Broccoli at AX08

Not a whole lot of information at this panel.  No new announcements, but Jonathan Kung ran through recent releases, including the gorgeous first volume of Cosmode USA.   If you are into cos-play, this is the publication for you. It’s a hardcover and it includes tips and tricks for cos-play.  It’s a very nice looking production.

He also had copies of Koi Cupid, sola, and the new Disgaea artbook.  NUI! sounds cute, about a girl who loves her plushies so much that they come to life, and at only 3 volumes, it will be worth picking up.

After the panel, I asked about the next volume of  Kamui, and also what happened to the Boysenberry line of BL manga.  The answers were kind of vague, but hopefully we will see Kamui in the Fall, and the next Boysenberry books in the winter.  I guess I shouldn’t have been alarmed that the Boysenberry website hasn’t been updated since Nov ’07, or that Sex Friend is 7 months late.

Pet on Duty by Nase Yamato Manga Review

Title: Pet on Duty

Author: Nase Yamato

Publisher: Boysenberry

ISBN:  9781597410649

May Contain Spoilers

Mizuki has just lost his job due to it going bankrupt.  Not wanting to go home a failure and be a burden to his family, he instead opts to move in with his older brother, Koichi.  There’s a little catch, however – Koichi lives in a company dormitory, and outsiders are definitely not welcome!  Forced to live in secret, the other residents of the fourth floor treat Mizuki like a pet cat.  Well, all except for the scary, sullen Toru, who is always cold and indifferent to him.  Can Mizuki win over his brother’s handsome roommate?

Pet on Duty is a sweet read, which drifts over into the realm of cheesiness, but never loses its charm.  Mizuki is quiet and a little timid, and he just wants to be independent so he’s not a burden to anyone.  His older brother doesn’t have a lot of patience for his mopey attitude, though he does try his best to help the younger man when he finds himself in trouble.  He would really prefer that Mizuki go back home, because he believes that it is best for him, but Mizuki is stubborn, and he refuses to go home and grovel.  Because he’s so gentle and kind, people enjoy having him around, and he’s doing his family a huge disservice by not going back to them.

Koichi’s roommate is the dark, brooding Toru.  A workaholic, the salaryman doesn’t welcome the new distraction that’s just moved into their apartment.  Mizuki can’t help but be drawn to  him, and he goes out of his way to earn the other man’s regard.  Most of his efforts backfire, and Toru ends up even more impatient with him than before.  The two soon find some common ground, however, and all of the residents of the fourth floor watch with varying degrees of jealousy and amusement as the two begin to forge a close friendship.

Mizuki isn’t happy with just being Toru’s friend, and he longs for a closer relationship with him.  As Mizuki’s love for Toru deepens, he finds himself wanting to do more and more for him.  When they are alone, Toru is soft and gentle with him, but when the others are around, he’s stern and harsh.  Poor Mizuki is confused by these changes in attitude toward him, and he struggles to put them into perspective.  All the while, he’s trying desperately to land a new job so he can feel some self-worth again.

Populated with lots of diverse personalities, the residents of the dorm keep interfering with Mizuki’s attempts to get closer to Toru.  They all played off of each other well, and they delighted in picking on the reserved Toru.  Apart from the very silly premise of the book, the interaction between the characters is what made it a lot fun.  Even the stuffy fifth floor residents, with their suspicions that their co-workers are hiding a pet cat, added much of the humor to the story.  The chemistry between Mizuki and Toru was also cause for delight.

The illustrations work well with the story, though I found some of the panels a little on the cluttered side.  Mizuki is cute and kitty like, often sporting a pair of cat ears. Facial expressions are clear and easy to read.  I thought the story was pretty tame, until things became slightly spicier in the final chapter.  We’re talking the difference between mild chilies and poblano peppers here;  none of the action ever slides up to jalapeno on the heat scale.

Boysenberry delivers a solid product with Pet on Duty.  I appreciate the care they lavish on their books.  There’s a full color interior page featuring the characters in the book, as well as translation notes and a preview of Sex Friend.  The book is well put together, and seems very substantial.  I hate flimsy volumes that feel like they’ll fall apart after a few readings.

Grade:  B+

Rated for 18+

Review copy provided by Boysenberry Books

[PR] New Title for Boysenberry Books – Cigarette Kisses

This title makes me think of ashtrays, and that's not very sexy.  Hopefully they'll be packing a few breath mints.  

Boysenberry Books announces new title, Cigarette Kisses.
Los Angeles, CA (November 7, 2007) - Boysenberry Books, the boys' love branch of Broccoli Books, is proud to announce that they have acquired the license and publishing rights for Cigarette Kisses by Nase Yamato.

Originally known in Japan as Kuchibiru no Yukue, Cigarette Kisses is a standalone boys' love graphic novel that is filled with intense drama within a steamy love triangle.

