• manga,  Uncategorized

    MANGA: Ginza Neon Paradise

    Ginza Neon Paradise – Unohana

    In 1940’s Japan during the war, long-time friends Aoi and Takahiko part ways as Takahiko is enlisted. For years, Aoi stayed in their hometown with the looming worry that his friend might not come back. He never received word from his friend and so he feared the worst. Now, Takahiko shows up all of a sudden and Aoi is not sure to what to make of this. Anger, relief, paid, all of these emotions overwhelm Aoi as he was certain his friend was gone because he never received a letter or any indication he was alive. Can the two reunite as friends or are they long past the point of friendship?

    Ginza Neon Paradise is a historical, childhood friends to lovers drama set in post-war Japan with flashbacks to the war time period.

    Aoi and Takahiko couldn’t be more different from each other. One was a serious bookworm who later became an interpreter for the American army, the other was a carefree womanizer who was disinherited by his grandfather.

    The two were separated when Takahiko was drafted. After 3 years of radio silence, the solder finally showed his face and was now an actor.

    I called Takahiko carefree but he’s really a callous good-for-nothing who trampled all over his friend. He lives with Aoi and frequently comes home smelling of booze and women’s perfume. He put Aoi through a wringer. The man was one of my least liked seme.

    I preferred the kind-hearted American Lieutenant Walter, Aoi’s boss, to the deadbeat Takahiko but alas, Aoi’s heart was forever loyal to his friend. Takahiko did redeem himself at the end. But barely. There was even a ridiculous fight because he was jealous about Lt. Walter’s attention towards Aoi. Tsk! What an ass.

    Unlikable love interests aside, this manga did a great job rendering a slow-burn, angsty, passionate love story amidst the backdrop of post-war Ginza. There were some liberties taken to eliminate homophobia but it retained most of the historical elements such as the bomb wreckage, poverty, shy interactions with the Americans, the glittering clubs, etc. My favorite part here was them walking around the city in the middle of the night just feeling the vibe. I always wanted to do that

    All in all, this a sepia-tinted homage to a district that never lost its luster.

    0
  • book,  Uncategorized

    SERIES REVIEW: The Elite by Brooke Blaine & Ella Frank

    The Elite: Danger Zone – Brooke Blaine & Ella Frank

    The Elite: Need For Speed – Brooke Blaine & Ella Frank

    The Elite: Classified – Brooke Blaine & Ella Frank

    They train to serve their country.
    They strive to be the best.
    But only a select few can be …
    The Elite

    * * *

    MATTEO MORGAN
    CALL SIGN: SOLO


    Reckless, arrogant, and bold, Solo is as known in the U.S. Navy for his bad-boy reputation as he is for his skills as a fighter pilot. It’s a surprise to his peers, then, when he’s chosen to train and compete at the most prestigious naval aviation academy in the world.

    MISSION RULES:
    1. Kick everyone’s ass.
    2. Do whatever it takes to win.
    3. Do your best to distract the competition.
    4. Especially when that competition is a gorgeous blue-eyed perfectionist who makes your blood run hot.

    * * *

    GRANT HUGHES
    CALL SIGN: PANTHER


    Disciplined, smart, and confident, Panther can’t afford not to play by the rules. As the son of a top Navy commander, all eyes are on him, and being anything less than number one is unacceptable.

    MISSION RULES:
    1. Keep it safe in the air.
    2. Prove you’re more than Commander Hughes’s son.
    3. No distractions. Stay focused.
    4. Don’t fall for your competition—especially not the rebellious heartbreaker with lips made for sinning.

    In the heat of the hot California sun, tempers flare and desires ignite as Solo and Panther try to resist their attraction while fighting to be number one.
    With passion this intense, the question remains:
    Who’s gonna come out on top?


    I was in grade school the last time I watched Top Gun so I never realized how gay it was until I saw the gifs. So gay that even if I couldn’t stand Tom Cruise, I had to ship Maverick and Iceman.

    When this series flew in my radar, halle-fucking-luyah!

    The Elite are the best of the best fighter pilots gunning for the number 1 spot. They compete for several grueling weeks. Top of the leaderboard are the reckless daredevil Matteo Morgan aka Solo, and by-the-book golden boy Grant Hughes aka Panther.

    To their fellow pilots, these two very different men were bitter rivals. Unbeknownst to all, Solo was doing his damnedest to get into Panther’s pants.

