Last December, I went to a BL con and they were selling a (fan)anthology. As a memorabilia of the event, my friend and I bought it.
From the book
“Someone once sang that it only takes a minute to fall in love. But we all know the truth — it could span a second, or last a lifetime.
As a gift to fans of the genre, the first BLush fanthology 初恋: First Love, highlights that moment boys fall in love.”
The book is composed of 5 short stories and 4 one-shot manga along with some illustrations from other participating artists.
The cover of the book is also the first story of the entire anthology. I love how they use the color pink for the book. Not because it is boys love but how it represents the feelings of first love: fresh, pure, and rosy. With its price, I think it’s worth it and they aren’t cheapskates to use a so-so paper. It is glossy and shiny. The font used is cute too. It gives off an elegant feel when you open the book.:D
While there are different attacks and unique ways of story-telling in each stories, I am leaning more to favor the first three stories which are:
It was June by Hanaoka
nearly a valediction by Yomikiri
A daydream away by Chesra Lee
The first one entitled, “It was June”, is only a few pages manga and have a clearly drawn panels. They said that “a picture paints a thousand words” and Hanaoka proves just that. There are no dialogues; only pictures of the characters. Despite not having a single word in the entire story, the message has been delivered fully. Story-wise, it is simple yet it gives off that “first love feels” where everything is hearts and roses. It is pure just like how first love should be. Reading it at the start of the book gives off the feeling that you will most likely love the rest of the stories. No wonder they made this as the cover of the anthology.
Nearly a Valediction by Yomikiri is next up. This time it is a short story about Shu and Takaya who are classmates. It’s the class’ Mr. Popular (being the lead vocalist of his band and all) and geeky Class Pres. By the pairing, you’ll already get the idea of where is this going xD. Takaya, despite his popularity, is a sweet guy and not cocky at all. Shu is adorable and I can imagine him being flustered everytime Takaya showers him with his attention. I forgot how many times have I read this and continues to fall for the characters again and again.
From middle high to high school students, now we have college students as the lead. Once again, one of the characters is a band member. It’s only a coincidence that I liked band member stories okay *defensive mode* lol. When I started reading it, I thought I wouldn’t like it at all. But then again, I’m weak against “I’ve-been-liking-you-ever-since stories that at the end of the story I already liked it.
…I just loved stories with high unresolved sexual tension. 8D
The entire book have a really nice flow for having stories featuring younger couples to young adults, maturing both literally and figuratively. Each author presents their own take of first loves. Each have their own kind of writing a love story different from the usual ones that I’ve read. While some are not really my cup of tea, when you read it from a different angle I find them refreshing. It made me think that “Oh so you can present a story like this using this way”. They started the fanthology with a manga; they ended with a manga as well.
The Screwballs by Cinnamon Rub knows how to end it with a blast! The first stories have filled me with sweet, nostalgic feeling and left me a pure impression. But The Screwballs is like that finale in a concert that pumped out the last shot of energy from the audience. The plot is…well, what plot? Ahaha kidding, this is not a PWP manga don’t worry ;D. As usual, it is nothing complicated but what made it interesting is the quirk of one of the characters. He has a deep attachment to inanimate objects, names them, and talks to them as if they are another human being. And nope, his partner is a human guy not at all a thing. We’re done with all that cutesy flowery story, now here comes hot smexy times! Woo hoo! /o/ When I say hot, really hot. Boy, the couple is adventurous and the detailed drawings of Cinnamon Rub makes it more fantastic. It would have been flat though if not for the colorful personalities of the characters. By the time, I finish reading the story I was already grinning like crazy. If you can tell already, this is my not-so-secret favorite story in the entire book. XD
I’m thankful to the friend of mine who urged me to get this book as I totally loved it! I feel like the money I spent is so worth it. Kudos to everyone who created Hatsukoi from the authors, illustrators, and event organizers. Hope there will be Volume 2!
Note: Please excuse the LQ scans. Credit goes to all who made this book possible. 🙂