Hide and Seek Volume 1

“First the doctor told me the good news: I was going to have a disease named after me.” – Steve Martin.

SuBLime has recently been releasing the work of yaoi mangaka Yaya Sakuragi. This latest title is a spin-off from her recent series Bond of Dreams, Bond of Love.

The story revolves around Shuji, a single divorced father and owner of the local sweet shop, who is a friend of shrine priest Ryomei, the seme in Bond of Dreams (he make a brief appearance in this first volume.) Shuji does not get much business, but one day a rather serious-looking man called Saji comes to the shop to buy some sweets and toys. When Shuji’s daughter falls ill, they visit a paediatrician, who just happens to be Saji, He explains that he bought the toys to make the children like him more because he looks so scary to them.

Shuji then catches the bug his daughter had. Saji returns to the shop to buy some more toys, and mentions to Shuji that he happens to be gay. As Shuji is ill and his bath is out of use, Saji offers Shuji the use of his. Shuji accepts, and after the bath it is not long before the two .

In terms of plus points, the romantic scenes are very good. A simple kiss is a wonderful sight and the little details in the picture just add to the enjoyment. The portrayal of the evolving relationship between the central characters is also enjoyable. You have the struggling single parent Shuji, and then you have the hard-working doctor. It gives the book an added sense of realism not found in many yaoi titles.

While the art in this respect is good, there are other artistic motifs that are not as good. There appear to be one or two issues with “yaoi hands” for example. They do appear to be a little on the big side.

Other than this, the characters are well depicted and the plot seems to be developing nicely. There seems to be plenty to keep the average yaoi fan interested, with lots to enjoy.

7 / 10

Ian Wolf

Ian works as an anime and manga critic for Anime UK News, and was also the manga critic for MyM Magazine. His debut book, CLAMPdown, about the manga collective CLAMP, is available now. Outside of anime, he is data specialist for the British Comedy Guide, is QI's most pedantic viewer, has written questions for both The Wall and Richard Osman's House of Games, and has been a contestant on Mastermind.

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