Monday, November 09, 2009

Manga Monday: Beast Master

Beast Master (Volume 1)
Kyousuke Motomi
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Get past that whole S & M vibe going on on the cover of this book and you get a pretty sweet story, actually. Beast Master follows high school girl Yuiko Kubozuka, who loves animals. In a smother-them-to-death sort of way that gives Elmyra from Tiny Toons a run for her money. Which is why animals don't give her the time of day. But then a mysterious wild-eyed boy joins Yuiko's class in school, and she quickly befriends him, despite his similarities to a wild animal. Leo Aoi grew up in countries among natives and on uninhabited islands, so he's had to really learn to survive off of the land and doesn't really understand modern civilization very well, which is why everyone he meets is frightened of him, particularly his new class. But Yuiko isn't afraid, so he quickly takes a liking to her in one of the sweetest romances I've seen in a shojo manga in a long time. They learn a lot from each other. Yuiko believed that befriending Leo was like having an animal around that she could control - after all, she's like a sedative when he goes crazy at the sight of blood, the only thing that's able to get through to him. And she has to teach him a lot about how things work in the world, why people treat him the way they do, etc. But Yuiko see things from a different perspective eventually when she's in the shoes of the student and Yuiko teaches her how to bond with nature. One of my favorite things about this book is just how Leo reacts to things. I laughed out loud several times while reading this book, from things he says to the expressions on his face when discovering something like "fizz fizz," his name for soda. It's just a fun book and I'm looking forward to more.

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