• manga,  Uncategorized

    MANGA: Nigeta Hitsuji no Tsukamaekata

    Nigeta Hitsuji no Tsukamaekata – Aoyama Toomi

    Reporter Oikawa Hidemi, Hide for short, chases after the mysterious professor Eli Y. Stafford, the reclusive medical researcher that managed to solve the “Alice conjecture,” the math problem of the century. He is dead set on interviewing the secretive genius. Feigning an illness, Hide infiltrates the soft-hearted professor’s residence and makes himself at home. How will Eli deal with the sudden nuisance?

    Not sure if horn moe is a thing but if you like ’em horn-y, you’ll love this manga!

    How To Catch A Runaway Sheep is the main story about intrepid reporter, Hidemi, who was very determined (his editor gave him an ultimatum) to interview elusive scientist and mathematical genius, Eli Y. Stafford. So determined that he was willing to stoop to faking illness, live with the professor, gain his trust and betray him. Little did he expect to catch feelings. When it was time to betray the professor, he found he couldn’t do it. Then he learned why the professor and his young ward were always on the run. 

    This is a story about building trust. It touches upon genetics, diseases, experimentation, and discrimination. It is told in a humorous tone but also has sad undertones.

    Eli is an herbivore tsundere, the kind who gets easily flustered and blushy. He looks so pretty with his horns. He lives with a young boy, Conia, who also has horns. The two were on the run from their sad past, making Eli suspicious about everything and everyone. He does his best to keep it together, but there is a fragility about him that’s hard to miss once you know him better.

    I didn’t warm up to Hidemi. I didn’t like his too pushy, too suave demeanor. Plus, I’m not a fan of manga characters with facial hair. Later on, he redeemed himself by helping Eli and Conia with their predicament. And that he made himself worthy of the trust Eli gave him.

    My favorite part was the Hide Times, a makeshift newspaper Hidemi created and posted on Eli’s wall. He encouraged Eli and Conai to contribute their articles there. The morning after he and Eli made love for the first time, he wrote only three words in big letters on it. Eli read it, scowled, blushed to high heavens, and added his own article. Also with only three words. Kyaa~♡

    Sparkling You is a one-chapter, almost kiss story about college buddies Yuuto and Shiro.

    Shiro is popular with girls. He turns them all down because he knew, they only like him for his horns. Meanwhile, Yuuto has it bad for his friend. So bad he thinks Shiro positively sparkles.

    This is one of those hopelessly pining after one’s best friend stories. It teased the reader with a brief, intense moment, then left it hanging. Why Yuuto can’t confess wasn’t really explained so I didn’t understand why he didn’t.

    Transfer Student Tsunoi-kun Grew Out Horns is about high schooler, Ogata, who befriends the new transfer student, Tsunoi. He soon found himself becoming fascinated with the other boy’s horns to the point of having wet dreams about them. He also learned Tsunoi lives alone and is actually an experimental subject of a research facility.

    I loved this chapter too! Tsunoi first came across as a stoic, poker-faced character but as soon as Ogata came to know him, he was more animated and cheerful. He has a lonely life, moving from city to city, depending on where the researchers want to place him. He even has a transmitter embedded on his left elbow. My heart went out to him.

    This has a more subdued and melancholy mood despite the raging hormones. I even thought it was going to have a sad ending. Thankfully, it wrapped up on a happy note. This one deserves a full volume.

    The Lake Of Nul is a tearjerker story of a man who came to pay respects to a former college schoolmate. He was received by the dead man’s brother who listened to his story. 

    It seems that the late scholar, a man known for his strong personality and equally strong gaze, had been heard by his brother frequently complaining about the deer man before. The deer man, in turn, poured his heart out to the brother about his feelings for the late scholar.

    Meanwhile, the brother gazed into the deer man’s clear blue eyes and promptly lost himself in its depths. Realizing at the same time, his brother was in love with this man all along.

    This is a heady experience of feeling grief and new love all at once. It’s why I want this as a full volume, but I”m also very relieved that this is only one chapter.

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  • book,  Uncategorized

    REVIEW: Winter Of The Owl by Iris Foxglove

    59901416. sy475

    Seasons Of The Lukoi: Winter Of The Owl – Iris Foxglove

    Sava has the best house in all of Lukos. He built it himself, dreaming of the day when he and Milan, the man he loved, could live there and brave the harsh winters of Lukos together—only to be devastated when Milan was found dead in the spring. Fraught with grief, Sava resigns himself to spending his winters alone.

    Then a stranger appears on his doorstep, and everything changes.

    Victor is a scholar from Gerakia, a land known for its long summers and vibrant history, and he has never been more unprepared in his life. Abandoned on the inhospitable island of Lukos after a disastrous relationship, Victor has to adapt quickly to survive. It helps, of course, that he’s taken in by Sava, who has the biggest heart of any man Victor has ever known. Victor and Sava start to make a home together, growing close as snow falls outside, but the true danger of a Lukos winter is closer than they suspect…

    Winter Of The Owl is the first book of the fantasy series, Seasons of the Lukoi. It is also my first from author duo, Iris Foxglove. I couldn’t have picked a better book to start with because I couldn’t get enough of the Cozy Husbands!

