I”m going to take you back to a simpler time, when my jokes made some sense and I actually had a semblance of a schedule, to remind you of that time I talked about Yaoi. More specifically the forgettable Alone in My King's Harem by Lily Hoshino. I mention that book again because Night Circus section of that book is still pretty great. Oh, and because today’s subject,My Only King, is yet another collection of yaoi shorts by the same manga-ka.
My Only King drops the more fantasy based art and feel of Alone in My King's Harem(AMKH) in favor of a more realistic feel. All the stories take place in what can be considered the real world outside of the last story which is more fantasy like. It seems to be the opposite of AMKH,which ended with the more real life based Flesh chapters. My Only King carries over some of the other titles problems while also improving on a few. The art is still down right beautiful even if the uke characters are even more girly than before. It lacks the dream like aspect that kept the first book from being totally forgettable but in turn improves the story telling quality to an extent. My Only King manages to give the stories some more depth and delivers a more solid collection.
The book begins with the titular story that takes up half of the book's eight chapters. The plot is a a simple set up with a normal guy getting the a crest meant for a king of another world and the boy sent to find it. The set-up is rather interesting and the whole time I felt like it was establishing a world with it's own rules for magic. Then it does nothing with it,apparently just an excuse to get our two leads into some mildly steamy kissing. This could have been so much more,the world and characters are there to make this into a half way decent comedy or even action series. Heck,this would have been a perfect way to start a reverse magical girlfriend show. Nope they kissed so might as well call it a day. What's that about magical crests,probably not important. It's a fine story but it wastes it's potential in an infuriating way.
Twinkle Twinkle Horoscope and The Ghost in the Bath take the idea that brevity is best and run with it. The former concerns a boy recently broken up with falling in love with his male friend. As the story plays out the boys are in a constant struggle with why they are exactly doing this,mind you mostly through sub text. Are the boys using each other to stop their own loneliness or just using the pretext of the horoscope to make the love they have acceptable in there mind. It ends after a kiss,which seems to be a connector for these stories. This is probably one of the stronger stories and the uke actually looks like a guy and not just a rejected Prunus Girl lead
The Ghost in the Bath sort of comes and goes so fast that I'm not sure what quite went on. A business man is haunted by a ghost possessing his bathtub. It plays out like a scene from a much larger work yet manages to feel like a complete work in way. The scene is the two talking about how they came to this and what there feelings are. It's adorable and feels like it could be expanded if the manga-ka wanted to. However it feels like a complete story regardless. The fourth story Mixed Chocolate is an extra episode to another series not featured in the book and is short and fluffy. Not worth talking about due to lack of knowledge and depth so I'll skip to the final stop,King and Rune.
This one is the second longest and while going with a three way relationship between two guys and a girl leaves no impact asides from some minor squik factor. We watch the main boy grow up as he is sold off again and again by a king he claims to hate. Yet he keeps getting sent back to the king's home to see an albino girl who no one wants to buy. However the eventual pairing ends up with the two guys together-in a yaoi manga,shocking I know-with the girl being a platonic third party. The younger boy's actions are trying to vilify the king so he doesn't have to admit the loves him and the king plays along with it. However once they do do the deed, it has this squiky feeling of raising yourself a young husband. It's not too bad and the actual relationship dynamics are interesting. It's saved from being the weakest story by Mixed Chocolate but even if it was it's still pretty great.
So another set of stores that were beautifully drawn with most of them on about the same level as Night Circus. It is a marked improvement outside of the Mixed Chocolate story that is rather out of place. It's an interesting collection that is more focused on the love aspect and not just sexy boy/boy action. Definitely worth checking out unless you have some personal vendetta against yaoi.
Till Next Time:Stay Positive