This concluding volume of Today's Ulterior Motives is as much fun as its predecessor.
Writer/Artist: Sakuya Fuji
Translation: Melanie Schoen
Adaptation: Melanie Schoen
What They Say
Actor Makoto Aizawa's star has begun to rise, attracting the attention of Jounouchi-sensei's rival director, Taizou Oouchi. When offered a lead part in Oouchi-sensei's new musical, how can Aizawa turn it down? Maybe the fact that he can't sing a note should factor in to his decision? Or perhaps Jounouchi and Oouchi's relationship as bitter adversaries ought to cause Aizawa to steer clear? At the end of the day, is it Aizawa's talent that's motivated Oouchi-sensei to offer him such a plum role, or does the director have other sinister motives?
Concluding the story begun in Sakuya Fujii's Today's Ulterior Motives, will Jounouchi and Aizawa find balance together as they try to juggle their working and personal relationships? Or will tomorrow only bring more challenges to their teacher/student bond, causing them to grow apart for good?
The onsen theme of the previous volume, Today's Ulterior Motives, is continued with this volume. And this cover is just as attractive as the previous one, this time with a fall onsen scene and a lot more skin exposed by Jounouchi-sensei and Makoto. The distinctive title with its onsen symbol taking over the "o" in Motives is again in evidence. There are attractive color drawings on the back cover and back flap. There is a one page author afterword and the usual DMP advertisements.
The print quality is disappointing in this volume. There are no moire patterns, but there is a considerable amount of over-contrast between lights and darks with some panels looking murky.
Sakuya Fujii tends to have a quick stroke, which supports the lighter mood of this story. However, she produces more contained and elaborate drawing when it comes to presenting her beautiful men, delivering the kind of fanservice many BL readers expect and appreciate.
Most sfx are subbed unobtrusively. Any grammar and spelling errors weren't obvious. The text reads naturally. There is a bit of silliness with actors "singing" their conversations and this comes across as intended.
Contents: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The relationship between Makoto and Jounouchi-sensei is an open secret in the theatrical circles, much to Makoto's embarrassment. Of course, being the lover of the confident and flamboyant Jounouchi-sensei is bound to cause talk. It also brings out a one-time friend and long-time rival of Jounouchi-sensei's, Taizou Oouchi, who offers Makoto a role in his next play, a musical, knowing full well that Makoto can't sing. Under pressure from his agency, Makoto earnestly takes on the role with help from the mysterious "angel of music". Conspiracies and deception abound, but can Makoto recognize from what direction the danger is coming ?
It is possible to read this volume without having read Today's Ulterior Motives; there isn't any particular story point that depends on it. It's a fun read, but it really is informed by the goings-on of the previous volume. Today's Ulterior Motives had the outrageous and larger-than-life Jounouchi-sensei as its center and its voice, giving the predictable plot vitality. This volume belongs to Makoto and nicely bookends the series