20 Jun, 2010

Maniac Shorts Shot

By: Connie C.

By Miya Ousaka
Digital Manga Publishing, 170 pp.
Rating: 18+

This volume contains five yaoi short stories. The first two feature the pair on the cover, Issei and Jin, who find a box of novelty underwear on the street. Jin’s a photographer who needs a subject for his thesis, Issei begins to play with the underwear, and you can guess where things go from there. The third story features an unlikely match between two former classmates, a silver-tongued host and a cheery nursing home attendant. Next we meet two men who come together through a bike shop, and the fifth story is much darker, about a forensics scientist who becomes involved with a suspect in a serial killer case.

This volume has two things going for it: the novelty underwear hook in the first set of stories, and the fact that all the stories feature adult men. That’s not to say the stories are good. They aren’t, not really, but they are fun to read, which is one of the most important things when reading a really off-the-wall yaoi title like this. It’s similar in tone to Delivery Cupid and maybe All Nippon Air Line, with a little less zaniness than the latter.

It’s fairly obvious several pages into the first story, when Issei opens the box and finds all the novelty underwear, that this is not going to be a story that takes itself seriously. I was very entertained by the variety of underwear, and I also liked the fact that the underwear weren’t used for their intended purpose immediately (the characters discuss theories of eroticism while they model and photograph it). And while I’m generally not into creepy non-con (there is someā€”Jin forces Issei), I also liked that both characters seemed okay with the fact that their relationship wasn’t romantic at all, they simply enjoyed the sex. But the lack of romance also means that the characters aren’t developed, so it never becomes more than a gag story. That’s fine when the gag is so unusual and the story appears in a collection like this.

The third story is also very strong, simply because Hirose, the nursing home attendant, is an excellent character. He’s extremely sympathetic and cheery, and does a good job of being a friend to Azuma and balancing all the other elements of his life with a smile on his face. His opinion on the possible romance between himself and Azuma isn’t clear until the end, which is also fun since the silver-tongued Azuma is so clearly hung up on him. Hirose’s good nature also prevents the story from getting dark when the two hit the inevitable “more than friends” crisis near the end.

The fourth story was my least favorite, and suffered from some narrative clarity issues. The extremely dark final story felt very out of place, but I enjoyed the sick twist at the end very much. It was a guilty pleasure, since there was quite a bit of emotional abuse and some non-con involved, and this story also had parts where I couldn’t quite follow what was going on, but I truly didn’t see the end coming.

This collection definitely isn’t the best story-wise, and frequently has narrative issues and shallow characters, but all the same, there’s a lot of fun for BL readers in this volume. The non-con and lack of romance still gives me some reservations, but there’s a lot of good stuff otherwise.

Maniac Shorts Shot is available now.

Review copy provided by the publisher.

1 Response to "Maniac Shorts Shot"

1 | Maniac Shorts Shot « Slightly Biased Manga

June 27th, 2010 at 12:41 am


[...] I reviewed this book over at Manga Recon, so you can check it out over there. [...]