Disclosure: I received this book from the publicist in exchange for an honest review.
Yaoi manga is something that I’ve read a few times, but never got into because the series I tried were too sexual. I’ve reviewed one yaoi series on this blog, Totally Captivated, which falls into the oversexualized category. It was a short series so I was able to finish it. Aside from that I’ve started a few and immediately stopped when it became clear the story was more about sex than anything else. Blue Morning came to via a publicist looking to promote VIZ manga’s new yaoi imprint, SuBlime. I’ve agreed to try out a few of their series.
If you don’t know what yaoi is, let me explain. Yaoi, or “boy’s love,” is manga targeted at a female audience with homoromantic (and sometimes homoerotic) relationships. This is a totally different genre of manga than that targeted at gay male readers (referred to as bara, and limited to Japanese culture). Yaoi has only become available to Western audiences in recent years. Previously, it could only be found on translation websites, such as Manga Fox or Manga Here. Don’t let the term “boy” fool you. The characters are teenagers or older. There are some definite gay stereotypes and the occasional homophobic language. Now that you have some background, let’s get on with the actual review.
Akihito Kuze was only ten years old when he inherited his family’s viscountship. He was put in the care of Tomoyuki Katsuragi, the family butler. Katsuragi raised him, tutored him, and advised him, but he was never warm. His iciness over the years has only caused Kuze to yearn to know Katsuragi better and become closer to him.
While this sounds like it could get really sexual really fast, it was more about social standings and advancing the Kuze name. Tomoyuki is invested in the legacy of the Kuze family, for some reason. There is a look into his past and his relationship with Akihito’s father. Akihito seeks, desperately for information on the relationship between the Katsuragis and the Kuzes. He’s also desperate to know why Tomoyuki has always been so cold. He’s spent years trying to please Tomoyuki, and over the years his need to please has turned into a secret romantic yearning. This could all lead to something more sexual than anything else, but the plot really stays away from that. There is sex, but it’s not all over the pages, and it’s not the most important part of the story. I’m so happy about that. I may have found a yaoi manga that I can read. In fact, I was pretty engaged by the family relationships and the social climbing. That was really the most interesting part. I’m not sure how I feel about Akihito and Tomoyuki’s relationship right now. It seems pretty one-sided.
We’ll have to see how this one pans out. The publisher has rated this manga mature, so I’m reluctant to recommend it to readers under 18. As for this volume, there was mild sexual content and some language.