Sairuiu – Hoko
This is a collection of short one- or two-chapter stories, each with a fairly off-beat nature and quite idiosyncratic art
Story 1 (Chapters 1-2) : Closing Day
Two guys become fast friends due to their mutual love for gaming, until one of them begins to want something else entirely…
Story 2 (Chapter 3) : The Voices of Cicadas
Due to his deep-rooted fear of abandonment, Iwasaki has always preferred ‘easy’ relationships with married men looking for a quick lay, so as to ensure that the ‘inevitable’ breakup will be “fast, clean, and peaceful,” since there’s no chance that he’ll come to expect genuine love from the other party. Needless to say, this seemingly foolproof plan has one major flaw…
Story 3 (Chapter 4 ): Chocolate Soldier
Why do people try so hard to obtain things, when simply watching should be enough?
Story 4 (Chapter 5) : Laundream
Clumsy but hard-working, overworked Amamiya has been losing sleep for days, and finally manages to catch a nap while waiting at the laundromat.
Story 5 (Chapter 6) : To Hate Without Trying
Kubota, who’s never been married, has an odd propensity for turning down prospective wives on the grounds that they love eating taiyaki, which he claims to hate. But what’s the true story behind his strange aversion to such a popular and delicious food?
Story 7 (Chapter 8) : Together, Hand in Hand
Revisiting the boys from Chocolate Soldier, as high school graduation grows near.
This is one of the best but sadly underrated gems out there!
Closing Day + Spring Storm: Those intense subtle feels that made grown men cry.
The Voices of Cicadas: Deep-rooted fears, a weirdo in weird glasses and an illicit affair that has run it’s course…Cue the ugly crying.
Chocolate Soldier + Together, Hand in Hand: A young boy’s unrequited love for a boy pining for the school nurse. Sweet and full of longing.
Laundream: A melancholy story of if-onlys and what-could-have-beens with a gutwrenching twist. I bawled like a baby.
To Hate Without Trying: Two salarymen and their oden rendezvous oh so slowly come to terms with their long-buried feelings. Took them long enough.0
The Dichotomy of Angels – N.R. Walker
Nathaniel and Chasan are no ordinary angels.
Destiny chose them to be twin flames, fated mates. But Nathaniel has avoided Chasan for nearly a thousand years.
When sent to Earth on a mission to live and work together, Nathaniel comes face-to-face with his destiny. Short-tempered, petulant, and grumpy, he hates the idea of being fated to anyone and has chosen an existence of isolation rather than spending time with the calm, kind, and serene Chasan. But now he has no choice.
One is fire, the other is air; a true dichotomy of angels. Together they will be ignited, or they will be extinguished. This assignment will seal their fate either way.
Let it be known that all of Heaven speaks with an Australian accent. It is in the business of saving souls.
Angels are just your regular hard working salarymen assigned to different departments, sometimes to walk among the humans. Saint Peter is in charge. He is their manager. The bosses were all the pantheons known to humanity. They were simply known as ‘Upper Management’.
The most notorious department is the Hell department where the screams of the damned were absorbed by a machine and turned into tennis balls for dogs. The overseer of Hell is the Angel of Fire named Nathaniel.
Nathaniel is always angry. No, not just angry. He “wears his rage like an armor” . He is also stubborn, prone to anxiety, and has a tendency to smite. He wears black. His wings are burnt umber. He is beloved by dogs everywhere.
Chasan is the Angel of Air. He has a cool, calm, serene presence. He sees the good in everything and has a smile for everyone. He wears white. His wings are white with ice blue tips. He is full of heartache.
Because the Angel of Fire and the Angel of Air were fated to one another. They were twin flames, a phenomena that happened once in a lifetime among beings who lived forever. But Nathaniel condemned Chasan to a life of loneliness by wanting to be alone by himself.
This is a story of two opposite beings who were made for each other yet stand apart. Where angels questioned their faith and received answers from humans. Where they get drunk, eat takeouts, play with baby goats, teach twenty 4-year-old hellions and sing Octopus’ Garden. Where blood was shed and things come full circle. And most important of all, it is a story where all dogs do indeed go to heaven.
Let it be known that Heaven is whatever you deserved it to be.
N.R. Walker is author of some of the best gay romances out there. Read reviews of her books here.
4.5 Stars – perfection is only half a step away0
I’m listening close to every word that you speak
Don’t try to blame the things that bring you down, just see
I’m on your side and counting down the days to be
Right beside you when you sleep and when you dream
All of your rage behind and realize it’s me
Hold on before I’m gone ‘cause one day we will need
Someone to understand the things that make us free