Lenni Reviews: “MADK” Vol. 2, by Ryo Suzuri

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*This book is recommended for 18+

Makoto has been working at Hell’s brothel for three years without a word from J. When he is randomly summoned, Makoto begins to apply his efforts in earnest to become a full fledged demon and destroy J.

This is a strange series but I’m kinda diggin it. Makoto isn’t a typical main character and is dynamic with J and the other demons he meets keep things interesting. There are conflicting emotions and desires and it’s getting pretty twisted. It’s rated mature for a reason, keep that in mind. 4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Bad Boys, Happy Home” Vol. 2, by SHOOWA & Hiromasa Okujima

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review and is rated 18+

Things have been a little awkward ever since Seven planted a kiss on Akamatsu and Seven understandably gives him space. But Akamatsu finds he actually misses Seven but Seven’s past he’s kept hidden comes back to haunt them.

This sure as hell took a turn! I mean, it was clear Seven had a dark past but I didn’t see how dark it got. Trigger warning for child prostitution and sexual assault in this volume. I thought this series would just be our two main leads fumbling around into a relationship but this is an angle I did not anticipate. It’s interesting, I want to know what happens next, but yikes… 3.9 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “The Summer of You” Vol 1, by Nagisa Furuya

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Wataru Toda loves movies. While browsing the DVD racks in a store one day, he meets a classmate Chiharu Saeki; and they bond over a mutual love of films. But when Saeki confesses he has a crush on Toda, the dynamic changes and Toda has to sort out his feelings while the pair are on a summer mission to visit filming locations of the movies they love.

This is one of those manga that’s drawn so soft, you can just cozy up to it and read it with a smile. It’s pretty low angst and our main pair are really sweet. It’s a bit of a slice of life manga and isn’t graphic at all. If a teen wanted some LGBT friendly stories to read, this is a sweet one. If there is more, I wouls want to read it. 3.9 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “MADK” Vol. 1, by Ryo Suzuri & Adrienne Beck

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*This comic is suggested for mature readers.

Makoto is a young man with some serisously dark fantasies. Knowing no human being could ever fulfull them, he summons a demon to fulfill them. After selling his soul, the demon takes Makoto to hell with him where he learns he didn’t land just any demon, he sold his soul to J, an archduke of hell.

If you’re in the marked for some dark M/M, this is certainly an original entry; especially if you like unconventional relationships. Makoto and J have a strange dynamic and this is not for the faint of heart even if the art flubs what’s happening so it’s not overly graphic. You get it but it’s not along the lines of a guro manga or anything. 4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Bad Boys, Happy Home” Vol. 1, by SHOOWA & Hiromasa Okujima

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review and is 18+.

Akamatsu has energy to burn off so he picks fights with random people at the local park. One day, he comes across Kanzaki; who proceeds to kick his ass. Repeatedly. When it becomes clear to Akamatsu that Kanzaki is living in the park, he offers Kanzaki a place to stay until he finds his own place. 

I like this duo. Both of them are brash and standoffish; keeping their feelings bottled up and expressing themselves through fighting rather than talking. They have good chemistry together and while this is clearly a set up for a relationship of sorts and has some smexy times, this volume has just the right amount of humor to make me want to keep up with the series. 4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Jealousy” Vol. 3, by Scarlet Beriko

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review and is rated 18+.

Uichi is still plotting his way into the yakuza to be with Akitora but this time, he has a pretty good plan to make some money without actively committing violent crime. But Akitora’s bodyguard, Asoda, still doesn’t trust Uichi and thinks he’s a threat to his boss.

I know this is a prequel and they’re eventually going to work all this stuff out somehow but I am really curious as to what will happen between Asoda and Uichi. I understand Asoda’s point because Uichi’s lackadaisical attitude and utter carelessness with his own life being very worrying, but I can tell all Asoda’s meddling will do is piss off his boss. Akitora is chill but he won’t be if he finds out Asoda is not obeying orders. 4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Caste Heaven” by Chise Ogawa

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review and is rated 18+

My usual disclaimer is only partly correct since it only applies to the one galley I got. I ended up blowing right passed it to review the whole series.

The premise of this is these kids in high school have a caste system enforced by the students themselves. The ranking is determined by playing cards; a King, Queen, Jack, etc. You can’t just refuse to participate without becoming a target to everyone else. So, of course this system is rife for abuse with students using their rank to exploit those below them. As this is rated 18+ and yaoi, there’s tons of sexual exploitation.

The plot tries to save itself with “Well, deep down, they have feelings” but it doesn’t take away from how non-consensual a lot of these encounters are – making it doubly uncomfortable for me considering these are high school kids. I do enjoy the couples that form and try to use the system to their advantage but this overall comes off as a bleak read. It feels wrong to say I enjoyed reading it, more like I was compelled to move forward. If you can take how rapey this is and you’re craving some dramatic yaoi, give it a shot. 2.7 out of 5

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Lenni Reviews: “Don’t Call Me Daddy” by Gorou Kanbe

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

Ryuuji is raising his son Shouji as a single father and seeing he needed help, his friend Hanao steps up to help him. But their feelings for each other and the pressure to stay in the closet becomes too much for Hanao and leaves. Twenty years later, they encounter each other again. Will Hanao take this second chance?

You don’t get many yaoi stories with older couples. I think the world needs more of this because I liked this book. They didn’t take the chance on showing a full on sex scene with the older men, having it take place off panel but the story was really sweet.

There was something funky with my digital arc copy making the reading experience a chore but I may check this out when I get my hands on a print copy. 3 out of 5.

 

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Lenni Reviews: “Birds of Shangri-La” Vol 1 by Ranmaru Zariya

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review and is rated 18+

As you can see from the terribly subtle cover, this is a yaoi manga.

Apollo is a straight man who is in dire need of funds so he takes a job at an elite gay brothel as a “teaser,” which is essentially a fluffer. He’s assigned to Phi to learn the ropes of the place and there are three main rules:  no orgasms, no penetration, no falling in love.

Throwing in a trigger warning for off panel sexual assault of a minor.

This is a good start to what can possibly be a great m/m love story. I like how all the prostitutes in the brothel are well taken care off and happy. Phi is a welcome dose of wild personality in contrast to Apollo’s dry nature and we’re getting to know them as they discover each other I like how Phi isn’t just some typical carefree guy; there’s a depth and darkness to him. It’s going to be interesting to see how the rules factor in later. Also, it’s worth noting that the sex scenes and naughty bits tend to be creatively obscured. 3.7 out of 5.

 

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Lenni Reviews: “Given” Vol. 4 Natsuki Kizu

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

As the band tries to rind it’s footing, past loves return and Haruki in particular is struggling with knowing his place, as he as feelings for Akihiko.

This is a drama-filled volume with a pace that ramps things up in a way that makes the characters seem like real people. It’s messy, doesn’t make a lot of sense but the people make it work.  And I like that we spent some time on Akihiko and Haryuki. They have an intriguing dynamic; especially in contrast to Uenoyama and Mafuyu. It’s also worth mentioning that most of the sex is either off panel or just heavily implied. So, if you’re looking for some boy love that’s a bit more tame, this isn’t bad! 3.7 out of 5.

 

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