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
This fall season's anime lineup has truly tapped into the fujoshi market. Learning how fans responded to "Free," fan service anime took over autumn. From the groundbreaking "Yuri on Ice" to satires like "Gakuen Handsome," the boys love genre expanded the market beyond just indulging fandoms, but giving substance to the main stream. As the fall season is starting to wrap up, we would like to share with you some of our favourites.
Yuri On Ice
"Yuri on Ice" first seems like just a figure skating anime with a typical sports plot where the protagonist fails at the beginning and works his way back up through a series of obstacles. This is not, however, not your typical sports anime. YOI is a show all about passion and inspiration. It builds up realistic relationships through every interaction that, man or woman, anyone can relate to these humane feelings and experiences. It has become a groundbreaking series by episode 7 where this "sports" labeled show pushed the boundary between teasing fanservice to full on relationship establishment with a simple passion induced kiss. The opening theme song sings about "making history" and the show is proving that both in the plot and in its fans. Ranking number one on all social media websites every Wednesday, "Yuri On Ice" has proven taking realistic character developments with beautiful animation quality is a sure fire way to win over all audiences.
Kiss Him, Not Me!
Based off the hit manga, "Kiss Him, Not Me!" is the fujoshi comedy of the season. The story revolves around the main character, Kae Serinuma, who is a full time otaku and fujoshi. When one of her favourite characters dies in their series, she falls into an extreme depression that causes her to loose a huge amount of weight. Now that she is skinny, pretty girl her classmates have started to notice her. Only problem, she would rather ship her suitors together than be with them herself! Kae sees herself as a spectator of romance rather than the main character. This anime is a delightful comedy told through the eyes of a fujoshi (and yes, we really do ship everyone 2D or otherwise).
"All Out!!" is another sports themed anime this season, focusing around a high school team of rugby players. Told through the eyes of a newcomer, Gion, the viewer gets thrown into the world of the muscular, rough sport of rugby. This one is not made as an obvious fanservice for the fujoshi life "Free" or "Yuri on Ice," but if you are a fan of baralicious men, your eyes will get their fill. The character designs are vast and varied, showing all sorts of body types and personalities. Fans of sports anime in general will definitely want to add this one on their list of must watch this season.
Beginning as BL doujin game, "Gakuen Handsome " translated perfectly to the mini episode satire series. Since last fall season, the "mini episode" (between 2 and 7 minutes long) series have always been a comedy hit. "Gakuen Handsome" pokes fun at every harem and yaoi stereotype you can think of. From their exaggerated features of pointy hair and chins, to the typical characters like the outlaw teacher and megane president, GH has it all. The low animation quality emphasizes the types of clichés they are making fun of. If you want a good laugh and have a few minutes to spare, add "Gakuen Handsome" to your fall anime list.
Be sure to catch up on all these great series and watch their exciting conclusions! Have a favourite we didn't mention? Tell us all about it in the comments below!