The great strength of Teahouse is the beautiful full color art by Emirain. The back grounds are lush and the characters frequently solid. The male character designs far out strip the female character designs which is something I've noticed a lot of yaoi artists fall victim to. But the writing is mediocre. The characters are one dimensional. So far each character has one personality trait which doesn't make for a compelling read. There is stoic Xanthe, consummate professional Linneus, rebellious Axis, angsty crown prince Rhys who frequents the Teahouse brothel but NO ONE RECOGNIZES (he doesn't even disguise himself- I don't understand how no one can recognize the crown prince of their own country!), Rory the virgin who is perhaps the most forgettable character because his sole personality trait (being a virgin) is taken buy chapter 2 or three, clutzy Claret, bitchy bitch Lilith (OMG! her name is so original!), and pervy Mercutio. There are other equally anemic characters but no need spend another paragraph describing them (not that it would take long). I don't know how long the Teahouse Brothel would last in real life with only 5 incredibly unprofessional whores. I would like to recommend this book, I really would! It's just so darn pretty! But the writing chops just aren't there. In the space of about 3 chapters the book covers every yaoi cliche (they aren't even elevated to tropes as the author doesn't make them her own)I've ever read with the happy omission of rape as a foundation for a lasting relationship, although that may be just around the corner. The plot is safe, middle of the road, nonthreatening yaoi and that is the best I can say about it. BUT, there is room for vast improvement. The artwork, if coupled with a script and plots that were it's equal, would be BLOWING MINDS. Perhaps the first 3 chapters are just a set up for something deep and vast. Or maybe it's just pretty to look at. Time will tell.
Teahouse, which began as a Web comic, became a bit of sensation for having *far* above average art; let's be honest - it's gorgeous to look at. To be fair, that's one of its criticisms as well: it's just gorgeous to look at, especially as the men are modeled after your typical yaoi bishounen. People complain that this is cliche or tired - as someone who unabashedly loves her yaoi bishouen, I don't mind riding this dead horse until it drops dead from exhaustion, especially when the men are drawn by such a talented artist. Still, if that's not your cup of tea, don't let that hold you back from Teahouse. Is the plot spectacular? Well, I'm not sure - it's in its infancy, so there's much to come, but after just the first chapter, it had me hooked. Do I enjoy soap opera, character relationship webs in which drama and sexuality clash for tension-filled panels? Nope. Is that what Teahouse is? Yep, and I think that speaks to some of its power - it's downright charming and gripping, and it manages to make you care about the cast, which is quite large, right from the get go. I did *not* expect to like Teahouse - I can't tell you how many times I visited the site, thinking, "Hm, not today" until I finally read it and was completely snared. Rather than label the characters as one-dimensional, I think Teahouse has smart pacing. The Web comic only updates once a week, so the writer/artist have limited time to hook the reader and demonstrate who this *large* cast of characters is, and I think they've done a really successful job. Yes, you can identify each character by a single trait, but as the comic has marched forward, slowly but surely, they've become more fleshed out with backstory and plot development, just like any series. It's, by far, my favorite yaoi Web comic. So, why four stars? Because I can't give it 4 and a half! Check it out online for free, and if you like it, be sure to buy the volume...for the extras. The extras are totally worth it.
this is a must have for fangirls and yaoi fanboys alike it's not a traditional yaoi but the story focuses on the multiple characters in this one setting which is a whorehouse in which i find unique. the artwork and coloring is goregous and the story line is a bit soap-oprea but hey who cares when there are hot guys and girls to gawk at if you wanna see more of teahouse, i recommend visiting thier official website they upload thier pages every Wednesday sometimes Thursday morning and trust me the shop section is worth it they sell things you will never find anywhere else!
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