The further I delve into the world of BL, the more I’m discovering that beyond the few really good ones that go through the hassle of developing their characters, most tend to focus on, and relish in, the sex. Even the good ones, save maybe one or two that I’ve read so far, have their fair share of it. In this sense, Mousou Elektel, though relatively tame by yaoi standards, doesn’t really deviate from the usual yaoi approach to romance with more emphasis on sexy time rather than bonding/normal stuff time.
The premise itself is pretty basic with the a romance starting between two childhood friends, Makoto Fumihiro who has recently come out of the closet and Shunpei Yamana who finds himself with less than platonic feelings for his buddy once he discovers Makoto has a boyfriend. Of course, those feelings are overcome pretty quickly with the two consummating their relationship with some “friendly” rubbing of choice body parts before the end of the volume. Admittedly, I can’t really comment on the quality of those scenes since when they pop up, I tend to tap past them as quickly as my Kindle will allow me to.
This volume saw quite a bit of rapid tapping (and later volumes see even more) to put it lightly. Though the two never actually fully complete the deed (that’s for later volumes, kids *winkwink*), what does happen tends to be drawn in detail and last for a few pages. Personally, the frequency of almost-not-really-sex detracted from the volume in how once the two got together, that’s just about all they did.
Sure there was the usual “B-But we’re guys” and “I’m not ready!”s and the usual mix of insecurities that arise in charting unknown territory, but there wasn’t a whole lot beyond that. These guys don’t have the most original personalities to start with and with the emphasis on their sexual adventures they only become more generic and boring. Though, having read ahead, the characters do kind of go beyond the stereotypical behavior, sex still tends to come to the forefront. In all honesty, the characters are actually the most enjoyable in this volume, save for maybe the Student Council President who actually becomes a much appreciated comedic presence later on. Makoto, who only worsens in terms of personality as the story progresses, is at his best in Volume 1 where he may come off as a bit aloof and domineering, but is sweet when it comes to Shunpei. Speaking of the new lover, he was, by far, the most enjoyable to read. His chibi faces are great and his frequent confusion and exasperation with his new role in the relationship is fun to watch in the sense that, as a newbie to the genre myself, I could laugh at him and learn with him at the same time, if that makes sense.
Perhaps it’s my expectations for a lighter story line or relative newness to the genre, but either way I can’t say I was floored by this volume. The art’s fine, the characters are alright, and the story’s decent. The sex, though, is annoying. It’s not really the semi-graphic nature of it that gets to me–I’m okay with a couple of scenes hat don’t take up too much space–rather it’s how often the manga seems to focus on it. It kinda bugs me that what I remember the most out (save for a scene or two) aren’t the characters or story but rather the sex. Do I really care about whether or not Shunpei and Makoto finally find a way to officially hit a home run? No, not really. Rutta to Kodoma, which is probably one of the more graphic manga I’ve read to date (I read some intense stuff, I know), managed to fit in some more sentimental scenes that showed the characters developing in between the frequent sex. Would it kill Mousou Elektel to do the same? Would fangirls really howl in pain and riot in the streets with fewer hot and heavy scenes that really don’t add all that much to the story? I get that BL is largely reliant on a sort of fantasies-come-alive mindset, but really now, steamy sex/fondling/whatever isn’t what should be dominating a story. All I ask is for a little less sex and a little more of the normal stuff (these guys should be able to manages dates or private hang outs). Just a little.
On a quick side note, this will probably be my last First Impressions post.