Boys’ Love – Comedy, drama, romance, smut
1 Volume (complete)
Media Do (Nihonbungeisha)
Mimasaka returns to his college to work as an assistant for his former professor. But on his way, a student suddenly attacks him and pulls off his clothes — and drools over “the perfect gap”?! Mimasaka beats a hasty retreat, but he learns that Saki is also in the photo department. Saki’s specialty is taking pictures of gaps, and he’s found his angel!
Warning: this review is of a series that is recommended for ages 18+ and is not safe for work!
You know what you’re getting into just by the first page.
Well, you’d think so anyway. Ironically, the “haa haa” scene(s) you think you’d be getting doesn’t happen until the bonus chapter, which takes place after a separate one-shot. It wasn’t even included in its original serialization; instead, the manga just kind of… ends. It’s also a bizarre ending where you’d think both Mimasaka and Saki realize they love each other since , yet they’re also like, “I dunno…”
Oh, and the bonus one-shot is about the son of a man’s deceased wife confessing to his stepfather, who doesn’t know what to do now. No smut here. That’s all you need to know.
Back to the main story. Mimasaka, as we learn, needs a break and a mental reset after something happened. (Yes, we learn what.) Professor Soga offers him a position as an assistant, so as he heads to the office, a college student suddenly sticks his hand between his legs and pulls off Mimasaka’s pants. As the professor later explains, Saki has a fetish for gaps and spaces in people, and Mimasaka’s is his ideal. Mimasaka is weirded out as Saki follows him around trying to get handsy, cheerfully explaining that he takes pictures of what he likes without worrying about what other people think. His straightforward view on his work as a photographer hits a little too close to home for Mimasaka, but their feelings for the other as perverted photographer and creeped out subject eventually change.
So, yeah. I already discussed the issues with the ending and the fact that it takes an epilogue to get to the part that most people want to read. The whole book is just under 150 pages, and that’s counting the side story, color inserts, and other non-manga pages. Photogenic Superstar is short, and thus their relationship feels hollow. It probably doesn’t help that the limited number of pages means that we don’t get much of an in-depth look at either men. Like how does one become so obsessed with gaps that you stick your hands between a stranger’s legs? I’m guessing this behavior didn’t just start in college, so can you imagine what he was like in high school — or before?! That’s a frightening though. But okay, let’s chalk that up to this being fiction. How about sharing details like Mimasaka’s and Saki’s ages? Families? Their first names? The author does keep the story on-track and moving, but their relationship development is too by-the-book. The manga and characters don’t come alive in the pages.
The art is good. I have to admit Saki takes some interesting pictures, and in a longer series, I wish we could have seen more of the world through his eyes. (Just not with the sexual assault issues!) Mimasaka has some great freaked out expressions, and Saki’s panting is likely to cause a few chuckles. I do like how this is the rare manga series where a glasses-wearing protagonist gets mixed up with a photographer, but the author avoids the usual “you should take off your glasses” comments. You rock those glasses, Mimasaka — keep them on! Inoue does love screentones, and the manga is new enough so that the men aren’t using some huge camera to take pictures. The art was enjoyable, and it’s unfortunate we didn’t get more pages to see Inoue flex their artistic skills more with the characters going on adventures, interacting with others, etc.
No honorifics are used. Saki uses “Mimasaka Angel”, but I think “Angel Mimasaka” sounds better.
Photogenic Superstar‘s short length combined with the spice being tacked on at the end means that this becomes a subpar adult romance.
Inoue’s … And I Love You and Accidental Love are available in English from Media Do and MANGA.CLUB respectively.