Rasetsu Volume 8 by Chika Shiomi
I generally enjoy Chika Shiomi series. She has a predilection for creating male leads that are both attractive and somehow possessed by demons, which causes her heroines to be tormented by their love for these ultimate bad boys. I tried the first 4 volumes or so of Rasetsu and then stopped getting the series. While I enjoyed it, I wasn’t feeling as much of an emotional connection to the story as I did with Yurara, the series it was spun off from. But dipping back into it, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this volume. The more episodic monster-hunting plot elements are cast aside in favor of the ongoing dilemma of Rasetsu’s love life. If she doesn’t find true love by the age of eighteen, a demon is going to come to claim her. Rasetsu and Yako’s attraction has been growing, but she doesn’t want to use him to escape her curse. Kyuru has always been Shiomi’s prototypical bad boy, and the reader finally gets an explanation as to his true nature. The series finally seems to be heading towards a final confrontation between Rasetsu and the demon who cursed her, and I’m curious to see what happens next. I am team Yako all the way, if he doesn’t get the girl at the end of Rasetsu after his heartbreak at the end of Yurara I am going to be very disappointed.
Butterflies, Flowers Volume 6 by Yuki Yoshihara
After six volumes Butterflies, Flowers isn’t exactly heading into new territory as it details the odd relationship between “Lady” turned office worker Choko and servant turned boss Masayuki, but each volume of this series usually has at least one incident that really makes me laugh. The panel in this volume that I thought was hilarious was Masayuki’s crestfallen expression when he realizes that Choko has been stolen away from him and he realizes that he has neglected to place his customary tracking bug in her underwear.
There’s plenty of the usual office hijinks as the staff travel to a hot springs for a vacation and Masayuki tries to protect Choko from potentially lecherous coworkers. Choko shows her tougher side when she faces down a bunch of thieves to protect Otaki, a strict new boss who transfers in to her company. Unfortunately seeing Choko in action causes Otaki to develop a strong crush on her and Masayuki is faced with more trouble ahead when his ex-girlfriend returns to work with him again. I’m actually impressed that the evil ex hasn’t made an appearance in this series until the sixth volume. For all the machinations and problems that get thrown in Choko’s and Masayuki’s path, they still seem to have a strong foundation as a couple. I’m still enjoying this manga’s combination of heartfelt proclamations of love and bizarre sex comedy.