Wednesday, December 8, 2010

One-Shot of the Week: Kanjou Spectrum

Brought to you by the same beautifully yaoi mind that gave us Don't Stay Gold (a previous One-Shot review), Kanjou Spectrum is another delicious one-shot. First off, I'll have to say, I wish all men look the way Yoneda draws them. Honestly, lean bodies, strong arms, cool faces – come on, shouldn't they all look like that? Their attitudes help as well. The whole “chill on the outside but passionate on the inside” kind of guy. The clean lines, relaxed poses and beautiful, lazy expressions make this art perfect. This has to be my favourite of all yaoi drawing styles, and perhaps my favourite of drawing styles for men. And have you seen the way kisses and physical contact are depicted in all Yoneda's manga? It's perfect! Aaah, there's nothing like yaoi perfection to go along with your afternoon tea. In the spirit of that, I just might make myself a cup.

Now that I'm settled, let's look at the story of this manga. Well, actually, before that I'd like to point out how everyone in Yoneda's manga is completely open to being gay, or bisexual at the very least. No one seems surprised by it and it's not unusual for a guy who's previously dated girls to suddenly decide that some random guy is his soul mate. Don't get it twisted, it's a yaoi universe and there's nothing wrong with that at all. Everyone is almost required to be bisexual, and there's no homophobia. Ever. I've read most of Yoneda's manga, and I don't know why it was this one to make me realize the yaoi universe that's been created. Hey! I'm not complaining.

Alright, I'll really talk about the story now. Kugou and Nakaya are best friends in high school. Kugou is our narrator for this manga, He's the observant, cool type – the kind of guy who's always got it together and doesn't overreact or loose his nerve. Nakaya is typically naïve, hopeless and, well... dumb – but adorably so. The kind of idiot that, as Kugou says, is “refreshing”. Basically, he's popular with both guys and girls because he's that fun-loving idiot that just so happens to be hot as a bonus. So fun-loving and idiotic and hot that he catches the attention of Usui. Or so it seems.

Kugou, being the sharp little cookie that he is, has picked up on Usui's staring. Now, I don't know whether it's a stab at Yoneda's beautiful yaoi universe or that he notices the admiration, but in the beginning of the manga, Kugou drops the line “Types like him are unexpectedly close, their eyes usually give them away”. Despite that, I love that line. It gives the start to this story an awesome bite that just paves the way to what you know is going to be a sweet, sweet one-shot. It almost makes you wonder who's observing who. Usui might be the admirer here, but with the way Kugou scrutinizes him and constantly wonders about him gives you a strong sense of unconscious attraction that seems to cling to him throughout the manga.

Anyway, Kugou approaches Usui and offers his help to hook the two up. At first, Usui refuses. Then he changes his mind. Then he starts to ask a lot about Nakaya. Then he decides that maybe it was a bad idea to agree to Kugou's help. Then he thinks he's being a burden. Then he starts spending time with Nakaya. Basically, he's all over the place. During all this, Kugou takes a lot of notice of the quiet, bashful (cute, even) way that Usui conducts himself. Come on, you must have seen that coming at some point. It's almost predictable. But at the same time, I feel stupid that I didn't predict the other half to this story. I might have already given it away inadvertently (or blatantly), or it might be obvious when you start reading this manga, but it's a turn that I loved the story had taken.

The other thing I loved was Kugou's jealousy. It's not the type where he advises Usui against going to Nakaya. But he suddenly gains the wonderful following thought process: “What's so special about him? He's idiotic after all. His gullible idiocy and clueless charm really just pisses me off now”. It's an unconscious kind of jealousy that I find absolutely adorable, and the kind of oblivious attraction I had mentioned earlier on. The kiss in this (and there is not one, but two!) is wonderful. An intense, hot, grip-the-back-of-your-shirt, let-me-interrupt-your-conversation kind of a kiss. Aaah! Yoneda steals my heart with things like these and manages to draw the kind of physical intimacy that could only work with two men. If I picture one of them to be a girl instead of a guy, it doesn't work! It wouldn't be as effective. And I think that's what makes Yoneda the yaoi winner. Oh yes. I dropped the w word :D

And before I finish this off, let me take a quick moment to admire the last page of this manga. An almost full-page spread of cuteness broken by a small panel at the bottom for comic relief. The last lines are both bashful and passionate, and are backed by the imagery that fits it perfectly. One hidden face confessing a hidden attraction, and one blushing one that I can guess is only too happy to be in those arms. I approve, Yoneda, I approve. (Hey, doesn't it seem like this is more a love note to Yoneda than a manga review?)

In the end, this one-shot has elements of the classic 'high school crush' scenario, but because of the charming Yoneda Yaoi Universe (don't you love the way that just rolls off your tongue?), it doesn't have to be about being gay. The nervousness, the insecurities and the intensity doesn't come from the thought of, “I'm so scared he'll reject me because I'm gay and I'll freak the whole world out” – it stems from that blushing, exciting feeling of your teenage years. And you know what? It's completely normal. And like it said in the opening, “teenage love has no reason”. So kidlets, pick this up and I guarantee you'll understand!


All images (c) YONEDA Kou. None of these images belong to me.


Ayame said...

this one-shot is one of my favourites!it's so cute. I love how you emphasized that the nervousness and the insecurities don't come from the fear of being rejected as gay, but because of the way teenagers are.unlike the majority of yaoi manga, this one doesn't isn't full of angst and tear-jerking situations generated by the character's fear of his own sexuality.
I think that's why I love this manga so much. the feelings flow naturally and finally we can see some main characters who aren't scared of who they are or how people would perceive them.
great manga and great review! looking forward to more :)

MizzFWA said...

Thank you so much! :D Also, if there's a manga you'd like to have reviewed, please don't hesitate to send me an email and ask! Nice to know this blog is taken notice of. I aim to please!

Anonymous said...

hey love your blog so far, (mainly cuz u like the same kind of yaoi as me, which i don't see very often >:)
both are my favourites, so i hope u enjoy them. and if u do visit my sight cuz i write down all the mangas i enjoy there ^^
thanks :]

MizzFWA said...

Hey lilumfleo - I've already read Doushitemo Furetakunai, and I'll definitely check out Dog Style and I'll review them for you! I need some good yaoi because I've been having a problem finding some nice ones to read lately :( Thanks for stopping by! Also if there's anything you're curious about I can read it and review it for you :) Feel free to share some more! I really like your blog :D

Anonymous said...

hey :) please read Acid Town, Butterfly baby and Golden days For me, and tell me what you think? Oh, and u might not like this one but =STARFIGHTER= too, it's actually a comic... but just as well, :) and get back to me! Thanks for the awesome posts