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Title: Lovely Sick #1
Author: Shoko Ohmine
May Contain Spoilers
Naoyuki, the victim of a crippling accident, is the ward of Dr Ryouichi Sumi. During the five years that he’s been Naoyuki’s guardian, Sumi has made the boy completely dependent on him. Sumi’s lover as well as his patient, Naoyuki struggles for freedom. He doesn’t want to be a burden to Sumi, but the doctor is taking his duty as physician, and 24/7 care, seriously.
I didn’t care for this one too much. The narrative was a little confusing with the switches between Naoyuki and Sumi’s viewpoint. There wasn’t a lot of chemistry between them, and they were both inaccessible to the reader. At first, Naoyuki was portrayed as a demanding, ungrateful brat, but his attitude abruptly, and without much explanation, changed midway through the book. Ryouichi was a control freak, and he manipulated Naoyuki into relying solely on him. It seemed like they spent way too much time arguing about whether or not Sumi had the time to pick Naoyuki up from school. Sumi’s meddling friend Kuma didn’t really have much purpose in the book other than to complain about how needy Naoyuki was, and to chastise Sumi for letting the boy be so clingy
I did like the art. The character designs were very attractive, and the author’s clean, uncluttered panels kept the pages turning. Too bad the story bogged it down. The book is nicely put together, with DramaQueen’s usual high production values. I wish all of the publishers’ books liked this good.
Rated for 18+
Title: Night of the Beasts #2
Author: Chika Shiomi
Publisher: Go! Comi
May Contain Spoilers
Aria is desperate to save Sakura from the demon lurking within him that threatens to devour his soul. She learns of the 400 year old curse that befell the descendants of the man that slew the demon. The demon’s hatred was so great that he possessed the one who killed him, and he has been lying dormant, from generation to generation, ever since. Having gained enough strength, the demon now seeks to take over Sakura completely so he can destroy the 4,000 descendants of his murderer.
Plagued by a nightmare of Sakura slaughtering them, many of the 4,000 descendants went insane. Others have developed special powers. All of them want him dead. As Aria becomes a pawn in the struggle to stop the demon, she realizes that she may not be strong enough to keep her promise to Sakura. Can she learn to use her own powers to keep him safe?
This was a really intense volume! Aria is abducted to lure Sakura into a trap. One of Sakura’s bloodline, Towako, has the gift of foresight, and she warns him that if he tries to rescue the girl, the demon will be unleashed. Not wanting to cause Aria any more problems, he insists he will try to change his fate while he’s saving her.
As the gathered mass of gunmen wait for him to touch Aria before blasting away at him (hey, won’t they hit her, too?!), Sakura folds her in a protective embrace and beseeches her to close her eyes so she won’t see the bloodshed to follow. The frenzied images that spew across the pages are gripping and horrific and I couldn’t assimilate them fast enough. This was one of the most exciting, yet poignant scenes I’ve read in a while. I liked the chemistry between Aria and Sakura just before he became…something else.
I love how Chika Shiomi draws action sequences. The characters twist and writhe in dramatic contortions as they leap and kick and attack. The lines are clean and crisp, with only necessary background details intruding in the panels. The action flows through a rain of blood, mingled with Aria’s tears, and I was most distressed to reach the final page.
Rated for Older Teens 16+