Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Scanlation Get: Koi Kaze

Koi Kaze by Motoi Yoshida is this week's title. If you haven't heard about this title before, it's about incest. If you already feel uncomfortable stop reading now. Before I read the manga my strongest memory of Koi Kaze was at a Otakon where Geneon (which I think was still Pioneer at the time, damn that was like forever ago...) they announced they were releasing this title in the U.S.. They also showed a promo trailer for it. I remember sitting next to my friend going “What the fuck are they thinking?” My friend was just as baffled. From all accounts the anime version of this bombed pretty hard in the U.S.. I've never really understood the Japanese fascination with banging your sister (or in some cases and perhaps more creepy your daughter). Some things I can make some sense from other culture references, but this is something I can't make heads or tails of. Especially at the pervasive level the topic has in anime.

All that being said, I have to say this title is really good. It manages to take a topic that is pretty squeamish for most and make it an entertaining and delightful read. Perhaps it is the fact the story starts out with a brother and sister who haven't seen each other in over ten years and don't realize that they are related when they first meet. Also it might help that the characters actually both feel a bit bothered by the whole thing themselves. The story is written in a very slice of life style and focuses in on the characters emotions and personal relationships. The feelings pour out of the page as if you could feel them yourself.

The art is a delightful change of pace with a light breezy style with a lot of sketchy lines. It really helps make the story feel more warm and relaxed. Everyone is drawn more “realistically” in the sense that while no one is ugly they are also not smoking hot. It has a very cute style to it but doesn't fit the moĆ© by todays standards.

Koi Kaze is defiantly not for everyone, incest is a squeamish and taboo subject. What makes this title special is the fact that it handles it so well. It is told in a very mature manner and never gets in the realm of tasteless as is often the case in stories involving this subject matter. What make this title so remarkable are the very strong character interactions. Everyone is relatable in some matter and the emotions while high are still on a very natural level. For those who are up for it, this is a surprisingly captivating read.

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