Yellow Vol. #04 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B+

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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: 192
  • ISBN: 1569708959
  • Size: A5
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Yellow Vol. #04

By Julie Rosato     June 03, 2006
Release Date: June 14, 2006


Yellow Vol.#04
© Digital Manga Publishing


Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Makoto Tateno
Translated by:Studio Cutie
Adapted by:

What They Say
The final stage has been set for our favorite pair of drug snatchers! With Taki gone missing and only a series of clues left behind, it's up to Goh to find him. What is Taki's dark secret past and what is his relationship with the fearsome assassin team known as "Sandfish"? As time runs out, the search gets desperate. And just when Taki's feelings for Goh have finally been resolved, is Goh only going to lose him once again?

Get ready for this final installment of the Yellow series. With strange love, deep affections and unexpected family reunions that'll break your heart, things are hardly what they seem. Just when you thought all stories end happily, things might get suicidal. This volume includes a newly-drawn honeymoon episode you can only see here!

The Review
The finale arrives wrapping Yellow up into quite the neat and tidy package.

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 very striking, red-toned picture of Goh possessively embracing Taki while the two are handcuffed together. The red colors really set this volume apart from the softer colors of the previous three volumes. Inside the printing looks good as usual; the only thing that could make this product better would be inclusion of color plates. The author's postscript and ads for other DMP titles close up the book.

About the limited edition artbox also available with this volume: It's made with sturdy chipboard and features the cover artwork from volume one. The spine is black with the series logo in yellow and a small image of the cover art at the top. All four volumes fit neatly inside and are easy enough to remove. It would've been nice if they could have done something different with the artwork, such as use one of the chapter openings or color plates, but it's still a high-quality box that looks good and will protect the books. It's definitely worth the extra five bucks if you're into that sort of thing.

Artwork:
The inconsistencies in the art were a little more noticeable in this volume, but I'm forgiving in light of the juiced up sexiness factor. Lots of Goh-Taki goodness here (and Goh's looking hotter than ever), and there are some really nice chapter illustrations. Background art is a bit more serviceable in this volume, though still pretty marginal overall. The panel composition and flow continues to be one of the strong points for this series; the feelings come through clearly even if the artwork itself looks a little off at times. DMP's art reproduction looks good with crisp lines and tone work, and the dark spaces lack the fade problem that was present in the last volume.

SFX/Text:
The SFX are translated primarily using the subtitle method and look as good here as they have all along. The script continues to read pretty smoothly with no major errors and a good flow to the dialogue. Despite a few text-editing quibbles across the volumes (which frankly exist in the large majority of books in our market), DMP has done a very solid job on translating and presenting this series.

Contents:(please note the following contains spoilers)
Taki has left and is now shacking up with Sandfish (who are preparing to finish a job before departing Japan), and there's plenty of sulking going on back at Café Roost. Pretty much no one's happy with the situation as it stands, though. Despite being thoroughly bummed, it appears Goh has accepted the loss of his partner ... that is, until Katsuro pays him a little visit to spur on his fighting spirit. Katsuro seems to feel Taki's return is toxic because Mizuki's just too obsessed over him, and hey, what can he say - he's still the kid's father, right? Who doesn't want their kid to be happy?

Meanwhile Taki's decided he'll interfere with Sandfish's work; apparently if he must sacrifice his own happiness, he'll be sure to stop all their evil plans, too. Taki manages to get some clues to Goh, who in turn successfully impedes their plan -- even apart, these two are still completely in sync as partners -- but the result isn't so great for Taki, and further strains the relationships in the not-so-happy Sandfish family. Tsunaga finally reveals his past to Goh, and being the last to know of the connections between his boss and his lover, he angsts over Taki's choosing not to include him in all his troubles.

But fear not, some more unexpected help soon brings Goh and Taki back together. (Best line ever: "Sex Now. Escape Later.") Readers are treated to some nice fanservice for a bit - a happy reunion, a couple of kinky sex scenes and even a date for our heroes - before the story zips back 180 degrees. Turns out Tsunaga wasn't as ready as Taki and Goh to leave Sandfish behind (who could blame him, really?), and lo & behold, Taki finds himself once again in the hands of Mizuki. Only this time, he's not going to accept it. Actually, he figures he'll just go ahead and atone for his sins now by killing himself. This actually really bugged me; Taki makes a big deal over how sad it is for the loved ones left behind, yet he is so cavalier with his own life and loved ones? I know he's been tortured these long years feeling responsible for Mari's death, but his attempt at self-sacrifice for atonement came off awfully close to a cowardly pity wallow to me.

Anyway, a few pages and a bang-up climax later we've got devotion worth dying for, two happy reunions (so that's what's Katsuro's been up to all this time...), and an utter defeat sliced up with some humble pie. Boy, that sure was easy.

Comments
Goh and Taki may have spent the series taking risks, but this ending definitely plays it safe. It's not a horrible ending -- in fact it's a happy one -- but it ties everything up just a bit too neatly to be believable. The emotions spiking through this volume were great, but the very end a bit too extreme (read: sappy). Not to mention to pull it all off Taki and Goh needed help from unexpected places and the bad guys couldn't even stay bad. Take Katsuro for example; he turned out to be a pretty decent guy -- for a killer, I mean -- and that sort of spoiled his character. I guess Tateno figured a legendary assassin team really only needed one unhinged meanie? But hey, at least there's the sex (and more of it in this volume), and those two boys sure are cute together!

Aside from the ending that tries too hard to make everyone happy, I have few reservations in recommending this series. The story was suitably crafted with regards to Goh and Taki's emotions, the highlight always the developing relationship between them. It moved along nicely with (mostly) minimal teasing and paid homage to key fan-favorite elements. Early set-up may have been average but the intertwining of their histories became clever and interesting. Goh and Taki may have been damaged by their pasts, but they found love, redemption and a future in each other. Sexy, sweet, and pretty well to the point, this was a fun series.

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