Thursday, June 21, 2012

Mini Manga Review: Kanjou Spectrum

Kanjou Spectrum
Author: Kou Yoneda
Libre Publishing
20 pages (Kindle Ed.)

Walking down the hall with his friend Nakaya, Kugou notices a boy looking their way. Interested, Kugou offers to help him get closer to Nakaya, but of course the situation becomes more complicated. (Source: MAL)

Boy likes boy. Boy is socially awkward. Boy somehow gets the other boy's best friend to help him out. Somehow, it ends up with two boys in love, despite the obstacles. Kou Yoneda is rather apt at cramming a whole lot of characterization and story into a one-shot that is absolutely delightful.

At 20 pages, there isn't a whole lot of room for conflict or plot, so Yoneda decides to focus on characters: the shy love-stricken Usui, the stubborn and romantically confused Kugou, and the goofball class favorite (and target of Usui's pining) Nakaya. And this is where the story really shines - in the interaction between these three young men. It is the heart of this story, especially when the three of them finally get scenes together and you can see their differing personalities get mixed up with all of their teenage hormones. Ah, young love.

My favorite character of them would definitely have to be Kugou. I really felt for Kugou; he was confused and struggled to find out how he really felt about the people he considered friends and the people he considered nuisances. His sudden relationship with Usui really transformed him into someone who could be loved and allow himself to love others, not just use them for physical relationships.

All in all, it was a wonderful and brief one-shot with some pleasant art, carefully crafted characterization, and adorable boys smooching it up in the end. And most important of all, it was so much fun to read! It's a Kindle-only release as far as I can tell, so you should definitely get your hands on one or download the Kindle program for the PC, buy it and read it (and then re-read it) as soon as possible.

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