Estara's Reviews > Apartments of Calle Feliz

Apartments of Calle Feliz by Est Em
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's review
Apr 14, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: manga, ebook, read-in-2012
Recommended to Estara by: I enjoyed two other works by the mangaka
Recommended for: fans of est em and maybe La Quinta Camera
Read on April 12, 2012 — I own a copy

** spoiler alert ** are licensing quite a few of est em's yaoi titles, from I can see coming up. What this somewhat turned out to be is very similar to the idea of La Quinta Camera by Natsume Ono. It is set in Spain - the main character is Luca who wants to be a writer and meanwhile has all kinds of part-time jobs. His current lover throws him out and so he is looking for a new flat.

When he phones a number which advertised a flat via flyer, the guy invites him to see the flat (they always talk about rooms in the translation, but the manga makes it clear that a flat was advertised, which is different from La Quinta Camera, where it really is only one room) - but has to confess he has already let it. Luca is annoyed but the man, who is the owner and manager of the whole apartment building, a well-known local radio DJ named Javi begs him to stay with desperate eyes.

This is the frame story for Luca to learn about the various flats in the last house on Calle Feliz (Happy Street): the Happy End apartment house. Javi challenges Luca to write a book with stories about the various inhabitants and those are the chapters in the book.

If you've read est em before, you'll know she has a decided tendre for the weird and interesting and edgy - so while there is a fairly calm chapter about two gay men (everyone is gay in this apartment house) who have been together for three years - one of whom has refused to dress and go outside in all that time - there is also the shotacon story about the puppet-maker (I wouldn't be surprised if it was a bow to Pinocchio). It gets saved from outright nastiness by the fact that the true beloved of the older man returns to him in his 30s and he never touches the boy who reminded him of his true love. Then there's the former circus performers who seem to derail the romance of one gay drag-queen with their constant loudness - but a happy end is had when he falls in mutual love with a man who is hard of hearing.

There is no sex in these stories, there is lots of dialogue and interior monologue - and at the end, there is a bitter sweet happy end for most of them. None are unchanged by the trials they have gone through - certain things can't be ever completely gotten over - like the reason why Javi wanted Luca to share his flat with him, but the people seem to be good for each other and so there is contentment and even joy in some of the chapter ends.
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