I'm delighted to have found this manga. With Kiss Your Hair, Duo Brand has presented a generous portion of very engaging and well-paced one shots with a refreshing variety.
The art is fairly classic yaoi, but I was stricken by the attention to anatomical details and the world building, which was quite sumptuous. The diverse collection of settings and characters each seem very carefully considered and well developed, so the stories feel immersive despite their short length.
The spicy scenes are the most expressive of all, though not exactly explicit in the traditional sense. The prurient among us will find plenty to love in this volume, while the more modest will be plenty able to enjoy the stories without being forced out of their comfort zone. This balance is quite a feat, and Kiss Your Hair accomplishes it admirably.
Kiss Your Hair provides glimpses into an impressive variety of genres. Here we see historical, yakuza, sports, fantasy, school life, and more; not to mention the skillful combination of genres I would have thought to be unlikely bedfellows. From a personal standpoint, many of my favorite tropes are represented to a very satisfying end, such as forbidden love, addiction, blossoming youth, infectious magic, and an artist X model relationship to make Nin proud.
In genres of another sort a reader can expect butler, beard, and hair moe, bondage, voyeurism/exhibitionism, and an examination of childhood sexual awakening, among plenty of others. To indulge the cliché, Kiss Your Hair seems to have a little something for everyone. There is even a prose story at the end which I enjoyed just fine, considering that I usually can't stand those. The story which caps off the collection is easily the weakest part (probably because in a prose piece it is much more difficult to ignore the embarrassingly unrealistic sexual mechanics found in yaoi), but it's hardly enough to detract from the overall quality.
Kiss Your Hair stood out to me among all the yaoi I've read as a meditation on the various motivations behind sexual involvement. From love to lust to money to obligation and so on, these characters all have their own reasons and they're all interesting. It is a welcome respite from the cookie cutter story found in so many of the BL books available. I was genuinely impressed with this piece. I will read it many times and I would recommend it to anyone. My only complaint is that I cannot buy it in print and put it on my shelf; hopefully I will be able to someday, it certainly deserves it!
Review By: Dot Ringo