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The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

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10/29/2008 Entry: "Yaoi Review: Barefoot Waltz"

Barefoot Waltz
Story and Art: Romuco Miike
Published by the Juné Imprint of Digital Manga, Inc.
ISBN-10: 1-56970-595-x
ISBN-13: 978-1-56970-595-7

Review by Kris

Barefoot Waltz by Romuco Miike is a one-shot collection. This is the last one-shot collection out of this round of Juné releases. Luckily in the next round there was only one one-shot collection.

The first one-shot story Barefoot Waltz, Come Here, and Summer Cold are the longest of the stories. Abe is an author and somewhat of a loner. At the beginning of the summer he always feel a bit sluggish and a young man takes up his thoughts by the name of Katsumi Nakahara. Two years ago Nakahara worked for the company that publishes Abe's work. When Nakahara had come to pick up the manuscript they had a night of sweaty sex. Now two years from that time Nakahara has shown up on Abe's step unable to get sensei out of his head. It seems Nakahara fell in love with Abe and has no where else to go.

In Good Sky Sunny Day Minori was once a track star but wound up injured. At that point he decided to become a photographer. Minori seems to be infatuated with pole-vaulter Yoshizaki. Feelings may be reciprocated. With Cowardly Hand Keii and Masashi have been friends for a while now. But when they were in school Masashi confessed his love to Keii. Keii was a bit freaked out. Masashi noticed that and told him it was only a joke. Now that they're older, I'm thinking that they are harboring strong emotions yet they are too chicken to do anything about it. We meet Rin and Keisuke in Goodbye, Winter Days. They started a relationship but in the back of their minds both Rin and Keisuke think that the other one is actually in love with mutual female friend of theirs.

Take My Hand deals with a guy with a love phobia. Kyousuke has the ability to cause girls around him to fight. It kind of scares him. When he went into the reference room to get some materials for class. But two students were getting it on in there and it caught him off guard. Morinaga, one of the students, seemed to be attracted to Kyousuke. Hmm…What Should I Do With This Love is a typical yaoi office romance. Uno is attracted to Kurokawa, one of his co-workers. He wants to improve his skills so he can feel confident in being by Kurokawa's side. I wonder, will it work?

I think I need to take a break from yaoi one shots. In some cases when I'm one-shotted out, if I find a truly magnificent one I'm able to over look the fact that it is a collection of one-shots. With Barefoot Waltz, it wasn't one of them. The only thing that really stood out for me was the beautifully drawn cover image on the dust jacket. I wasn't disappointed in Barefoot Waltz, it just didn't have the oomph it needed to get me excited about it. The stories were all a little too formulaic. The art in this volume is somewhat simple looking. It's not super detailed. It has kind of an unfinished look to it. It definitely is unique, but it doesn't really grab me. I liked it well enough but its not one that I would have gone out of my way to purchase. Of course Juné did a wonderful job in the presentation of the book. With the larger trim size and the full color dust jacket makes it very pleasing to the eye.

I'm not going to say whether or not you should read Barefoot Waltz but I'm pretty sure I probably won't read this manga as often as I read some of my other titles. If you read it, cool. If you choose not to read it, that's cool too. You aren't missing out on anything major.

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