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Staff Awards

STORM OF LOVE
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STORM OF LOVE

Posted on June 28th / Genre: Yaoi

STORM OF LOVE
staff Yaoi
The bottom in this is so charming and confident and glamorous! In contrast, the top's all stubborn and refuses to acknowledge his own feelings. When you put the two of them together, you can practically feel the sparks fizzling away between them! I've read a lot of yaoi in my time, but I've never encountered anything quite like this...
Let's start with the art. It's absolutely gorgeous, with smooth lines and almost translucent characters. The way the author draws surprised and embarrassed expressions is amazing - I could look at them all day!
The setting and story match the art perfectly, too. It's like everything is exactly where it's meant to be, and you get totally drawn in to the characters' world. The way they go from being taken with one another, to admitting their true feelings, to finally getting their happy end filled my heart to bursting.
But, the best thing of all is the characters themselves! The bottom is the star of the kabuki theater, and he definitely wins all the awards in my book. He's so, so beautiful... *swoon* I like how the top's all straight-laced, but is actually kind of an airhead. It's super cute! This manga is just... Yeah. Time to go read it a few more times... (Posted by Yao)
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ALESSANDRO'S PRIZE
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ALESSANDRO'S PRIZE

Posted on June 21st / Genre: Harlequin

ALESSANDRO'S PRIZE
staff Harlequin
I find myself reaching for these types of stories from time to time - the ones where the broken-hearted heroine decides to turn her back on love and just when she tries to convince herself that there's no point to relationships... boom! Yes, you guessed it. A handsome guy conveniently appears to sweep her off her feet! The protagonist of this manga, Lily, catches her fiancé cheating on her and decides to start a new life in Italy, where her aunt lives. Lily's parents had passed away, her lover betrayed her... and on top of that, she's reunited with a despicable playboy, Alessandro, who tried to steal her first kiss years ago! She tries (not so) hard to remember that he's terrible and the last thing she needs after a breakup but she can't help but notice his eloquence, talent and the tender way he treats her aunt (who is also Alessandro's benefactor). Lily decides to pour everything into work but Alessandro has no plans on giving up... and just then her ex-fiancé turns up to stir the pot even more. The tension never lets up! I guess we all like to be told that life gives second chances at love and terrible experiences can all be part of destiny that leads to a magical encounter with a prince/princess of your dreams! This is a very feel-good story in the end so I recommend reading it if you're feeling a little down. Or actually, any time is a good time to read some Harlequin manga! (Posted by Quin)
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THE SERIOUS CASE OF MR. LEONHARD'S DYSFUNCTION
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THE SERIOUS CASE OF MR. LEONHARD'S DYSFUNCTION

Posted on June 14th / Genre: Spicy

THE SERIOUS CASE OF MR. LEONHARD'S DYSFUNCTION
staff Spicy
It's incredibly refreshing to have a dose of comedy on top of your spicy manga! This week's pick is one of my favorites! Through a series of misunderstandings and miscommunication, Haruka ends up almost being devoured (not literally, of course) by a very handsome foreigner named Mr. Leonhard. My favorite parts are delivered through his interpreter and butler, A.J., who also happens to be quite handsome (of course). The banter between Haruka, Mr. Leonhard, and A.J. really set the tone and make this a breath of fresh air compared to other series and their heavy doses of love and seriousness. I'm sure you can tell from the title what Mr. Leonhard's "dysfunction" is, haha. If this was a super serious manga, the premise would be really weird, but as a comedy, it completely works! The series is still going on (even in Japan) but it's actually based on a novel. One of these days, I'm going to get tired of waiting for the next chapter to come out and just go read the novel... (Posted by Pepper)
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LOVE LABORATORY
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LOVE LABORATORY

Posted on June 7th / Genre: Sweet

LOVE LABORATORY
staff Sweet
This is a nice little anthology containing three different stories. The second story is about a Japanese woman and an Englishman, and the third story is a super-short one about two students. Both of them are pretty decent, but the first story is the main and best one. It's about two members of a school science club. The guy, Shuu, is a sadistic genius who's constantly trying out his latest wacky inventions on Minato, the unfortunate female lead. There's plenty of humor and the art is clean and crisp, like all of Yuuki Hinase's work. There're also a lot of spicy scenes if you're into that sort of thing. To be honest I wasn't that keen on Shuu at first because he was a little too pushy, but he redeems himself later on in the story (especially in the last chapter). I also really liked the scene at the end which shows the happy couple xx years in the future. (Posted by Candi)
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