Charles's Reviews > Treasure, Volume 01

Treasure, Volume 01 by Riyu Yamakami
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Aug 05, 12

bookshelves: manga-graphic-novels, relational, reviewed, stat_female, not-for-the-faint-of-heart
Read on July 29, 2012

** spoiler alert ** Not For the Faint of Heart - Treasure Vol 1 Review

Okay, so first time really reviewing a...I guess "naughty" book would be appropriate enough, as this is a boys love or yaoi manga, but I guess adult romance or erotica would also sort of fit the bill. But that aside, and review emboldened by a mix of bourbon and peppermint schnapps, I continue on!

So I picked this up today from the bookstore not really sure what to expect. There are no reviews for it on amazon or on goodreads and I checked after I had seen it in the bookstore before (because anything wrapped in plastic immediately intrigues me when I see it on the shelf). So lack of preparedness aside, I picked it up hoping that it would be decent and proceeded home. Like most manga, this was a quick read (as a life of reading comics has made this sort of text easy enough to course through) and I admit it was enjoyable enough, if not without some notable flaws.

First, this follows the yaoi trope of a gay man falling for a naive (typically younger, smaller, not necessarily gay initially) man and basically turning him on to the world of guy-on-guy kind of against his will and then falling in love with him. Not necessarily the most original plot, but the main character (as always the naive younger man) is actually fairly strong willed and while he does come off as the emotionally weaker of the two, he also resists being a complete rape victim, which is nice. But all the same, the consensual nature of the relationship is rather up in the air for most of the volume, and that normally makes things a little more awkward, because it raises the whole "what constitutes rape" question and I would prefer wholly consensual relationships.

Second (and I admit my own preferences here, or at least my own perversions), the sex scenes are rather mild and while they do enhance the story and the development of the characters (while provided a dose of steam), I would have preferred to see more. They are not bad, by any means, but I like to know what to expect going in, so for those that are looking to pick up a book solely for its explicit depiction of sex, perhaps look elsewhere. That said, the relationship in this manga is rather adorable and cute, and the main character is strong while being confused, and his journey is satisfying as he makes his way from closeted to accepting of his feelings.

Last, and I guess this comes from the first point, but the older (and larger and more comfortable with his sexuality and etc etc etc) man is a bit of a jerk. The writer acknowledges this and embraces it, but that still (and I guess this is why I made it two distinct points) bothers me about most of the volume, because most of the way the older man treats the younger would constitute emotional and verbal abuse, and while it makes the older man slightly more nuanced, it sort of makes it difficult to see the main character (an otherwise strong and independent young man) go back to that when there are other (and perhaps better, though not by much) options for him. That he continually goes back to the oppressive cousin is rather vexing in the grand scheme, but doesn't really take away from the ultimate enjoyment of the volume too much.

So I guess one could say that I was a little conflicted about the volume. On the one hand, the relationship is cute and the main character is stronger than some I have read in the genre. But at the same time the relationship is a bit abusive, and only at the end do we see it start to become something more. So while I can recommend this manga for anyone looking for a good time (as long as the whole mild abuse thing doesn't turn you off), I really don't like that this sort of relationship would be put forth as desirable in any way. Still, a solid read and a nice addition to the more elicit collection, and a 6.5/10.

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