Junior Escort by Sakurako Hanafubuki Manga Review

 

Title: Junior Escort

Author: Sakurako Hanafubuki

Publisher:  June

ISBN: 9781569705971

May Contain Spoilers

Junior Escort is a BL anthology that offers up a fairly bland batch of stories.  None of them connected for me, not even the title chapter, which features Ayukawa, an up and coming idol, and superstar Mizuhara.  After being set up by his manager, Ayukawa finds himself alone with Mizuhara, and the two sleep together.  Shortly after, Ayukawa is told that if he keeps Mizuhara happy, he’ll continue to get work.  Ayukawa’s relationship with Mizuhara is then built, not on feelings of love or affection, but on furthering Ayukawa’s acting career.  There is zero romance in the two chapters they are featured in, or in any of the chapters that follow.  It seems that all of the relationships in the book are about deception or controlling another person, and not about attraction, love, or even desire.  Everything is so clinically presented, too, and that made the characters seem distant and unapproachable.

One of my complaints about BL anthologies is that there isn’t enough time to get to know the characters, and it’s hard to set up a convincing set of circumstances for them to overcome.  Instead, the characters have to drive the stories, but in Junior Escort, that just doesn’t happen.  Their personalities aren’t compelling enough to make the reader want to learn more about them, and in a couple of the stories, they are just downright unlikeable and I didn’t care to know what makes them tick.  Aki, one of the callous leads in “Baku,” treated his live-in lover Megumu so poorly that I couldn’t figure out why they were still together.  Especially when there was the kind-hearted Senno looking out for Megumu’s best interests.  I was hoping that Megumu would actually dump Aki and hitch up with Senno. 

In “Behind Closed Doors,” Rin is drawn to the scarred Haitani.  Haitani is rumored to sell himself for sex, but Rin doesn’t let that stop him from wanting to get to know Haitani a whole lot better.  This was probably my favorite chapter, but there’s a lot of build up that doesn’t really go anywhere.  “Angelic Seduction” was a little to shota for me to enjoy, though the story flowed the best.  Yuta’s age was a huge turnoff, and I just couldn’t get past it.  “So Loveable, So Kind” is about an insomniac and the friend who tries to help him sleep.

The mix of stories in Junior Escort is disappointing and ultimately forgettable.  Bland characters, bland settings, and scratchy art form a volume of BL tales that is, at best, worth a borrow from the library.  Read Toko Kawai’s Cut instead, and just skip this one.

Grade:  D+

Review copy provided by June

(PR) DMP proudly presents the Little Butterfly Omnibus and special exclusives for Yaoi Con!

Gardena, CA (August 27, 2009)- Digital Manga Publishing is proud to present their newest reissue, the Little Butterfly Omnibus! Collecting the now out of print three volumes of Little Butterfly, the omnibus edition spans over 560 pages! Hinako Takanaga has long been a fan favorite and her Little Butterfly manga, one of the early yaoi titles printed by Digital Manga Publishing, quickly became a top seller, and has continued to be one of the most requested manga series in the Digital Manga library. Finally, the three beautiful issues of Little Butterfly will be available in this limited omnibus edition!

As a special thank you to our fans, Digital Manga Publishing will make exclusively available at Yaoi-Con only, a limited number of the Little Butterfly Omnibus for purchase! The street date is not until February 2010, and we will only be making the book available for Yaoi-Con attendees! After Yaoi-Con, the book will not be available until it ships to stores next year. So come to Yaoi-Con to own this beautiful title, way, WAY ahead of it’s ship date!

Also at Yaoi-Con, in honor of our amazing guest, Makoto Tateno, Digital Manga Publishing will have early advances of the Yellow Omnibus: Volume 1 AS WELL as early advances of Yellow 2: Episode 1 for con attendees! Yellow has remained one of Digital Manga’s best selling titles, and Yellow 2: Episode 1 is a special series of short stories written exclusively for cell phones in Japan. Never before published in print, Yellow 2 will be a three episode series of short 64 page booklets following additional adventures of Taki and Goh. Come and get these amazing advances, and then have them signed in person by the amazing Makoto Tateno!

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[PR] MAKOTO TATENO Appearing At Yaoi-Con 2009 With June’ YELLOW Omnibus Edition Vol. 1 Release!

MAKOTO TATENO Appearing At Yaoi-Con 2009 With June’ YELLOW Omnibus Edition Vol. 1 Release!

Gardena, CA (July 20, 2009)- Digital Manga Publishing is excited to announce their special guest for Yaoi-Con 2009, prolific yaoi mangaka, Makoto Tateno! Makoto Tateno has long been a fan-favorite of the yaoi community, and she is pleased to be coming to the US to meet her fans in person this October!  Her published works in the US include: Hero Heel (June’), Steal Moon (June’), Blue Sheep Reverie (June’), Angelic Runes (DMP), Red Angel (DMP), King Of Cards (CMX) and the much loved Yellow.  In another first for Tateno, Digital Manga Publishing will be putting out her first DokiDoki comedy title, Happy Boys, which revolves around the lives of five young men who work in a butler cafe’, and was recently made into a Japanese television live-action comedy series. This will be Makoto Tateno’s first appearance at Yaoi-Con!


To coincide with Tateno’s US appearance, Digital Manga Publishing is also proud to announce the reissue of Tateno’s first yaoi title in the US: Yellow. Collected into two omnibus editions, The Yellow: Omnibus Edition v.1 collects the first two volumes of the series into one special collection, with some new content.  For fans who attend Yaoi-Con, they’ll get their hands on advances of this reissued title first, and they can get it signed in person by Makoto Tateno!

Yaoi-Con takes place over the Halloween weekend, October 30-November 1, in beautiful San Mateo. For more information on Yaoi-Con, including location, hotels, and registration, please visit their site at: www.yaoicon.com

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YELLOW: OMNIBUS EDITION VOL. 1, Rated M+ (for ages 18+), MSRP: $19.95, Available: November 18, 2009, 5.87"x 8.25", 385 pages!, June’ Imprint

Taki and Goh share just about everything – their apartment in the city, their job as elite drug “snatchers” and even dinner duty. But hot Goh wants to go much deeper undercover with his gorgeous partner. Too bad Taki doesn’t swing that way…or does he? If yellow is the warning color, will this team finally end up in-the-red (and in bed)? Boys will be boys, and the hot guys of Yellow are no exception. An illicit thrill-ride from cover to cover, this hip drama turns up the heat on every page and guarantees to get your heart fired-up! Back by popular demand, this limited edition omnibus collects volumes 1 and 2 of the original series, with some unseen artwork and unpublished content!

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About Digital Manga Publishing

Located in Gardena, CA, Digital Manga Publishing is one of the industry’s most unconventional and innovative companies, specializing in building corporate and cultural bridges from Japan to the Western Hemisphere – specifically through the licensing, importation and preparation of anime (Japanese animation), manga (Japanese comic books) and related merchandise for the North American mainstream and subculture markets. In this capacity, DMI serves as a catalyst for the expansion of Japanese pop culture institutions into global arenas. The company’s imprint line includes DMP: its mainstream imprint, DMP PLATINUM: its classic manga imprint, JUNE´: its boys love imprint, 801 MEDIA: its adult boys love imprint, and DokiDoki: its exclusive co-publishing imprint with Shinshokan Publishing.

For more information about Digital Manga Publishing, visit www.digitalmanga.com