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The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

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04/19/2008 Archived Entry: "Yaoi review: Camera Camera Camera (volume 2)"

Camera, Camera, Camera (volume 2)
Story and Art: Kazura Matsumoto
Published by the Juné Imprint of Digital Manga, Inc.
ISBN-10: 1-56970-758-8
ISBN-13: 978-1-56970-758-6

Review by Cat

And has volume 2 finally helped me to see the Light? Hm ... well.

After a scary experience and a heart-to-heart chat with his brother Satoru at hospital, Akira Togawa decides to throw caution to wind and reveals his feelings to Nakahara.

Now I can handle a story with a big cast, but not when it's not handled well. It jumps from one character to another seemingly randomly and at times, suddenly. And as a two-volume story, it at times feels disjointed, which is frustrating because it's obvious that there's a good story in there somewhere. I feel it's the poor storyboard design ~ or rather, storytelling ~ that lets it down.

Towards the end of volume 2, it's finally started to flow easily. As if mangaka Matsumoto had found her pace. Unfortunately by the time I got used to the flow, the story ended. Tsk.

It's unusual enough to hold my attention, but it's a little too disjointed for me to enjoy it thoroughly. It also isn't quite what a shounen-ai/yaoi reader would expect. It's a dialogue-heavy story that revolves around Togawa's struggle to understand his feelings towards Nakamura who's pretty mixed up as well.
There is a bit of a mystery that deeply affects Nakamura, which brings the ghosts of the past into the present. Arika has to learn to deal with his feelings about all this.

Either way, volume 2 flows a lot better than volume 1, even though there's less focus on Akira and Nakahara's developing relationship than it is in volume 1. In actual fact, Nakahara doesn't feature that much in volume 2. Which is kinda strange if I think about it.

I think Camera Camera Camera is more about following Akira's journey into some kind of madness self-discovery than about his relationship with the maddeningly mysterious Nakahara.

I didn't quite like the ending because ... I'm not too sure, to be honest. Three reasons, I suppose.
1) I feel that Nakahara has basically created "Nakahara Part 2" out of Akira.
2) during Nakahara's absence, Akira's - judging by his actions in Maki's story Natsu Yasumi (Summer Holiday) - taken it much further than Nakahara ever did.
3) there's nothing wrong with the ending, really, but it's left me feeling dissatisfied without knowing why.

Again, production-wise, volume 2 is great. Not heavy nor stiff; easy and comfortable to handle whilst reading. I'm determined that the day I feel particularly brainy is the day I re-read both volumes because I know there's a good story lurking in there somewhere, dammit.

Even so, readers who're more flexible or with fewer expectations of how the two-volume story might go will enjoy it more.

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