Book review: Satosumi Takaguchi — Shout Out Loud 3

Third in a five part series about a long-separated father and son getting to know each other while trying to deal with new relationships.

Nakaya’s got a bad crush on the ice hockey coach, and tries to do something about it. He ends up asking his father’s advice on what happens if you find yourself attracted to another man — but Shino’s struggling with the same question himself. Shino’s colleague Tenryu has made his own feelings clear, and Shino’s found himself responding.

After finishing the first half of their current anime series the voice actors go for a weekend break at a spa resort, giving ample opportunity for squabbling and seduction attempts — none of which go according to plan. By the end of the book Shino faces the fact that he might finally be falling in love again, for the first time since he lost Nakaya’s mother.

As with the first two books in the series, it’s more about the story than the sex — this volume does ramp up the steaminess, but the men and the book don’t go all the way. There’s some nice foreplay and kissing, but the real joy is in the humour and the way the various relationships develop. It’s gentle but it’s not pure fluff — for example, Tenyru’s dealing with a nasty divorce and faces losing contact with his daughter — which makes it all the better.

It’s possible to follow the plot in this one with just a synopsis of the previous volumes, but I’d strongly recommend reading the first two volumes first — you’ll get a lot more out of it if you’ve already got to know the characters.

Shout Out Loud! Volume 3: (Yaoi) at Amazon US
Shout Out Loud! (Yaoi) at Amazon UK
Shout out Loud!, Volume 3 at Barnes & Noble
at Powells

Advertisements

Book Review: Satsumi Takaguchi — Shout Out Loud! volume 2

Second of a five part yaoi manga series about a long-separated father and son trying to build a relationship while dealing with other upheavals in their lives. Shino’s an anime voice actor. Now he has a son to support, he’s started taking on any roles he’s offered — including yaoi audio dramas. Nakaya’s a teenager not quite old enough to be independent, but old enough to be initially very uncomfortable with his father’s job. It doesn’t really help that he’s noticed the interest some of Shino’s colleagues are showing in him, even if the unworldly Shino hasn’t.

This volume sees some development in the various plotlines set up in volume 1. Shino may be innocent, but even he can’t help noticing when his colleague Mizusawa invites him home and then kisses him very thoroughly. And passing it off as a bad case of bringing the job home stops working when Mizusawa and Tenryu start squabbling over him on a live radio show. Especially when Tenryu mentions having kissed Shino when Shino got drunk and passed out one night… Nakaya is trying to protect his father’s virtue, but he’s distracted by his own problems, not least of which is getting a crush on one of the ice hockey coachs.

As with the first volume, the focus is on story and character development rather than sex, although the UST gets a bit less U in this one. There are several well-developed characters here and a number of potential relationships hinted at for both Shino and Nakaya. It’s a sweet and often very funny story that kept me reading, guessing at how things might play out. The sex is limited to kissing, but is none the worse for that. The artwork is beautiful, and includes quite a selection of hot guys. Once again this series scores highly on both the eye candy and brain candy.

It’s possible to pick up the story with this volume, but I’d strongly recommend starting with the first volume in the series (reviewed here).

Shout Out Loud! Vol. 2 at Amazon US
Shout Out Loud!: Volume 2 at Amazon UK

Shout Out Loud!, Volume 2
at Barnes & Noble
at Powell’s

Book Review: Satsumi Takaguchi — Shout Out Loud! volume 1

First of what is apparently a five volume series. The first three parts are now available in English translation; the remaining two parts are scheduled for release in April and August.

Orphaned 17-year-old Nakaya goes looking for long-last father, expecting to find a burnt-out salaryman, and instead gets a baby-faced 33-year-old who makes a living as an anime voice actor. Finding himself with an unexpected son to support just as his current series is finishing, Shino tells his agency he’ll take any job. What he gets offered is roles in boys love audio dramas — and as becomes clear to the reader and eventually Nakaya, but not (yet) Shino, two of Shino’s co-workers are gay and have the hots for Shino.

There’s a good story in this book; the primary focus in the first volume is father and son getting to know each other (no, not in that way). Nakaya’s mother fell pregnant when she and Shino were teenagers, and she chose to leave Shino to stop him sacrificing his education to look after them. Now they have to build a relationship, at a time when both are grieving, and Nakaya is having to make decisions about his own education. It doesn’t help that Nakaya’s grandmother has never forgiven Shino for getting her daughter pregnant, and doesn’t want Nakaya living with Shino.

Along with this, there’s a look at the voice acting industry, and Shino’s developing relationships with two of his fellow actors — platonic on Shino’s side, but not on theirs. And then there’s Nakaya’s teacher, who is also gay and has a thing for nice voices…

The erotic content in this volume is mostly in the scripts Shino and his colleagues are working on, though there’s one very nice kiss. If you’re looking for hardcore you’ll be disappointed, but fans of UST should enjoy this one.

The cover’s a bit disappointing, but don’t let that put you off, as the interior art is much more attractive. Note that it’s a lot less bishounen in style than many (which matches my own preferences).

I liked this a lot. There’s an interesting story with relationships that develop over time, there’s a lot of gentle humour, it’s nicely drawn, and the guys are hot.


Shout out Loud!, Volume 1
at barnesandnoble.com
Shout Out Loud! Vol. 1 at amazon.com
Shout Out Loud!, Volume 1 at amazon.co.uk
at Powells