Other Circles

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Title: Degenerate
Circle: CJ East Project (CJ Michalski and Koujima Naduki)
Release Date: December 1996

makoto's notes
This doujinshi is some serious messed-up. x_x As if anything that Koujima-sensei and CJ-sensei would collaborate on wouldn't be sick and weird, but this book... sick and weird. XD

Anyway, this is a Biohazard (Resident Evil) parody book made up of a bunch of shorts from both mangaka and a few guest artists who like to put poor Chris Redfield in embarrassing situations too. The "main" story follows Jill Valentine through the game, as she slowly uncovers the disturbing secrets of the mansion. CJ-sensei manages to slash Barry and Enrico, probably just because Koujima-sensei didn't think it could be done. This book is definitive proof, if you needed it, that CJ-sensei has many other perversions besides her raging Shota-con.

It's fun reading CJ and Koujima go back and forth, since even though this book is twisted, it's clear that they really love the game. I laugh out loud every time I go near this doujinshi, so apparently I'm sick in the head as well. Koujima-sensei manages a great Chris. CJ-sensei's Jill and Rebecca are too adorable, but her Leon Kennedy manages to top them both. And "Go Go Wesker" is probably one of the greatest chapter titles ever created.

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Title: echoes
Circle: Tsuredure-Haien (Kitakami Ren)
Release Date: October 2003

makoto's notes
So, take a little journey with me here. Minako-chan and I are standing in front of the unsorted doujinshi section of K*Books. I'm telling myself I don't need that overpriced Kousaka Tohru book while clutching a Seimaden doujinshi to my chest; she's got a Naruto Maki book in one hand and a Takaguchi Satosumi in the other. So we're definitely doing fine in the shopping department. But there's this Fullmetal Alchemist doujinshi laying on the counter; nice cover, and we both really feel like we know this artist... but the circle name isn't familiar. So who the heck wrote this book? Curiosity wins and we buy it.

The author is, apparently, Kitakami Ren-sensei. And she has lovely art and, if this book is any indication, a real knack for writing Hughes. I may not know who she is now, but I'm willing to try. "echoes" is a combined book, of the original doujinshi "echo" and "echo+", logically enough. They're both fairly serious, with a bit of humor sprinkled in (echo+, with its major series spoilers, is actually the more light-hearted of the two). Kitakami-sensei doesn't try to recreate the original artstyle nor timing; these scenes are her own. I'm interested to see more from her circle... randomly choosing doujinshi is much pricier than randomly choosing manga, but this book was a happy accident. :)

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Title: Aqua Rose No. 9
Circle: Takaguchi Satosumi
Release Date: December 2001

minako's notes
As previously mentioned in the above review (lol). Takaguchi-sensei is not only very proficient at cranking out manga, but has a series of doujinshi known as "Aqua Rose". Although, it's a bit hard to call a 156 page volume a "doujinshi". I know. It's huge and weighs a ton.

Rather than just focusing on one series, "Aqua Rose" contains a combination of original doujinshi, short stories related to published manga, advertisements, and mini-essays. This particular volume contains episodes for two original manga; short stories related to her manga Pink, Sakendeyaruze!, and Utsukushii Otoko; and a very long doujinshi for "Legend of Galactic Heroes". As a huge Takaguchi-sensei fangirl, I personally loved the Sakendeyaruze! short; there's something so cute about the stories that remind you Tenryuu-san is blind as a bat.

Like most Takaguchi-sensei works, any sex scenes contained within (and there are a few) are rather mild. Having said that, one of the original stories has probably the most explicit sex scene I've ever seen from Takaguchi-sensei. Everything is blurred beyond recognition, but there are a few panels where things are less implied than usual with this artist.

Not only is the doujinshi HUGE, but the quality isn't too shabby either. Plus, the cover is needlessly cool, embossed with a strange "paint splatter" pattern (it's clear and therefore doesn't show up in the pictures, unfortunately). And, of course, there's a full cover splash page towards the beginning, protected by a sheet of rice paper. How she has time to do, you know, ACTUAL manga writing, I really don't know.

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Title: Seimaden: Kinku
Circle: Kirendou (Higuri You)
Release Date: August 1997 [First Printing], August 1998 [Second Printing]

minako's notes
An extremely short doujinshi from Higuri-sensei's breakthrough work, "Seimaden". If you're like me, then you're a big fan of the (romance? relationship? ill-fated duet?) of Zadei and Teteius. If that's so, then this doujinshi is sure to break your heart all over again. The story unfortunately doesn't expand on the "Seimaden" manga, but it does do a heart-wrending job of summarizing the heartbreak of their relationship in 14 short pages. I hadn't realized that something so short could depress me so badly.

Besides the manga, the pages are filled with low resolution, b/w reprints of Seimaden shots. The cover is quite nice, with a good pearl finish. Apparently, Higuri-sensei is also a big fan of shiny objects. ^_^

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Circle: Kirendou (Higuri You)
Release Date: December 2004

minako's notes
It's a little hard to even catagorize this as a doujinshi, persay. This very short booklet contains not manga, but beautiful full-color illustrations of the 10 possible pairings in the "Gakuen Heaven" BL video game series (also illustrated by Higuri-sensei). The quality of the booklet is really top notch: full color, slick paper, pearlescent cover (which is unfortunately getting rather bent from over-admiration). Some of the pictures (Shichijo and Nakajima) are fairly explicit, while others (Umino and Naruse) are shockingly mild.

This doujinshi, btw, was "acquired" by Mako-chan for my birthday. Yes, she had her paws on this and actually gave it up. Now THAT is friendship (lol).