Yellow Vol. #02 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: A-

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Info:

  • Art Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A-
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Released By: Digital Manga Publishing
  • MSRP: 12.95
  • Pages: 200
  • ISBN: 1-56970-951-3
  • Size: A5
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Yellow Vol. #02

By Julie Rosato     May 11, 2006
Release Date: October 01, 2005


Yellow Vol.#02
© Digital Manga Publishing


Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Makoto Tateno
Translated by:G. Genki
Adapted by:

What They Say
Taki and Goh are partners in everything... except romance. With a slew of crucial assignments now under their belts, this covert team of drug snatchers starts to rack up bigger deals with sweeter payoffs. The problem? With every new job comes another battle of wills and massive tidal wave of unfulfilled desire. Working together is no easy street when your heart is racing and criminal masterminds continue to turn the entire city into a hide-and-seek playground.

Lovers from the past, a beautiful male escort, even a flurry of bullets...nothing can get in the way of the escalating passion in YELLOW. Will the soft-focus light of caution finally turn green, or will someone slam on the brakes and throw two hearts into a deadly tailspin?

The Review
This is a good follow-up volume that promises to bring the heat -- and some much-needed focus -- to the series.

Packaging:
DMP has some of the best packaging on the market. This book is presented in a big A5 size, with a beautiful glossy dust jacket, complete with author profile on the inside flap. DMP uses the original cover art, a gorgeous shot of Goh and Taki and my favorite of the four covers. The logo (already in English) has been placed along the top and looks good. Inside the printing is really good, there are few publishers who do better with production. Extras include character profiles and the author's postscript. Ads for other DMP titles close up the book.

Artwork:
I really like the artwork for this series. It's not that it's unique, or has well crafted details, or is even super stylish. It's not even always consistent (the character close-ups get the most care), but it's solid and sexy, and I think part of why I like it so much lies in the equality of the leads. There are some really gorgeous shots of these guys; I like that they're both pretty but not really feminine, and the scenes between them are really hot, even when there isn't much happening between them. There is very little background art, but rarely do these titles bother with much anyway. The panels have some great composition though and flow really nicely, and the action scenes (such as they are) are easy to follow. DMP's art reproduction looks great; lines are crisp, darks are solid and without bleed and the impact of delicate tone work is not lost. This is just a really nice looking book.

SFX/Text:
SFX are translated primarily by the subtitle method though occasionally white space calls for an easy overlay. Most in-panel text is treated the same way. The SFX handling looks very good, the translations generally complementary in size and style. Although there are a couple of instances of questionable punctuation or text running a bit off the sides, the script reads smoothly with no major errors and a good use of emphasis. The scenes between Goh and Taki are scripted particularly well, with the translation doing a nice job of conveying feeling.

Contents:(please note the following may contain spoilers)
The first case in this volume is to snatch some cocaine from a neighborhood bar, popular for its relaxing atmosphere and reputation as a place to go to unload your troubles. Taki goes undercover as a bartender, an easy enough case one would think, but naturally there's a twist...or two. In addition, the nature of the establishment threatens to bring Taki closer to Goh than he is ready for. But no matter what transpires between them, Goh and Taki know that they can count on one another and when all is said and done, the case is solved and Cafe Roost has a new employee!

Next up is putting a stop to a little underground gun trading, the target a young ex-actor now working as a male escort. This time Goh is the obvious choice for, er... extracting information but it's Taki's preoccupation with thoughts of his partner that land them both in trouble -- the kind of trouble that ends with them sprawled on a rooftop and bleeding from gunshot wounds! In the face of this kind of danger and guilt (not to mention the relief of making it through), even Taki can't deny that Goh's becoming more than just a partner.

For the final case in this volume Goh's past comes strolling back -- and his name is Kei. He's Goh's previous partner and back in town looking to make some money, so the guys ask him to help solve their latest puzzle. But Kei's presence only makes Taki insecure and feelings of jealousy awaken something else within him, something possibly worse, driving him into Goh's comforting arms. Before anything can really happen though Taki realizes the answer to the case and takes off in pursuit of his hunch. (That whole scene was just too hot, and Goh just too cute!) After an emotional confrontation at the scene of the crime Kei admits he came to town in search of more than a job, but leaves with a dire warning for the new partners.

The cases are clever enough to get from point A to point B with some interest, but of course solving them isn't really the point; the focus is on the relationship developing between Goh and Taki. They may be partners but they are also very much independent and alone. Both burned by their pasts and wary of their future, they keep from leaning on the other -- despite clearly wanting to. They may have the courage to go forward with work, but will their relationship be stuck in yellow, neither one able to risk green for fear of red?

Comments
This volume turns on the engines -- in more ways than one. At four volumes in length, this series can't afford to drag its feet and there is some nice development happening here. Dropping the readers into the middle of their story as volume one did, we must wait, just as Goh and Taki do, for the truth about pasts and feelings to be revealed. I like that they're pretty much equals to one another; while Goh's aggressiveness marks him as the seme, it's Taki's own wavering feelings of attachment and fear that overpower him, not Goh. And even though Goh uses any (and every) opportunity to put the moves on Taki, it's clear he'd never really win without Taki's surrender. This volume really pitches Taki forward as he realizes the feelings he has for Goh, and judging by the set-up provided here, their pasts aren't only about to be uncovered -- they're about to collide. I expect the next volume to pack a big punch.

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