Sublime Quick Takes: Liquor and Cigarettes and Fourth Generation Head: Tatsuyuki Oyamato

I’ve decided in the interest of clearing away some of my to-read manga stacks, I’m going to dedicate the month of February to BL and yaoi manga and do at least one extra post of mini reviews a week. I’m going to do a big giveaway at the end of the month with a selection of what I’ve read (however many manga I can fit into a flat rate priority box). So let’s take a look at some manga from SubLime.

Liquor and Cigarettes by Ranmaru Zariya

Camilo and Theo are childhood best friends who run family businesses across the street from each other in a quasi European setting. Theo sells liquor and Camilo sells cigarettes. Theo’s deep dark secret is that he’s secretly a lightweight who can’t tolerate alcohol. Camillo’s favorite hobby is propping his head in his hands and staring soulfully at Theo. When Camilo asks his lifelong friend to consider dating him, Theo isn’t sure, but he decides to throw himself into a quasi trial relationship while at the same time building up his alcohol tolerance so he can take part in a town wine festival. What follows is a series of booze and angst-filled nights as Theo struggles with his sexuality and Camilo attempts to win him over. The art is well-done and fluid, with distinct character designs. Liquor and Cigarettes is complete in one volume, and would be a good choice for yaoi fans who are wanting something short but explicit to read that also features a decent amount of character development, as both Theo and Camilo puzzle out how to take their relationship forward without the booze.

liquor and cigarettes

Fourth Generation Head: Tatsuyuki Oyamato By Scarlet Beriko

The cover for Fourth Generation Head: Tatsuyuki Oyamato shows a shocking lack of concern for basic gun safety. I can say that the cover certainly signals the content of the manga. Tatsuyuki Oyamato is an heir to a powerful yakuza family. He’s not that invested in his duties in organized crime, as he’s struggling to get over being dumped by a masseur. He ends up wandering around a city half-drunk and gets picked up by Koga Nozomi, a kindergarten teacher who recognizes Tatsuyuki from an incident in their past that Tatsuyuki has no memory of. A local mafia boss named Rogi is determined to make both Tasuyuki and Nozomi miserable, and his daughter attends the kindergarten where Nozomi works. One of the reasons why I tend to be only an occasional yaoi reader is that I don’t care for reading much about non-consensual sex. Rogi decides to hatch an elaborate blackmail scheme that involves sexual torture, and that wasn’t appealing to me as a reader. Trauma in general gets a pass in this manga, and Nozomi’s semi obsessive tendencies towards Tatsuyuki get mention and then glossed over. Beriko’s art is great, and Nozomi is appropriately adorable, but in the end, this was not a manga that inspired enthusiasm for me as a reader. While there is a happy ending of sorts, I do hope that the yakuza have a good mental health provider.

Fourth Generation Head

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