic, since it feels like I could see any of these characters walking down the street, especially Takeo, who looks like that nerdy otaku at an anime convention who owns every single Gundam series that's ever been made.

Like most DMP releases, the original kanji for sound effects is kept in tact with English translations for them underneath. The story is predominately told in Shogo's point of view as he watches his brother continue to push away Takeo's feelings for him. Whenever he narrates, it's done so in a text box, and when the other characters have inner monologue (which usually happens to Fumi) it's done outside of the speech bubbles. Each chapter of the story has the title "Hot Steamy" in it (Lover, Glasses, Melancholy, Seduction, and Bliss), going through the progression of Takeo and Fumi's relationship.

Contents: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Hot Steamy Lover/Glasses/Melancholy/Seduction/Bliss
This series takes up a good portion of the manga, going through the progression of Takeo and Fumi's relationship. The description on the back cover is a little bit misleading, saying that Fumi can't stand Takeo because of his otaku-ness. That's actually not a huge issue at all. Takeo is definitely an otaku but that's not the main reason why Fumi doesn't want to be with him. Fumi doesn't want to be with him because, well... Fumi isn't into guys... or so he thinks, too bad the guy doesn't realize that he's in a boy's love manga and sooner or later, he's going to cave.

Takeo tries so hard to impress Fumi, and Fumi has to deal with his brother constantly telling him to give Takeo a chance. As if that isn't enough, he's also got a rather persistent secretary named Reiko badgering him about his relationship with Takeo. After a huge mix up where Takeo thinks Fumi and Reiko are together, Fumi finally gives into Takeo and decides that he will start dating him. Surprisingly, when he finally gives in it doesn't lead straight to the bedroom. There's actually a period of them dating and spending time together (which consists of them watching Gundam together). It's here that Fumi realizes that he isn't quite sure what Takeo wants in the relationship, or if he even knows the difference between friendship (which is something they already had) and being intimate with another person. And it's this moment where Fumi realizes that he really does want Takeo.

Young Love Graffiti
A short story about a young man named Naomi who is madly in love with Aoba, a businessman who Naomi feels loves his work more than he loves him. The only problem I have with this story is that when he isn't wearing his glasses, Aoba looks a lot like Naomi, which makes it hard to tell the difference between the two of them when they're in bed together.

When I first went into this story I immediately thought that I wouldn't like it. It was obvious that at some point, Takeo and Fumi would get together, because that's what usually happens in boy's love: the boys get together. But as I read it I started to like it more and more for its plot, its characters, and the moments that managed to take me by surprise.

I love the fact that Fumi's reasoning for not being with Takeo was simply because he wasn't into guys, and he meant it. It took a lot of persuasion for him to consider the idea, and even then nothing really happened until they started dating and spending more time together. Its through this that Fumi realizes that perhaps he does have feelings for Takeo, because when Takeo's idea of dating consists of things they did as friends, Fumi decides on his own that he wants more.

All of the characters are unique and memorable in their own way. Takeo is so adorable and you can't help but root for the nerdy guy, at the same time, you can't help but feel kinda bad for Fumi as he goes on and on about not being gay and only wanting to be friends. Poor Shogo is stuck in the middle of his friend and his brother, getting more and more agitated with each turn of the page. We get both sides of the story, and we get one guy caught in the middle of both sides, giving a rather interesting narrative to this boy's love tale.

The only thing I really didn't like was Reiko, not as a character, but as the way she was used to sort of push Takeo and Fumi together. The moment when Takeo sees Fumi and Reiko together I couldn't help but roll my eyes. The mistaken female love interest has been done before, and it was this that pushed Fumi to clear things up and attempt a relationship with Takeo. Things were already going at a fine pace and Fumi was already starting to warm up to the idea of being with Takeo, so why was the mistaken love interest even necessary?

This story ended up being a surprisingly fun read with good characters, good plot, and... Gundam. How can a story go wrong that has two boys watching Gundam on their first date?


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