Secret Moon Novel Vol. #01 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Art Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Text/Translation Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 18 and Up
  • Released By: Digital Manga Publishing
  • MSRP: 8.95
  • Pages: 250
  • ISBN: 978-1569706169
  • Size: Shinsho
  • Orientation: Left to Right
  • Series: Secret Moon

Secret Moon Novel Vol. #01

By Patricia Beard     July 21, 2009
Release Date: December 16, 2008


Secret Moon Novel Vol. #01
© Digital Manga Publishing

Who knew that the children of the night had such middle class aspirations.

Creative Staff
Writer/Artist: Siira Gou and Sato Tomoe
Translation: P.T. Rillo
Adaptation: P.T. Rillo

What They Say
"Why don't you leave? Why are you so eager to be attacked?" Taichi glared at Tomoe. His eyes emitterd a red glow, and Tomoe found he was unable to tear his gaze away.

While enjoying the cool Yokohoma night air, Viscount Akihiro Sanders Tomoe met a wild man, whose eyes burned like fire. Intrigued, he invited the young man back to his home.

Nearly a hundred years ago, a spurned lover ended Tomoe's life. Madame had given him new life, but this gift was not without its limitations. Living again in Japan after an extended time abroad, Tomoe was on the prowl for a new lover. But he may have gotten more than he hoped for in young Taichi Yamagami. A young man with abnormal strength and eyes like fire, he awakened sensations within Tome that he had never felt before. But this young man was hiding a secret of his own. Influenced by the ebb and flow of the moon, he could be a sweet, naive intellectual, or a rough, demanding lover. Tomoe has never had a lover quite like this... what kind of man is Taichi?

Siira Gou's intriguing June story of two young otherworldy lovers entice the imagination. Two unusual yet beautiful young men, this is what fantasy is made of.

The Review!
Packaging:
There are no complaints about packaging with a wild-eyed Taichi embraced by a cape-clad Tomoe on the cover. This is June's standard novel size with comfortable font type and size and the addition of a color insert is welcome. There is a short author afterword and the usual DMP advertisements.

Artwork:
Sato Tomoe's designs suit the characters and are pleasing, but not particularly distinctive in style. Yet there is an air of otherworldliness to Tomoe that does set him apart from the more earthbound Taichi. The illustrations chosen for the novel are sexually descriptive but not graphically so.       
  
Text/Translation:
This is very readable with only a few grammatical errors that I hadn't been looking for, but couldn't ignore.  The sex scenes read well with no laughably bad moments.

Contents (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Viscount Akihiro Sanders Tomoe is a vampire. His "dual citizenship" allows him to avoid the problem that occurs when a near immortal spends too much time in one place, so for the next twenty years or so, Tomoe intends to spend his time in Tokyo, the home of his maternal ancestors. 

Tomoe is very much the sanitized vampire. Although sunlight is still a problem, he can see himself in mirrors, definitely appears in photographs, and has no fangs. But what about sustenance?  Well, this is modern vampirism and Tomoe gets deliveries from Europe of special drink that combines juice with the kind of blood his constitution prefers - women's blood.  (No worries, employees of the "company" are compensated and willing donatees.)   However, this Nutrisystem for the nosferatu does not come cheap, and while Tomoe is the beneficiary of a legacy, he still must generate income.  Because of the necessity to move about in the dark and the need to avoid women as employees -their carotid arteries are too attractive and with no fangs, there really is no point, he buys a host bar, leaving the day-to-day business to a capable manger.

After an evening visit to the bar and his employees, Tomoe comes upon a street fight and he stops to watch with great amusement. One of the participants catches his eye and whets his sexual appetite.  After saving this naive country boy from being taken by a slick city ruse, he takes the young man home with the worst of intentions.  Under the disapproving eye of his butler, Anthony, Tomoe offers Taichi food and a place to sleep, all with the idea of seducing him.

Sneaking into Taichi's room, Tomoe finds him hiding in a closet, whereupon Taichi screams at him to leave. Tomoe is not deterred by what he considers Taichi's protestation to his advances, after all he has other means of persuasion. What follows takes Tomoe by surprise.  The shy country boy has become a frenzied animal with an unrelenting  desire for sexual gratification - with anyone.  Tomoe is not adverse to coupling with Taichi, but his entreaties for a more civilized intercourse are ignored by Taichi, and Tomoe is both horrified and enraptured by the marathon sexual experience.

Taichi, deeply apologetic and returned to his quiet and unassuming self, tells Tomoe and Anthony the story of his sheltered life in the mountains, a necessity largely because of events such as that of that first evening. Tomoe, addicted to the Taichi of the full moon, eventually opens himself up to the soft spoken young man with his own story, hoping to win over the gentle Taichi as much as Tomoe has been seduced by the savage.

Throughout the next months, the courtship is uneasy,  But just as the two get closer, Taichi's Yamagami ancestry attracts the attention of an unscrupulous academic, who would stop at nothing to separate Taichi from Tomoe.  Tomoe's savvy manages to protect Taichi for awhile, but it's Taichi who ultimately proves that he is worthy of Tomoe's sacrifices and to stand by his lover's side.  
  
Comments:
I have to admit that it took a while for me to warm up to this title.  I'm tired of the whole vampire genre and adding a wereinu to the mix seemed likely to throw this over the edge for me.  However, author Siira Gou has created a rather interesting character in flawed vampire Akihiro Sanders Tomoe. He's very convincingly elegant, refined and sophisticated, and the naive, rugged Taichi Yamagami makes a good match for him. Gou invests in Tomoe's background and in the tragic events that turned him into a vampire, much more than in Yamaguchi and his werewolf culture and antecedents. In spite of this omission, she still creates an engaging read. Gou makes a point of adding small touches that enrich our perception of Tomoe's world, but I am at a loss as to what the color, composition and quantity of Tomoe's seminal fluid brings to this other than interesting pseudo-fact.

The sex scenes are consensual and decently written, no clumsy and cliche-ridden prose here. The first scene is quite sexy with the oh-so-willing Tomoe quite shocked, seduced and injured by the raging beast that Taichi becomes during the full moon. Subsequent scenes don't quite measure up and like Tomoe, readers may wish that Taichi could do a bit more even when the moon is full.

There is some cheese here and it's on the dessert plate rather than in the appetizer. At the close of the novel, with both lovers committed to one another, Taichi expresses a desire to return to the mountains with Tomoe. Of course, Tomoe's special needs could preclude that, but Taichi has it solved.  He's going to rent an RV and a freezer! (I'm not making this up.) With a freezer for Tomoe's "juice" and an RV with blackout curtains, they can be on their way! And it's not just the unsophisticated Taichi who has succumbed to cheesy badness.  Tomoe, who has observed how skillfully Taichi has handled issues with the ladies who frequent his club, has decided that Taichi can assist with his worldwide hotel holdings and should attend school for hotel management! (I'm not making this up, either.)

Good read, just keep your sense of humor.   

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