    Solo locked on to Panther the moment the other man walked into a bar right before their training began. Both were unaware of who the other was. The attraction was mutual but the closeted Panther turned him down. And continued to turn him down as their training progressed. Solo couldn’t be deterred.

    This is the part where Solo was annoying. I almost dropped the book because Panther had said no several times. Even if somebody was obviously interested, it’s still not cool to harass them when they already said no. I even expected him to get punched through his teeth. But the thing with Solo, he could be the most annoying bastard ever existed, you’ll still feel drawn to him (as Panther no doubt felt). And he was funny.

    Panther, on the other hand, exudes a tall, dark, commanding presence much like his namesake. He’s keeping cool under pressure but a certain relentless, out and proud pilot is making him to break all the rules.

    Panther and Solo, they are fire and kerosene. It’s like the authors took those palpable USTs from the movie and ignited them, bringing to life all those subtexts Hollywood was too cowardly to show explicitly. The tension continued to be intense from start to finish, fueled by the combustible energy between the MCs.

    There are three books in the series. It’s really one long story story chopped into cliffhangers. This style is a hit or miss in my experience. There’s the issue of lack of substance for the installments. Happily, each book in The Elite held solid weight, chronicling the evolution of Panther and Solo’s relationship and highlighting several conflicts and milestones.

    The Elite might primarily be romance but it definitely didn’t slack off on the action. It gave us all the breathtaking jet plane maneuvers, all the cocky attitudes, the smack talk, the constant one-up-manship, the homoerotic volleyball games, the sun, the beach, the adrenaline in land and air. Everything we loved about the movie but way, way better because these fighter pilots ride each other’s tail.

    This Top-Gun homage is a dream come true. Thank you Brooke Blaine & Ella Frank for making it happened.

    Rating:
    4.5 Stars – perfection is only half a step away

    Soundtrack: Dangerous Animals
    Artist: Arctic Monkeys
    Album: Humbug

    Soundtrack: High Speed
    Artist: Coldplay
    Album: Parachutes

    Soundtrack: Cool With You
    Artist: Hers
    Album: Songs of Hers


    If you like my content, please consider using my Amazon affiliate links below to get your copy of The Elite. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying Amazon purchases at no additional cost to you.

    You can also use my Bookshop affiliate links to buy paperbacks and MP3 CD audiobooks and help support independent bookstores.

    DANGER ZONE | NEED FOR SPEED | CLASSIFIED

    0
  • song,  Uncategorized

    SOUNDTRACK: Dangerous Animals by Arctic Monkeys, High Speed by Coldplay & Cool With You by Hers

    Soundtrack to The Elite: Danger Zone by Brooke Blake & Ella Frank

    Soundtrack to The Elite: Need for Speed by Brooke Blake & Ella Frank

    Soundtrack to The Elite: Classified by Brooke Blake & Ella Frank

    Dangerous Animals is the pursuit between Panther and Solo. High Speed is them going fast and relishing every minute of it. Cool With You is them settling comfortably into a nice pace.

    0
  • Uncategorized

    We don’t have to know
    Anyone at all
    Anyone at all
    Draw the blinds back slow
    Sun fades in the room
    Two begin to bloom

    Silk skin lovers danced
    With diamonds in their hands
    Diamonds in their hands
    We could feel like them
    Rarely would we ask
    Of things we used to have

    Is that cool with you?
    That I wanna call your name
    Is that cool with you?
    That I wanna call your name
    Is that news to you?
    That I wanna call your name
    Is that cool with you?
    That I wanna call

    We don’t have to go
    Anywhere at all
    Anywhere at all
    Bless our garden’s growth
    Ivy climbs the wall
    Heather in the fall

    Smoke-screen those who stand
    So righteous in our path
    That never thought to ask
    We’ll define what’s fair
    Oh baby they prefer
    Illusion to despair

    Is that cool with you?
    That I wanna call your name
    Is that cool with you?
    That I wanna call your name
    Is that news to you?
    That I wanna call your name
    Is that cool with you?
    That I wanna call

    I see their heads against the windows
    Breathing on the glass
    Dreaming of the day that they can finally relax
    If only this normality
    Belonged to more than fantasy
    It’s too much

    Well they’re hoping and faking
    They’re curled in disdain
    The flowers too tall for the table again
    But it’s alright, they called it faith

    Is that cool with you?
    That I wanna call your name
    Is that cool with you?
    That I wanna call your name

    0