Monday, May 19, 2008

Manga Monday: The Moon and the Sandals

The Moon and the Sandals (Volume 1)
Fumi Yoshinaga

The Moon and the Sandals is a yaoi manga from the creator of the excellent Antique Bakery. The book follows a young intimidating student, Kobayashi, who has a crush on a new young teacher, Mr. Ida. The initial chapter is a nice little story about the two of them confronting their feelings about one another. After this, the book sort of follows each of them in alternating chapters and scenes, where they often meet up with one another, but not always. New characters come into the fold, particularly Toyo Narumi, the beautiful arrogant boy who tutors Kobayashi in English, and both Kobayashi and Ida learn about love and life on their own and through each other. The art isn't quite as refined in this book as it is in Antique Bakery, but it's still really elegant and pretty. There are genuinely erotic moments amid the soap opera, and there's a generally cheerful feel to the book overall. I can't say that there's much to the characters, even with flashbacks that explain how they act the way they do, but the chemistry and silly interactions between the small cast makes each character enjoyable in the end, even if the emotions aren't necessarily heart-felt in a few of the scenes when Yoshinaga clearly intends to tug at the readers' heartstrings. But The Moon and the Sandals is certainly worth a look when all is said and done. It's probably one of the better yaoi titles I've read, although that's not saying much really, as I can't say there's ever been one that's blown me away. For a light, fun read, however, this does the trick.

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