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Intelligent and impressive
While perhaps not for those who like their yaoi to be sweet and pleasing, J no Subete is a dark and challenging read. For a start, this is an amazingly well researched piece. Sometimes, I found myself forgetting that I was reading a manga from the extensive American pop culture references and knowledge. I found myself learning about the fifties, and from what I can tell, the setting of this manga was historically accurate and the American ambience of this work actually added to the quality, rather than being an annoying extra. J's traumatic past is not brushed under the carpet, and the effects of this are clear to see, with the protaganist's strange and sexual behaviour. This manga could almost be taken as a scathing critique of all that is wrong with the yaoi industry: J's incestuous relationship with his father is not 'played for laughs' or viewed as normal and the characters who take advantage of J are not portrayed sympathetically. Rightfully so. The character of Rita was also an enjoyable addition to this manga, in my opinion. She is probably the most understandable and likeable characters in the book, she denies the woman-in-yaoi stereotype and in a way I found myself wishing that she could be with J, although it was obviously not going to happen. In summary, J no Subete is an epic of a manga, devoted to its characters and their backstories throughout. Nakamura truly writes a masterclass in intelligent yaoi, leaving the genres shallower counterparts in the dust.
Because is necesary to clear this
Barairo no Hoo no Koro was completed AFTER J no Subete, (as in publication, not scanlations) as a means to explain Andrew and Paul's relationship. But, since the scanlations of Barairo no Hoo no Koro were done before this one, I would recommend to read first this one and later that one, or you'll be lead to believe there's some hope/root for PaulxAndrew and that will get in the way of reading this work and fully enjoying it. Also, for the commenter below, this manga is called All about J for a reason.
Really well done, but...
I really enjoyed all of the stories connected to this piece. It came off as deep, sentimental, and moving without the unnecessary comic relief. I feel that not every story has to be (or should be) cute or loveable in BL. It can be dark, angsty, poignant, and "real" like this was.
I liked this mangaka's storytelling, even if I wasn't that impressed with the art (Though, in some shots, "She-J" looked amazing). My only gripe was the Paul/Andrew relationship.
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
I was utterly disappointed in how that turned out. It seemed as if the mangaka fell in love with J and let everything and everyone revolve around him, which was a major disappointment since I felt as though we were led to believe that Paul and Andrew would eventually find their way to one another, or at the very least, would acknowledge any feelings they once had and get proper closure. I didn't dislike J or his story, but I DID dislike how the characters we were introduced to first were just romantically dismissed.
But I'm sure that's how the mangaka intended it since this is an angst-driven work.
... Last updated on October 26th, 2012, 6:48am
The reason I love this work is the reason I love most of Nakarmua Asumiko's dark works over her fluff works (not to say I don't like them, but her dark works are just more satisfying for me as a reader), she does not laugh off a serious situation. In BL it's common to gloss over or make funny an issue that should be taken with more severity. For instance in J no Subete, J is a cross dresser and perhaps Trans. He isn't a cross-dresser because he is envious of woman, he isn't a cross-dresser because he needs to be comedic relief in the series, it's because this is the form in which he can express himself best and may relate to the issue of being trans here (it is mentions in the manga but in a lot more caustic tone by the people around J). As for the incestuous relationship between J and his father, she is perhaps addressing the carefree tone of incest in BL (like Papa to Kiss in the Dark). It is not always something to gloss over; it is sometimes a severe crime on a child who does not realize the seriousness of the situation. I say that the child dose not acknowledge because in J no Subete, we as the reader are supposed to know that the situation is far from loving, but J in the first volume dose not view it in such light. In volume 2 J seems to acknowledge the situation in a different light, how ever.
I do believe she is taking these approaches with purpose because of other BL points she's made in her dark works, like in Double Mint. Double Mint has the kind of BL trope of one partner continually chasing the other regardless of how badly they're treated. But instead of laughing off the situation at the end where the two have finally gotten a hold of being together and one of the two still exhibit spurts of aggression, we have an example where the manga itself acknowledges the dysfunctional of the relationship and although the two characters do end up together, as the audience, we are aware of the dissatisfaction and abuse. We are aware of the serious repercussions of this relationship.
With all of this said, manga is something that is, for some, a way to enjoy a suspension of disbelief that is kinder then reality. Confronting these issues with such a serious tone maybe off putting and conflict with what some likes in manga and are seeking. I enjoy the confrontation and the respect that Nakamura Asumiko brings to these tropes and to the genre in general, but to each there own.
Nakamura Asumiko has a knack for weaving dark tales and this is one of them. It's emotional and twisted and most importantly, deep. I have quite enjoyed it, though I admit the last couple chapters of volume two really made me feel for J and Rita.
It's just Nakamura-sensei doing what she does best.
dark story, not to my liking
i never liked the cross-dressing them. it's something i can't grow to like yet, i just can't bring myself to accept this thing and that's why it felt weird to read this story. plus, i rooted for the andrewxpaul couple from Barairo no Hoo no Koro and that's why i didn't like this story at all. It was like seeing morinaga from koisuru boukun getting together with his ex from highschool when we all know what a great couple he is with senpai. i found that disturbing...
Okay so I read the first volume of this story yet I can't find volume two or three and I really don't lile looking at the raws since I can't understand them, so please can someone summarize the ending for me? Because I hate starting a story and never getting to know how it ends.
Well, well, if you can't stomach this, don't try.
Like what narufan1st said, this is not pure sugar and pointless fluff. The storyline is actually very compelling. I really love it,
The characters from the prequel appear and it's quite surprising to see how they aged and changed. I like J, he's very out-there and loose. Morgan is still awesome. Paul...well he has his issues. However, it doesn't make me hate J, it's kind of sad to see him go through such a stage. :/ He's very seductive and pursues his desires. But that doesn't create a good reputation for him.
The art certainly changed for the better or worse I think it's based on individual's taste, but I think it enhanced its sultriness XDD the sex scene were erotic and filled with an elegant feeling inside. The rape was horrible and it displayed it like so.
Overall, this manga made me cry a little, so I'm giving it a 10. XD And later on, things get kind of crazy...
... Last updated on August 1st, 2012, 7:23pm
No I don't like it at all The prequel is way way better to me I hate dark stories like this not gothic just dark with no comedy or loveable,cute characters.the art is also not as good as the prequel and the story is messed up in my opinion. Read at your own risk
I really like sensei's style of drawing, and how realistic her work seems. However, I don't really know how to rate this one, it was a bit shocking, even for me (and i'm a person who takes manga incest pretty lightly). Maybe I took the story too seriously.. who knows, but it's interesting nevertheless.