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Anima - Dany & Dany

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Genre: Graphic Novels / Comics / Author: Dany & Dany / Edition: illustrated edition / Paperback / 152 Pages / Book is published 2008-12-24 by Yaoi Press

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      09.09.2010 02:03
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      Steampunkesque romantic fantasy perfect for a lazy afternoon

      Patrick Owens is a Pulitzer prize winning journalist whose life work is exposing corrupt officials and big businessman. Despite the cynical world he lives in, he still maintains a love for the ordinary things in life and looks for good in others. One such indulgence is his love of the ballet, especially for the bewitchingly innocent yet passionate dancing of the newcomer star, Danya. Attending a cruise with his android companion, Ed, Patrick is thrilled to catch Danya in a live performance. This is overshadowed however, when a chance encounter leads Ed and Patrick to encounter Danya in person. Patrick and Danya feel an instant, deep mutual attraction. But Danya's mentor, the now retired ballet star Nicolaj Zaharov, is dead set against the affair. Just how far will he go, and why is he so against their love? And just why did Zaharov's name crop up during Owens' latest investigations for his current news piece?

      Set in a steam punk near future, we get a modern spin on the tale of Pinnochio, BL style. The art of Dany and Dany is luscious, with richly detailed backgrounds, delicate use of layered screen tones, and characters with an almost fragile beauty gazing at us with doll like eyes. It is a signature style that is instantly recognisable as belonging to this pair of mangaka hailing from Italy. Being global manga, it is read left to right, with panel use cleverly guiding the readers eyes so that they flow from panel to panel in the correct sequence without fail. I quite appreciate this, as manga normally reads the other way round, and I quite often find myself trying to read a page backwards when it is in this format out of sheer habit.

      While this is apiece of science fiction, the story itself uses this as a plot device to explore that which makes us human instead of dazzling us with lots and lots of gadgets to golly gee whiz the story up. Most of the machinery is instantly recognisable from our current time, and even the steam punk neo-Victorian fashions are items that can be found in larger city shops or sewn from readily available patterns without post modern mechanical adornment. The prose flows pretty well despite being translated from Italian, though I did note one small typographical error. The error was very minor however, and did not detract from my overall reading pleasure. One nice surprise was the reversible nature of the couple; it was a nice departure from the usual seme/uke dynamic usually found in yaoi manga.

      This one shot is available from Yaoi Press and can be purchased as either a paperback or a Kindle download (the Kindle edition is half the price of the printed book, so not a bad deal at all). It can also be rented from Netcomics.com for $0.25 a chapter, and the book runs six chapters long. It is a sweetly romantic tale of true love between two pure hearted souls, filled with suspense, intrigue, and gorgeously rendered characters making this a near perfect read for the readers of BL. It is rated at 18+ due to sexually explicit content. I'd like to thank Netcomics and Yaoi Press for making this copy available for me to read for review.

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