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Monday, June 8, 2015

Hide and Seek - Triple Play Yaoi Reivew - #yaoi #book review #yaya sakuragi #manga

Welcome to BRB, everyone! My book review is actually a triple play for this post. Since, I read all three volumes of Hide and Seek at once, in a matter of hours, I figured it would be appropriate to put them together in one post. 
To give you a little background, I was online a number of weeks ago hunting for yaoi (as I always say “Happy Yaoi Hunting”), with this desperate urge to read something different. I had a hankering to find a new mangaka  (well, new to me) and find one of his or hers more recent works. While snooping on Indigo and Amazon, Hide and Seek story and art by Yaya Sakuragi, kept popping up. Now, I’ll be honest, the book covers didn’t really appeal to me at first, not that the art is horrible or anything, but Yaya Sakuragi definitely has her own style of drawing, and I wasn’t sure whether I liked it or not. I read the BCB and reviews, hummed and hawed and then thought, what the heck. I took a chance, ordered all three and they arrived in less than a week. Normally, I’m leery when it comes to buying yaoi I haven’t previewed online, because I’ve taken risks before and several of the books were so horrible—I mean story and art—that felt like I wasted my money. But, thankfully, that wasn’t the case this time.

Hide and Seek Vol. 1 BCB
Shuji, a divorced single dad running a modest corner shop, has an easygoing attitude and an eye out for anything to break the boredom of his days. So when Saji, the serious, reserved pediatrician who’s been coming into his store, suddenly declares that he’s gay and wants to take Shuji home, Shuji goes along with it out of simple curiosity. He thought they’d just mess around, have some fun, and that would be that. But he gets a lot more than he bargained for in this story of opposites in love!

Takafumi goes to the store to buy toys, starts talking with Shuji, and Shuji happens to mention the boiler has broken down, so he can’t bath at home. And the doctor offers the use of his bathroom, and Shuji goes over to his house that evening. They talk and Shuji teases Takafumi, by telling him he can do whatever he wants. He’s never been with a man and is curious. They have sex and Shuji is blown away; basically, he becomes hooked. The good doctor is a great lay. And, of course, he starts to gradually develop feelings for Takafumi, sees him again, and they go on a date.
Okay, what made this yaoi absolutely wonderful: mature characters and an awesome romance. Period. Straight man Shuji has a great sense of humour and a willingness to try anything once, and the gay Doctor Saji, despite the fact he’s too serious and lacks confidence at times, really is a great guy. Both men need a little guidance, which they seem to provide for one another.


Hide and Seek Vol. 2 BCB
On a whim, shop owner Shuji Tanihara hooks up with reserved pediatrician Takafumi Saji. Shuji wasn’t expecting much from the fling, but after seeing an unexpected side of the serious doctor while out on a date, Shuji finds himself becoming more attracted to the man. When Shuji accidentally sees Takafumi kissing someone else, he’s surprised at how conflicted it makes him feel. To make matters worse, the doctor then tells Shuji that he won’t be able to see him for a while! Will the relationship that started as a fling finally deepen into something more?
In Hide and Seek Vol. 2 the plot thickens, as they say, when Shuji and Takafumi start to see more of one another. Feelings run a little deeper as they learn to navigate each other’s emotions and outside influences. Shuji, especially, has moments of difficulty, when he finally realizes he’s fallen in love with the doctor. And, of course, no plot would be complete without an antagonist. In which the “other man” enters the picture. Shuji and Takafumi make their mistakes, but seem to come out on top at the end.


Hide and Seek Vol. 3 BCB
Local shop owner Shuji Tanihara and neighborhood pediatrician Takafumi Saji are in a relationship, and what began as a mere fling has turned into love. Little by little, Shuji has grown accustomed to the relationship, but he can’t quite gauge how much he can open up to Takafumi, which troubles him. What will the future hold for these two men as they reach an important turning point in their lives? 

In the last volume Takafumi is in conflict with his grandfather due to his occupation; where he will continue to work and live, along with his emotions. The clinic he runs belongs to his grandfather, who is in the hospital. He wants to take over the clinic because he loves his job, but he also wants to stay close to Shuji. And for Shuji, he can’t bare the thought of the doctor leaving to work in another community beyond of his reach.

Hide and Seek is a spin-off from Bonds of Dreams, Bonds of Love, the story of Shuji’s best friend and Shinto priest Ryoemi, and his relationship with high school student Ao. Ryoemi makes a few brief appearances in this yaoi series. Honestly, I read Bonds of Dreams, Bonds of Love and a few other yaoi by Yaya Sakuragi and none of them were anywhere near as good as Hide and Seek.
This yaoi has everything: perfectly timed cliffhangers, in-depth and thoroughly endearing characters, the right amount of ups and downs, emotion and hot sex. Shuji and Takafumi are average guys living average lives that end up together on a whim, but what begins as curiosity soon becomes a serious relationship. In my opinion, Hide and Seek is this mangaka’s finest work to date. And, I don’t say this too often, but I’d love to see another volume with these two men, perhaps their life together five years down the road? Awesome! Five stars!

***News Flash—Now all of a sudden you can look inside yaoi manga on Amazon? When the hell did this happen? I thought due to content they’d never allow it.

Happy Yaoi Hunting!
Blak Rayne

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