Restart Vol. #01 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B+

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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: 200
  • ISBN: 978-1-56970-726-5
  • Size: A5
  • Orientation: Right to Left
  • Series: Restart

Restart Vol. #01

By Danielle Van Gorder     May 27, 2008
Release Date: June 10, 2008


Restart Vol.#01
© Digital Manga Publishing


Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Shouko Hidaka
Translated by:Sachiko Sato
Adapted by:N/A

What They Say
Tadashi the struggling model, and his kohai, the superstar Aki. They should have acted distantly toward each other, but since the day a drunken Tadashi responded to Aki's advances, Tadashi's heart has been thumping...

The Review
Packaging:

With a full color dustjacket and sharp, clear printing, DMP has once again turned out a nice looking book that meets their usual standards. While the screentone reproduction is slightly muddy in places, for the most part the lines are sharp and dark.

Art:

Hidaka's art feels very familiar, but I can't pin down who it reminds me of. It may just be that it's the sort of artwork that's any BL reader is going to recognize. Tousled hair seems to be her preferred style, but she does do an excellent job keeping characters recognizable even with different hair styles. While it's not the most polished artwork I've seen, it's still quite attractive, and makes me want to see what Hidaka's current work looks like.

Text/SFX:

All sound effects are translated, some subtitled on the page in a matching font, and others replaced with an English translation. The adaptation flowed smoothly with no real rough points, and happily reads better than the back copy.

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

Tadashi used to be a hot commodity in the world of modeling, but his star has fallen in recent years (mostly due to his laziness and lack of drive), while the younger Aki has become an A-List model. After a night of drunken sex, the two start avoiding each other - Tadashi out of embarrassment, because his vague memories of the night seem to suggest that he forced himself on Aki, while Aki takes Tadashi's avoidance as a sign that he wants to pretend the whole thing never happened.

Aki, however, has worked too hard to get close to Tadashi to simply let the whole incident fade to memory, and when he finally confronts Tadashi the whole truth comes out. Reconciled, the two now have to find a balance between work and love, something made more complicated by Tadashi's complex feelings towards Aki. He loves Aki, and while he isn't exactly jealous of Aki's popularity, his string of failed auditions awakens feelings of insecurity that may break their relationship apart.

In "For You," Kishida is a photographer working on a book of portraits who selects Honma to be one of his models. While Honma, a model from the time he was only two months old, was popular in the past, lately he's cut back on work and become almost a complete unknown. And he has no idea what Kishida really wants from him. Kishida found both love and inspiration in Honma, but can his feelings reach through Honma's insecurities? Finally, in "Overlap," Tatsumi is left with unresolved emotions when the man he didn't even realize he loved died. Can he find closure - or something more - with a familiar face from the past?

Comments
It's hard to pin down what I liked about this, but I think it was the way Hidaka expressed the complex emotions of the various characters - Tadashi especially. His insecurity in the face of Aki's success combined with his struggle to keep that same insecurity from changing their relationship worked really well. I also enjoyed how Hidaka went back and not only gave us the story of their first encounter, but showed us how they first met as well, and gave us both perspectives. It added some nice depth and color to the story.

The second story was the most forgettable for me. It wasn't bad, but there was nothing about it that really stood out. And just when the book started developing a theme (models?), "Overlap" came along with more of a starting over again theme that tied in nicely to both the title and the Tadashi/Aki story. I wish that one had been longer - it was very well done, but I would have liked to have seen more of how Tatsumi came to fall for Ryo, which would have made their conflict feel a bit more natural. Still, most BL storylines are contrived at best, so that's more of a minor nitpick than a real complaint. Most BL fans should enjoy this book.

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