New York New York (Fan Scanlation)

Author: Marimo Ragawa
Website available for dl: (that link is very confusing, it’s what it says in the corner of the first page, but I’m sure I got it from some place else.)
Translated by: Janna & Phoenix
Genre: Romance, Yaoi, Drama.
Age: 16up -Nothing really, a few kisses here and they are not graphic-

Review based on chapter 1&2 of the three chapters available at the time

Kain is a young New York Police Officer. He moved away from his parents to live on his own. He’s doing fine; however, he’s being pressure by his mother to find a girl and settle down. Kain however can’t, you see he’s keeping a little secret from his mom and the guys at the station: he’s gay. He works in Manhatthan but lives way outside in Queens. He usually goes to the local gay bar as it’s the only place where can be himself. He couldn’t bare to tell his parents and co-workers and face the consequences of that. One night one guy steps in, with his blond hair and adorable eyes. Kain is immediatly struken, and dare I say it, falls in love. However still battling with his own demons (a.k.a his mother) he’s a bit nervous approaching the guy, still he tries. He realizes it isn’t so hard to do, and the two of them get off talking. (that wasn’t meant to sound so bad)
Kain invites the guy over to his apartment, who’s name is, after they friendly exchanged them, Mel. The talk and talk some more. Mel stays over for the night, but nothing happense. Early the next moring Kain wakes up only to realize that Mel isn’t there. Aww Sad
Kain rubs whatever it was as a one night “conversation” since he didn’t get Mel’s address or phone number or anything. He goes back to the gay bar, and well is hit on another guy. They qurrel over whether to go to a hotel or Kain’s aparment. As they go to Kain’s aparment for Lord knows what kind of kinky stuff. Kain meets Mel waiting at his door; however, with the other guy on Kain’s shoulders, Mel decides to make a quick exist.
Kain is in shock that Mel even came back, even more surprised to see that Mel left him note containing his address and everything. Now Kain feels like bastard. Mel is broken up about it too, but feels somewhat horridfied when a police officer shows up by his door. It turns out only to be Kain, on duty. After a little explaining about what happened, things seem to be back to the way they were. Before Kain has to run to a robbery in progress Kain gives Mel a kiss. This seems to be the start of a relationship.
Over the next couple of weeks, Kain and Mel start seeing each other on a regular basis. Their relationship isn’t perfect though, Mel’s past seems to haunt him. The fact that he’s open about his sexuality and that has other partners, makes Kain jealous. Mel’s rather sensitive and many times Kain pushes him away, but they work through the early problems. After a while they decide to move in with each other, in a small house in the suburbs.
Kain is still a closet case, at work and with mother. Even though he moved in with Mel, he hasn’t come to terms with his own sexuality–at least in regards to other people. This makes Mel feel sort of second class. Kain starts to refer to Mel as the other “friend” to his mom, and doesn’t allow Mel to meet any of his co-workers. Mel tells Kain the story about how his mother committed suicide and left him outside in the cold, and ever since then he’s felt alone in the world, and that’s why he bonds to Kain so much and doesn’t want to get left alone. Mel’s worst fears come true when he’s held by gun point and raped by a robber, when he finds out that the robber had AIDS, he’s almost ready to give up. However Kain won’t let him give up so easily, even if it means him comming out to his mother and co-workers. He won’t let Mel’s be alone again.

Wonderful manga. There wasn’t much of focus on sex in this but it was still really good (yeah, I’m a yaoi fanboy smut, don’t look at me that way). There is a lot of drama in this, a whole lot, but that’s what makes it so good. It deals with a lot of gay-theme issues in the few pages, issue anyone having “acceptance and denial” issues would be able to undertand very well. It’s a very realistic manga, and un-like a yaoi that have plot lines so far from reality, this one is pretty on the ball. Which might the reason why it’s such a good read. Kain and Mei’s relationship is always taken on blow after the next, and it’s inspirational to see how they stick it through. The manga is overall really intense, and I don’t mean that kind of “intense” we usually identify with yaoi. Sometimes you feel for Kain and what he goes through and other times you hate him for what he puts Mei through. And at first you might think Mei is some kind of whore, but later on you begin to feel for him, and all the shit he went through and still going through in his life.
The story gets really touching in the second chapter, when Mei get’s raped by the robber (don’t worry they don’t show it, and in case it’s rather sad, unlike most Yaoi where non consenual sex is what drives most it) and he becomes scared, as he was potentional exposed to AIDS. It’s definately a chapter than sticks to you. But overall the story is like that, very dramatical and intense, and well emotional.
The artwork is really well done, the men actually look masculine, and handsome (which is one thing I usually critise yaoi-boys for being too feminine, but what can you do). Enough attention was paid to detail, although it wasn’t very, so that everything was balanced. Overall the artwork had a unique feel to it, it was very different from what I’m accustom to.
Now this is a yaoi so how can not talk about sex (we could have talked about it anyway though). If your a yaoi-smut you might be let down in this department, there isn’t much sex (at least in the two of the three or four chapters I’ve read, the others could be a bunch of pages of Holy gay Orgy to make up for lost time, but I’ll have to wait to see). While both of the characters talk about sex a lot, it isn’t the driving force behind. So far there have only been glimpses of sex in the manga, I believe the most graphic thing you’ll see is a Mei’s leg on Kain shoulder. It’s really tease worthy, because you want too see them have sex because they have the perfect everything (bodies, personality etc) but the manga kinda wants you not to focus on sex but the relationship. We could say it’s very very very soft core yaoiness, mostly kisses and hugs and stuff.
The editing/translation did have some mistakes, I saw a “I want u to be happy” or something like that sentence, which is ok if you posting on a forum (like me) but you try not to write the letter “u” for “you” for something you want people to read. Besides that you should be find, the usually “come” for “cum” mistakes weren’t in this because it isn’t a smutty manga.
It’s a weird manga, and I mean that by it’s very gay (like real gay, not straight women fantising about gay men) oriented and realistic. Not the usually way out of the scope of reality of ever happening yaoi. After reading I’d be more likely to put it in a Love/Drama/Romance category before I do the rest of the Yaoi genre. New York New York is good example of how diverse the yaoi genre can be, it’s not all just sex people. If your a fan that likes your yaoi focussed more on story and solid plot than sex than this is good for you. If you’re a shonen-ai fan that wants a tear jerker of a real romance story with intense emotion, than this is good for you, the only thing is the boys in “Boys’ Love” have grown up. If you love emotional love stories that have deep emotions connected to it, than this is good for you. If you’re a smut that just likes it nasty don’t even bother with it.

-Definately want to see this published one day-

By Cherubim


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