About Cigarette Kisses

Heartbreak abounds in this teen-themed manga from popular write and illustrator, Nase Yamato. Yusuke and Soji have been close since junior high and were flirting with the notion of becoming a couple. However, when Soji suddenly announced his intentions to marry, Yusuke was devastated. Three years have passed since these friends parted, and they meet by coincidence on a cigarette break at the same company. Still refusing to acknowledge his feelings for Yusuke, Soji faces to clash with his still simmering love for Yusuke and his duty towards his wife. Even Masahito, Soji’s kohai, enters the triangle to play with Yusuke's heart.

About Nase Yamato

Nase Yamato is a prolific author and artist of many romantic comedies and boys’ love titles including Pet on Duty, Pretty Scoop, Skip Kiss, Mr. Convenience, and Kuchibiru no Yukue. Right now, she is working on making an illustration collection, which is planning to be on the "Dear+" December issue from Shinshokan.

About Boysenberry Books

Boysenberry Books specializes in publishing Japanese boys’ love comics and graphic novels. Boysenberry Books is an imprint of Broccoli International USA. More information is available at http://www.boysenberrybooks.com.


Information About Other Broccoli International USA Divisions Can Be Found At:
Broccoli International USA, Inc. http://www.bro-usa.com (Corporate)
Synch-Point http://www.synch-point.com (Anime Production)
Broccoli Books http://www.broccolibooks.com (Manga Production)

Delivery Cupid by CJ Michalski Manga Review

Buy it here

Title:  Delivery Cupid

Author:  CJ Michalski

Publisher:  Boysenberry Books

ISBN:  9781597410298

May Contain Spoilers

Boysenberry’s first yaoi release, Delivery Cupid, is a collection of short stories.  Four of them are interconnected, sharing recurring appearances by God and his faithful white angel, and the final two are stand alone stories.  All of them were cute and entertaining, giving a light-hearted spin on heavenly match-making.

The title story, Delivery Cupid,  stars the half-angel, Tsubasa, and the lecherous Norimasa.  Tsubasa is trying hard to earn his wings and become a full angel, but he’s not having much luck.  God gives him one last chance to successfully complete an assignment, and he even tries to make things easy for him.  Tsubasa’s a cupid, and he’s given a low level target and three arrows to make a little love magic.  Only God made a tiny mistake, and gave Tsubasa the wrong file!  Then, while Tsubasa manages to strike the evil Norimasa with an arrow, he trips and jabs himself as well!  Are they a match made in heaven?

Love Beam is about the shy Kuwano, who has a secret crush on hunky schoolmate Takakura.  After saving an old man from being run over by a car, he’s given an enchanted gun that shoots love beams and causes the person that’s shot to fall in love with him.  A little skeptical, Kuwano learns that the gun works a little too well, and is soon beset with guilt as Takakura falls for him.  How can this ever be true love?

Cinderfella: A Fairy Tale was one of my favorites in this collection.  Poor college student Daisuke is in love with rich boy Yuu, but their worlds couldn’t be further apart.  Daisuke delivers papers to Yuu’s estate, which he kisses lovingly before shoving them through the paper slot, only to watch in horror as Yuu’s vicious dog rips the papers to shreds.  When God chooses Daisuke as the lucky person of the day, he agrees to grant him any wish.  When Daisuke’s invited to a party at Yuu’s, will he be able to make his dream of loving Yuu a reality?

With You Forever was another stand out.  Kazuki is terminally ill and has spent most of his life in the hospital.  He meets Kurou, a black angel, by chance, and the two strike up a friendship.  As they share their dreams and goals, their friendship deepens into love.  Then Kurou learns that Kazuki’s life will end in just a few hours – will the two forge a love that defies death?

The first stand alone chapter, Ai Scream, has college student Riku falling for high school senior Kyosuke.  Riku operates an ice cream wagon in the park, all the while daydreaming about Kyosuke.  With summer drawing to a close, will he have the guts to confess his feelings for Kyosuke?

The last chapter, Under the Star Light, was another favorite.  Ryo has just been fired from his job as a waiter at an exclusive restaurant.  In his despair, he’s approached by Tetsuya, a homeless guy who lives in the park.  As the two unlikely companions share an evening together, Ryo begins to wonder why he’s so attracted to the other man.  This was a really sweet story with two likeable characters.

The art in Delivery Cupid is uncluttered, with attractive character designs. The guys are all hotties, especially Kurou.  CJ Michalski uses a staggering variety of panel shapes and sizes to keep the reader’s attention focused on the pages.  There’s also plenty of humor contained within the book, punctuated by Tsubasa’s failed attempt to be the perfect cupid.  The panel with the two astonished men clutching at their hearts was so funny.

Grade:  B

Rated for Mature – 18+

Review copy provided by Boysenberry/Broccoli Books