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Don't Blame Me, Volume 1 by Yugi Yamada
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Don't Blame Me, Volume 1

by Yugi Yamada

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I have difficulty understanding what it is I like about Yugi Yamada's manga. Sometimes her romance plots and character types don't seem all that different than the kind of thing you might see in another yaoi that I don't like (if less heavy on the seme/uke distinctions than many). Thus I find myself having difficulty expressing what makes her manga good besides giving general comments that the dialogue is more realistic, the characters seem more like real people than manifestations of one or two personality traits, that Yamada seems to have a good eye for the way relationships of different sorts are slowly established through each new encounter with a new acquaintance.

There are some things I can say make this manga particularly attractive to me, though. The manga is two volumes long, and thus has a little more time to explore other things besides just the standard romance plot. The main character is a college student not really sure where he wants to go in life who ends up joining the film club and getting wrapped up in their affairs. He has significant, interesting interactions with people who aren't even his love interest, and it does a lot for the depth of the character.

I do suppose this may disappoint some since of course that means less time dedicated to what most of us will view as the actual point of the story (the main character romance). But in some ways this actually helped me enjoy the romance more, since it gave the couple time to interact in scenes and situations that were not strictly about furthering their romantic tension and romantic relationship. The feeling of a slow building relationship that starts out one way and ends up somewhere very different isn't something you can get in many yaoi, even the better ones. Thus, while at times it was just a shade frustrating to note how long it had been since a significant scene between the main couple, the refreshing feeling was more than worth it and likely endeared me even more to the romance, always left yearning for just a little bit more. The relationship doesn't get terribly far in this first volume, but I found myself not minding much at all.

While a certain subplot with two of the supporting characters was a bit more out of the ordinary (compared to the rest of the book) and melodramatic for my tastes, I still find most everything about this volume extremely likable. The art may not be to some readers' tastes, but to it's credit it's actually more appealing inside than on the cover. Interesting, sweet, sometimes silly and sometimes gently humorous, I'd encourage a read from anyone open to yaoi with elements beyond just straight up romance. ( )
1 vote narwhaltortellini | Sep 28, 2009 |
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