he sequel to "Falling Into love" focuses on the younger brother this time and his interpersonal relationships with his classmates, brother, and other models. It is a light hearted romp with a much different feel than the first volume however. The first volume had two dynamic protagonists, and sadly we don't get this here. What we get is a rather sweet, naïve sort of boy whose air headedness an lack of self awareness stands in strong contrast to his capabilities as a housekeeper, cook, and general modelling assistant. He is a likeable character though, with a sunny and generous disposition that raises a smile. Kazuto is his polar opposite. Often sullen, scheming, and seemingly selfish, he is rather hard to empathise with at first until we come to understand that he too is a man obsessed with Tomohito, as Tomohito is the bane of his existence. Ryou, the object of his affections, is oblivious to the great importance of anyone BUT Tomohito. Tomohito the talented, Tomohito the cool, Tomohito...Kazuto's big pain in the butt. To gain Ryou's actual full attention, he decides he must topple Tomohito from his pedestal, and this is the crux of all his behaviour. Anyone who has been in the company of an obsessed fan can relate...the talk is non-stop Tomohito! The plot is a bit more formulaic than her first offering in this short series, but her spin on it is still decidedly refreshing. I quite enjoyed how her stories show the tedium of the actual modelling job that is quite separate from the snippets of glamour the industry peddles. Likewise, the cut throat nature is well portrayed, something that no doubt will strike a chord with viewers who watch such shows as "Top Model". With Ryou torn between helping his friends succeed in the modelling world while supporting his brother as THE top model, what happens as he grows up and realises that loyalties can get torn when one must choose between a beloved brother and a lover? Is Kazuto going to be out of luck, and will Hisashi have to put up with being the third wheel in his relationship with Tomohito? Stay tuned, as these models are anything but as cool as they appear; their inner flaws are exposed and explored with great delight. While the story may not hit the same extraordinary high notes that we got in the first volume, the art certainly does. Once more we get crisp clean lines that readily impart the elegance of her models as well as the sweet boyish innocent charms of Ryou. Her prose is definitely as polished, flowing almost conversationally so that the reader is engrossed immediately upon reading the very fist page. This is just as well, as it is a longer tale than the first, and this volume does not contain any filler manga tales to bulk it out. This paperback is, like its predecessor, an imprint of Digital manga's 801 Media line, so carries an 18+ rating due to very explicit sexual content. The sexual situations are natural progressions of the plot however, so not there for mere titillation. You do however, get quite the eyeful, so if you tend to be shy about these matters, this is definitely not one for you.
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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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