Ayukawa agreed to a relationship with Mizuhara to get ahead, but are there more to his feelings than cold, calculating ambition?
Writer/Artist: Sakurako Hanafubuki
Translation: Sachiko Sato
Adaptation: Sachiko Sato
What They Say
When the charisma talent Mizuhara and super idol Aikawa are tied together by the "contract" of a scandalous night, the black rumors murmur...
While packaging is usually one of DMP's strong suits, this one was a little disappointing. The paper quality was lower than usual, and rather than sharp, crisp printing, there were quite a few pages where the line work was muddy, if not outright blurred. It could have been an isolated printing error, but DMP is still capable of better.
The art here is sparse and dynamic, with few details and minimal backgrounds. The page layouts are creative and really add to the flow of the story, when they aren't a bit too creative and distract from the artwork. This isn't something I could exactly call pretty, but it's certainly striking.
All sound effects are subtitled on the page in a font similar to the original. The translation flows smoothly without any notable rough spots.
When superstar Mizuhara hits on Ayukawa at a party and the two end up sleeping together, it ends up sparking more than your usual one-night stand. Ayukawa is an up-and-coming actor himself, and the very next day the head of their agency offers Ayukawa a deal - humor Mizuhara, and get preferential treatment and an easier path ahead. The problem is that it's hard for him to feel like it's just a business arrangement, especially when Mizuhara says he loves him with such apparent sincerity. What's really going on? Not only that but a relationship between someone like Mizuhara and another man is the sort of juicy story that no reporter can easily let slide, so when a sharp-eyed photographer gets a shot of the two of them kissing, it may be all over for them both!
In "Angelic Seduction," Yuta is in love with the utterly ordinary, and much older, Kakeru. But when Yuta learns about Kakeru's family problems and follows him, things progress farther than perhaps either of them planned. "Behind Closed Doors" deals with the relationship between the earnest Rin and Haintani, who is known to sell himself for money, and whose scars are more than just physical. In "So Lovable, So Kind," Kamijo and Mitsuru have an unusual relationship, started when Mitsuru offered to help Kamijo sleep one night - by having sex with him. Finally, in Baku, Megumu and Aki are lovers living together, but that doesn't mean that their relationship is an easy one, or a particularly healthy one.
As with most anthologies, this one was all over the map, but probably the most interesting story was Angelic Seduction. The way it handled Kakeru's emotional vulnerability and guilt at taking advantage of Yuta made me wish that there was another chapter or two. Every single relationship in this book was twisted in some way, which made stories that seemed fairly paint by number on the surface into something with real depth. It's not an easy book, or one to read when you're in the mood for happily ever after, but if the exploration of deeply flawed relationships is something that piques your interest, this might just be the perfect book for you.