Title: Bi no Isu
Mangaka: Ike Reibun
Genre/s: Yaoi, Romance
Publisher: Libre Shupan
Serialized in: b-Boy Phoenix
War between Yakuza families, fight over territories, and violence around them, how can Kabu and Nirasawa’s relationship survive these difficult circumstances?
In order to find out who betrayed their group to another group, Kabu tortures his underling by using S&M materials. His underling, Nirasawa, seems to be more than just a follower of Kabu. Moreover, he looks like he is enjoying the S&M play that they are doing to him.
While it may looked like it will feature more of yakuza conflicts and some more background story, the plot focuses on the internal conflict of Kabu’s emotions. Most of the dialogues focus more on his thoughts which surprised me since usually the point of view of the story is on the uke. With only 3 chapters for the entire story, there are some parts that are confusing. It could have expanded more. A little extra backstory about the two and other information about the yakuza could have been added; although the latter part might be omitted purposedly for they won’t be making this as a long series.
The couple in this one is the epitome of doS & doM character. The seme, Kabu, have the habit of punching or kicking or whatever rough thing to do (be it on normal basis or on smexy scenes) on Nirasawa. This is refreshing because he doesn’t go softie towards his uke. And he knows that he is a prick so he cannot fathom why would Nirasawa love him. This frustration leads to his lashing all his mixed feelings to his underling. On the other hand, Nirasawa doesn’t mind even if he get killed by Kabu as long as his body is of any use for him. He is the pretty boy type, the average uke; you know, meek and obedient towards his seme. However, he is quite a kick-ass character alone. Or maybe that’s the power of love? ( ´艸｀)
There is an extra chapter featuring the 2 of them having their quality time together. They still can’t get used to being lovey-dovey, resulting to an awkward exchange of lines. Something that made me giggle. Like, they have become the ‘baka couple’ type. It’s cute. Two well-built guys stumbling to say cheesy, cliche lines? (✧✧)/
Two more one-shots are included in this book. The first one is about childhood friends. Thanks to his friend, Fuyu, Emiri is now impotent and with a small junior. He decided to seek medical advice with this problem. To his surprise, the very cause of his dilemma is in front of him and says he can cure Emiri’s problem.
You can just skip this story if you cannot stand rape even though it is shown briefly in the story. This is the I-like-you-so-I-rape-you type of BL. This is pretty amusing to read mostly because of Emiri’s clumsy and stupid. But that’s just it. It is a fast read, no unnecessary drama or other sappy elements (I can feel that Fuyu will head to being an emo).
The next one is about a past love who under some circumstances gets to work with him again. So they held hands before on a drinking party and does the same thing when they met again. Insert some hot scenes, then some more lovey-dovey scenes afterwards.
You see, I’m not even that enthusiastic to give a summary in this one-shot even I, am confused on what is happening at the start of story. All that is clear is to me is that they have this sort of unspoken understanding but it is also quite apparent that the uke have this unrequited love ever since they met in the university.
It’s such a waste that the whole story just go down the drain when it’s supposed to have a promising storyline. The good things that I find worth mentioning are the hot smexy scenes of the two (but even that is also strained to only 2 pages, I think) and my favorite, the indirect confession at the end. If memory serves, I recall mentioning that it would be better if there’s some sort of confession lines for couples. However, in this one, it is like a subtle hint of their feelings; making both the ending and the almost confession leaves you with the ‘d’awww’ feeling.
The art is pretty and clean. The lines are drawn heavily, giving the characters a distinct and expressive faces. Each characters have their own masculine features, unless they are intended to be the weakly young man. This is the redeeming factor of the entire book.
I’m 50/50 in recommending Bi no Isu. While I like the characters and the art, I am not contented with the story. Each story has a promising plot but lacked in execution and so it isn’t that satisfying. But then, the manga is drawn beautifully. I may look forward on reading the other works of this mangaka because of the art..