    The series is set in the Starian world. Even if I haven’t read the other books, world-building is effortless and intuitive. It was easy to picture the cold, frigid island with its survivalist community.

    Lukos is an island way up north. Not much is known about it by the rest of the world. It was built by exiles who established laws that helped them survive the harsh territory.

    The Lukoi has a strong sense of community and family. They have their own unique culture heavily influenced by their environment. They are welcoming to those who were abandoned. They mate for life and are fiercely protective of children. Despite the toughness of their living conditions, I found Lukos almost like a utopia the way the Lukoi thrived and flourished.

    Like the related series, Seasons of the Lukoi also has its people born as either dominant or submissive. Sava, being a dominant, is responsible for providing all the best that he can give to his potential mate, Milan. He did it so well, his house was considered the best house in Lukos.

    But then, Milan died and he was left all alone in his very nice abode. One day, the kuvar, their leader, drags in a scholar they found on the beach and requests Sava to house the poor man. Thus begins a sweet and achingly tender love story built on mutual care and trust.

    Victor is from sunny Gerakia. He is a beautiful, pure-hearted soul, a veritable “sweet summer child”. Cast aside by an abusive lover and left for dead, he still found joy and wonder everywhere he looked. I could practically see him lighting up at the sight of the first snowfall. His enthusiasm for learning is boundless.

    Sava was so kind, attentive, and patient with Victor from the very beginning. He teaches him skills to survive winter. The man is a total sweetheart. He’s a selfless gentle giant who gives the adorkable scholar a ride on his back whenever the clumsy dork had a hard time navigating rocky paths.

    I loved how they comfort each other and prop each other up whenever one is beset by insecurities. They helped the other rediscover their self-worth and find closure. Victor had to process the betrayal and the mean things his ex did. Sava had to deal with guilt over Milan’s death.

    One of the best moments for me was when Sava, first time to see eyeglasses, asked Victor what those are for. “To make your pretty eyes look bigger?” Then, later in the story, noticing how Victor complains about them slipping, quietly ties a ribbon to keep them in place. The megane moe is strong!!! I love it! Especially when it was revealed Victor’s ex hated his glasses.

    Sava and Victor are just too adorable!!! Then they adopted Speedy, the snowcat, who stole the show. I died from fluff overload!

    There are some BDSM elements present. The authors wisely deployed them at a minimum. It kept the story’s vibe cozy and wholesome in harmony with Sava and Victor’s dynamics.

    I loved how the book was written. It’s detailed yet easy to read. The characters were fully fleshed out. The relationships were given time to develop properly. The plot is deceptively straightforward, almost conflict-free. Most of it is Sava and Victor getting to know each other, enveloped in domestic bliss.

    Far from feeling nothing is happening, we see Lukos coming alive through Victor’s fresh eyes. His openness and curiosity were contagious. He made me want to visit the island. It has a rich culture and a chockful of intriguing characters I’d love to know more.

    The book has mentions of suicide and cultural misunderstanding of mental illness so take note of the CWs if they are triggering for you. This is in connection with Milan, which leads to a not-so-surprising twist and the suspenseful climax. The book nicely wraps up with Victor’s ex getting his comeuppance. I think they let him off too easily. They should’ve just dropped him in the sea.

    Winter of the Owl is a feel-good, forced proximity story filled with kindness and affection. It’s about finding joy in the mundane and looking at the world with wonder. It’s about seeing the good in other people and rediscovering self-worth. Immersive, compelling, and hella squee-tastic, it may be set in the dead of winter but it certainly warms the heart.

    4.5 Stars – perfection is only half a step away

    Soundtrack: The White Owl Of Winter
    Artist: MIKL
    Album: The Life And Death Of The Effervescent Lover

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  • song,  Uncategorized

    SOUNDTRACK: The White Owl Of Winter by MIKL

    Soundtrack to Seasons Of The Lukoi: Winter Of the Owl by Iris Foxglove

    The White Owl of Winter by MIKL for a book about a man who was exiled by his ex-lover to a wild, frigid island yet still takes joy in every little thing he discovered there. And found a worthy mate who calls him little owl.

    The white owl of winter
    Circles the sky
    Warning his brother
     his life (?)

    Be as it may
    He conquers the heart
    Joy in trivial things
    Keeps him alive

    Fly beyond

  • quote,  Uncategorized

    The white owl of winter
    Circles the sky
    Warning his brother
    his life (?)

    Be as it may
    He conquers the heart
    Joy in trivial things
    Keeps him alive

    Fly beyond
    Fly beyond
    Fly beyond
    Fly beyond

    Trees everlasting
    Draped in vines
    Served as guardians
    For each and every life

    Warm with tendrils
    Gods’ own might (?)
    trust to be still (?)
    Bask in the light

    Fly beyond
    Fly beyond
    Fly beyond
    Fly beyond

    The white owl of winter
    Circles the sky
    Joy in trivial things
    Keeps him alive

    ***official lyrics unavailable, this is my own transcription