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* * * * *   October 27, 2010
Reviewer: Kimi-Chan

Despite the deceptively light and fluffy seeming stories revolving around the serving of cakes, the characters have a real depth to them that is unusual for this type of shojo manga. The personalities and back stories presented add a much needed gritty third dimension to the cast of characters, making this more than just another quick, disposable read to fill up an empty hour or two. Fans of the Boy's Love genre should note that while Ono is gay, the main thrust of the story is not about romance, Ono's or anyone else's, but the friendships and personal growth of the main characters and the satisfaction of customers they serve. That is not to say that Ono's sexuality is not a key ingredient here, as it is indeed. Seemingly played for laughs, thanks to his demonic charm it is a giggle at the irony he faces. Ono himself at times looks pained by his own memories and the curse of his charm as well as how the somewhat responsible Tachibana as he faces the results. So while it is a key ingredient, it is but one of the flavour undertones in this near perfect confection. The art here is quite lovely. The lines are simple, and clear yet elegant and the frames uncluttered. I quite like the delicate curvatures of the eyes and lips that Yoshinaga offers, and she makes excellent use of the subtle facial expressions that are possible to tell much more of the story than her prose alone. Unsurprisingly, this little shonen ai/ shojo mixture proved to be a huge hit in Asia before coming to the notice of publishers here. Fans of the genre will be delighted to know that there is an animated series based upon the books as well as a live action TV series and a live action Korean film,all of which are available to view subtitled (have a Google). Incidentally, this manga series not only won the Kodansha Manga Award for shojo manga in 2002, but in 2007 made the list of nominations for an Eisner Award. If all of that is not enough to convince you, I have one last ploy. Did I mention the cover features a strawberry torte and it is a scratch and sniff?

* * * * *   October 27, 2010
Reviewer: Kimi-Chan

Despite the deceptively light and fluffy seeming stories revolving around the serving of cakes, the characters have a real depth to them that is unusual for this type of shojo manga. The personalities and back stories presented add a much needed gritty third dimension to the cast of characters, making this more than just another quick, disposable read to fill up an empty hour or two. Fans of the Boy's Love genre should note that while Ono is gay, the main thrust of the story is not about romance, Ono's or anyone else's, but the friendships and personal growth of the main characters and the satisfaction of customers they serve. That is not to say that Ono's sexuality is not a key ingredient here, as it is indeed. Seemingly played for laughs, thanks to his demonic charm it is a giggle at the irony he faces. Ono himself at times looks pained by his own memories and the curse of his charm as well as how the somewhat responsible Tachibana as he faces the results. So while it is a key ingredient, it is but one of the flavour undertones in this near perfect confection. The art here is quite lovely. The lines are simple, and clear yet elegant and the frames uncluttered. I quite like the delicate curvatures of the eyes and lips that Yoshinaga offers, and she makes excellent use of the subtle facial expressions that are possible to tell much more of the story than her prose alone. Unsurprisingly, this little shonen ai/ shojo mixture proved to be a huge hit in Asia before coming to the notice of publishers here. Fans of the genre will be delighted to know that there is an animated series based upon the books as well as a live action TV series and a live action Korean film,all of which are available to view subtitled (have a Google). Incidentally, this manga series not only won the Kodansha Manga Award for shojo manga in 2002, but in 2007 made the list of nominations for an Eisner Award. If all of that is not enough to convince you, I have one last ploy. Did I mention the cover features a strawberry torte and it is a scratch and sniff?

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Just licensed by DMP!!

Title: DEADLOCK Vol.1
Author: Saki Aida, Yuh Takashina (英田サキ, 高階佑)
Publisher: Tokuma Shoten (徳間書店)

 

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