Shiny New Releases: Senpai by Bikke

I read Bikke’s manga Shinkuu Yuuusetsu and while I enjoyed it, it felt kind of like a cocktease.  Or not enough cocks were teased, I don’t know /shot  It’s pseudo-BL, driven more by a plot device that requires physical intimacy for survival versus boys simply wanting to kiss other boys.  Of course, they kinda want to kiss each other anyway.. hence the teasing part. Since that was a bit frustrating, I’m excited for her new release Senpai, a honest-to-goodness BL manga that ran in Opera.

The story appears to be about the trials of adolescence.  You have the two characters, Kakitsubara Saki and Fujinami Kou.  The older Fujinami approached Kakitsubara one day and even though they’re in different grades and clubs, they end up spending more and more time together.  However, Fujinami seems to be caught up in a troubled past that will surely be a big source of teenage angst.

Bikke covers are always a treat

While there’s not much in the short description they give, I have some faith in Bikke’s execution after Ame Nochi Hare and Aka no Sekai.  So I’m looking forward to grabbing this one soon.  Bikke BL, yay~

8 responses to “Shiny New Releases: Senpai by Bikke

  1. Oh my…that second sentence made me laugh so hard ~~ I nearly spilled grape juice all over my keyboard! XDDD

    This sounds somewhat cliché; I get the sneaking feeling I’ve seen this kind of plot device before. But I did like Shinkuu Yuusetsu, and Baku wasn’t bad either, so I might want to give Senpai a go…eventually.
    What’s Aka no Sekai like? I’m a bit too lazy to look around for info on it — browsing Japanese sites can be a real pain. I always find them so…cluttered.

    I was thinking of trying Kabe no Naka no Tenshi (another Opera one, right?) and Jade, but I haven’t had much experience with this mangaka so I’m a bit wary. I didn’t fancy Ame Nochi Hare enough to read past the 2nd or 3rd chapter; that might be because of my dislike of gender-bender romances in general, but…

    • Ha! 🙂 I think we’ve all seen this plot device before about a bazillion times.. I wish they would have put some effort into making it sound different. I’ll be getting it either way as I know there has to be something more to it and its execution.

      Aka no Sekai and Kabe no Naka no Tenshi are my favorite Bikke works. Kabe is a lovely little fantasy story from Opera. I don’t think I managed to finish Jade yet.. I got distracted partway through. I like her more recent stuff. I really like Aka no Sekai and I usually don’t go for oneshot collections (they’re roughly connected). It has an old, small European town ambiance and is set during wartime (you have soldiers, carrier pigeons, telephone switchboard operators). If I was reading any Bikke, I’d make sure I’d do those two.

      • “The heartwarming romance between a lonely, overworked telephone switchboard operator and the lovely young war widow he meets when she’s short on cash and has to ask for a collect call” You know, that’s the first thing that jumped into my head when I read your description for Aka no Sekai. I ought to write a short story for it on FictionPress ~~ LOL/kidding.

        But since they both have your recommendation, I guess Kabe no Naka and Aka no Sekai will make it into my next order (whenever that may be). I should just get Jade too while I’m at it; hopefully it won’t be a complete waste of money.

        Btw — did you buy the newest volumes of Rare Jewel? I think there are 4 out now. Shoujo manga sure are released fast…
        And how about Utsubora 2? I didn’t like the first volume much, too angsty for my tastes; but Nakamura Asumiko is the only mangaka whose stories I’ll try for art alone, even if I don’t like the plot or characters. I’m absolutely infatuated with her art style.

        • lol, what a lovely idea. Thankfully, the actual story isn’t quite like that. :3

          Kabe and Aka are good manga, so hopefully you’ll enjoy them. The fantasy bent of Kabe and atmosphere of Aka are aligned to my tastes so I favor them. I’m sure Jade is fine, it just didn’t grab me like the other two.

          I haven’t gotten the new Rare Jewel yet. I think I’ve only read the first and maybe second volume of it. She’s actually my least favorite Tousuisha artist, so I’ve been in no rush. I have a backlog of Tousuisha purchases to make including Rare Jewel 4 (they ARE fast). I might do that soon as an excuse to get another MUST HAVE title I came across. Utsubora 2 isn’t out, so I don’t have it yet either. But I’m all about Nakamura Asumiko. Style, characters, art, story… her brand of angst doesn’t turn me away either. I will be all over it when I get it.

  2. Not enough cocks were teased, of course! Anyway, this does sound generic but I actually love school type romances as long as they are done right, and I have faith in Bikke. I do wish I could find some preview of the manga since I think the art is a bit different; the characters actually look older than bikke’s usual.

    • This should be good for you then. I’m more fantasy-based myself, so I suspect I’ll prefer Kabe no Naka no Tenshi over this. Not that I won’t enjoy it. I haven’t really seen any inner art, but it was juuuuuuuust released, so I bet it will show up soon enough.

  3. Aww what a pretty cover!!! I hope it has a bit more romance than Shinkuu Yuuusetsu!
    I like Shinkuu Yuuusetsu, I really do, but I would like it to be a bit more passionate. I don’t mean sexual at all, just a more meaningful kiss or something like that.
    Thanks for the post!

    • That was my biggest beef with Shinkuu.. I really wanted the characters to be together because they desired to be, not just for survival.. a touch of passion (and not utilitarian kisses) would have expressed that well. From what I remember, it was rather noncommittal to that part.. which was somewhat disappointing.

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