My Paranoid Next Door Neighbor Vol. #01 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Art Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Released By: 801 Media
  • MSRP: 15.95
  • Pages: 200
  • ISBN: 978-1-934129-06-7
  • Size: A5
  • Orientation: Right to Left
  • Series: My Paranoid Next Door Neighbor

My Paranoid Next Door Neighbor Vol. #01

By Danielle Van Gorder     November 06, 2007
Release Date: October 31, 2007


My Paranoid Next Door Neighbor Vol.#01
© 801 Media


Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Kazuka Minami
Translated by:Leona Wong
Adapted by:

What They Say
Childhood friends and now high school seniors, Hokuto and Yukito will both be living in Yukito's family's house. Hokuto is actually Yukito's first love, and because of that, Yukito's been avoiding him since middle school...

Upon meeting again after such a long time, Yukito's heart throbs at Hokuto's now very handsome appearance. However, without knowing those feelings, Hokuto seduces him!

The Review
The cover alone makes this one hard to forget.

Packaging:

The cover image leaves very little doubt as to what this book is about, and might make buying this at a book store an interesting experience. The shot is a three quarters image of a fully-dressed Hokuto lifting up Yukito's shirt, which isn't too bad except for the fact that Yukito isn't wearing any pants. The logo fits well with the general colors and layout of the image, making this a well-designed cover overall.

As is standard for 801 releases, there is a full color wraparound dust jacket, a color plate inside, and some of the sharpest printing on the market. Screentone reproduction is extremely exact, and the quality is on par with the Japanese release.

Art:

Characterized by sharp, assured lines, minimal shading, and plenty of detail, Minami's art is first-rate. She seems to pay special attention to hair and eyes, using those to differentiate her characters. Side characters are sometimes hard to tell apart, but the major ones are easily identifiable. Panel layouts are creative and show off both the story and the art to their best advantage.

Text/SFX:

Sound effects are either replaced with a translation in a font similar to the original, or subtitled on the page in a matching font. The translation flows smoothly with no rough points.

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

Yukito and Hokuto's families have always been close, so it's not surprising when Yukito's family agrees to let Hokuto move in for his senior year, so he can be closer to school and have more time to study for exams. At least, it's not surprising to anyone but Yukito, who finds the whole situation to be unbearable. Hokuto was his first love, and those feelings don't seem to have faded in the least, so having him so close every day is almost more than Yukito can endure.

Hokuto, however, has changed quite a bit from Yukito's memories. He's even more handsome, but his whole attitude has changed. To top it off, he's a student in the elite International Section, rumored to be host to a large percentage of gay students. And at home, he keeps saying and doing things that Yukito can't quite figure out. When they wind up alone in the house together, Hokuto takes things even farther. But instead of being happy about it, Yukito ends up just feeling upset - are they doing this just because it's convenient for Hokuto?

Things get even more confusing for Yukito when one of Hokuto's classmates from the international section, along with one of the strangest teachers he's ever seen, drag Yukito off for a little talk about Hokuto. As a result, Yukito is left even more upset, and gives Hokuto an ultimatum - leave him alone, or he'll be kicked out of Yukito's house.

When they finally confront each other, Yukito is forced to confront the way his passive - or passive-aggressive - behavior has hurt Hokuto, who's only unflappable on the surface. Both is current actions, and his actions years ago when he realized his feelings and pushed Hokuto away.

Comments
While the characters are interesting and the storyline fairly bizzare, I'm really torn about this book. The central story wasn't bad, but there were so many other elements that were brought in and then abandoned without much real exploration, and I can't help feeling that the story might have been stronger and felt less contrived in places without them. Still, at its core, the story clearly isn't intended to be the real focus here, as the interactions between Hokuto and Yukito - and the sex - are where the most attention is lavished. Certainly, this book is going to be well-received by BL fans, even despite the rather high price tag.

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