Welcome to another edition of Off the Shelf with MJ & Michelle! I’m joined, as always, by Soliloquy in Blue‘s Michelle Smith.
This week, we check out new volumes of currently-running series from Yen Press and Viz Media, as well as a sweet, new one-shot from Digital Manga Publishing.
MJ: Hi, Michelle! So… I am totally out of semi-clever lines with which to begin this exchange. Um. Got books?
MICHELLE: Have I ever! I came close to answering “Far too many,” but then wondered if that could ever really be true.
MJ: I think emphatically not. :)
MJ: They really are! Also, I have to say that your description of the book has completely charmed me. I hadn’t had much interest in checking out this title, but now I feel I must read it!
MICHELLE: More like there are far too many I want to read right this minute!
One book that I did manage to read this week is Cool/Uncool, a recent release under DMP’s DokiDoki imprint. Cool/Uncool follows a pair of life-long friends turned lovers as they progress from high school to college and deal with various insecurities in their relationship. In the title story, Yukihisa can’t figure out why his friend Takashi keeps avoiding him. Savvy BL readers will think “It’s because he loves you, silly!” and that does tie into it, but the actual reason is completely random and rather endearing.
Each successive story visits the boys after the passage of months or more and reveals the status of their relationship at that point in time. Much of the plot is derived from one fellow feeling like he’s the only one feeling a certain way, whether it be the desire to stay together forever or jealousy of a female classmate. In the end, the message is “be straightforward with your concerns,” which is not exactly the most riveting conclusion ever, but it fits well with such a cute and cozy story.
I liked the art in this one, as well. There are quite a few comedic interludes that look positively adorable, but the artist has quite a way with eyes. Here, check out this example! (see attachment)
MJ: They really are! Also, I have to say that your description of the book has completely charmed me. I hadn’t had much interest in checking out this title, but now I feel I must read it! …