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S Vol. 1 (v. 1) Paperback – June 10, 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 226 pages
  • Publisher: DIGITAL MANGA DISTRIBUTION (June 10, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1569707065
  • ISBN-13: 978-1569707067
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 4.3 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #264,510 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read a lot of M/M fiction, both erotic romance and other genres that feature such relationships. I also read a ton of yaoi manga, but this is only the second "yaoi novel" that I have read (the other was Ai No Kusabi The Space Between Volume 1: Stranger (Yaoi Novel)). I enjoyed this story very much, and consequently ordered a few more yaoi novels to try.

Unlike yaoi manga, there is room for much more story and relationship development in a prose novel. For those wondering, the main differences (that I can see) between yaoi novels and M/M fiction is the inclusion of illustrations and the relationship dynamic, specifically the carry-over of the uke/seme roles. In M/M fiction, most gay men like to "switch" between top and bottom in the sexual relationship. In yaoi, one man is the bottom (uke) and one the top (seme). That is certainly the case here. Shiiba is a detective in Tokyo Metropolitan Police investigating arms smuggling/crimes. He works with an informant know as an S, or spy. Shiiba loses his S and has to cultivate a new one. Munechika would make a great S, only Shiiba doesn't like him! But that aversion covers up a secret attraction.

For the first in a series, this was very well done. The plot has a lot of detail, and the ongoing backdrop of a police investigation provides a good atmosphere for a tense romance. Shiiba is a well developed character with a enough back story to make him believable. Readers can easily identify and sympathize with his vulnerabilities. Munechika is kept deliberately mysterious to help build suspense around his actions concerning Shiiba, and it works beautifully.
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Format: Paperback
The story centers around a young police detective Shiiba and his undercover work in the Kabuki-cho district of Shinjuku, Tokyo, one of the largest red-light districts in Asia and a hub of criminal activity for Chinese and Japanese mafia.

Aida does a good job of giving the reader an overview of life in Kabuki-cho as well as an inkling of difficult relations between the Japanese police, organized crime, political tension between Japan and China and how it all affects the lives of ordinary people.

The pairing of Shiiba and Munechika is perhaps not as well done as it might have been, but since this is just the first third of the story, their relationship might later on become more believable. For those looking for hot bedroom scenes, there are plenty.

Chiharu Nara's illustrations are also nicely done.

The most surprising thing about this edition of S, at least for me, is the paper quality and the very good translation. DMP even included the first color page, making it look more like a standard Japanese yaoi novel release (I'm comparing it to my edition of Aida's Deadlock). The way a book looks might seem like a very insignificant thing to talk about, in comparison with its contents, but American readers are constantly short-changed when it comes to the printing quality of manga and Japanese light novel releases. For once, it's nice to see something done properly.

I hope that the subsequent two books will be done with the same level of care and I can't wait to see them on bookstore shelves.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
At first, this story was a little hard to get into. In the beginning there is much discussion about how the police system works that Shiiba Masaki is involved with. It goes on for quite awhile and I put the book down 2-3 times until I got into the story. I am guessing that this is because this is the first volume of the series. At the end I was wishing I had a hold of the second volume. This book had the best translation that I read so far. So far the plot is good and I like both of the main characters.
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"S" is a novel about a police detective undercover in the red light district known as Shinjuku. Our main character is Masaki Shiiba, a 28 year old detective specializing in intelligence gathering specific to arms trafficking. The "S" in the title is short for "spy" and Shiiba's spy (informant) in the story is Andou, who is a member of the local crime syndicate. The story revolves mainly around Shiiba, Andou, a Chinese arms dealer and a "mysterious" stranger Shiiba first meets on an elevator. If you like a little story to go with your [....], then this is the story for you. It is very detailed but it has some delicious sex scenes that are beautifully written. The book itself has a sexy cover along with a VERY erotic color illustration as the very first page of the book. The rest of the story includes ten black and white illustrations scattered throughout that are well drawn and the men are drawn in a masculine fashion. There is a second volume to this story that was just released (and that I have eagerly waiting for me) so we'll get to see more of this one including volumes 3 and 4 that have yet to be released (but are available for pre-order on Amazon.com).
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Format: Paperback
OK, I am going to admit that I initially wanted to read this title because it featured a Yakuza seme and a straight arrow uke which, thanks to Yamane Ayano and her Viewfinder series, have become a particular reading fetish for me. (That sounds so BAD, doesn't it? >.< ) Once I began reading the volume, the totally different feel to the story and the author's own sense of style quickly captured my interest for the characters themselves.

Shiiba is a rather complicated man, doing the work he does despite having a developed a loathing for the police organisation itself out of an inner drive to rid himself of the pain he feels after a personal tragedy. This in itself leads him to do more emotional and psychological damage to himself of course, as he builds an emotional barrier precisely in the places that he needs to be more open, in order to no only build a better relationship with, and to protect, his S, but also causes rifts with his fellow officers in ways that can only lead to severe complications later. In fact, his brother in-law is a career track bureaucrat in the police force, yet even he is being pushed away, with the spectre of their shared tragedy forcing the distance rather than bridging it.

When the worst possible outcome comes true for Shiiba, he finds himself not only having to deal with his own emotional backlash, but the need to recover his position. This is where the we get to the crux of the matter, as this involves the charasmatic and slightly sadistic Keigo Munechika. The illegitimate offspring of a yakuza boss and half brother to the group's young and unstable successor, he is really the man behind the scenes of many a shady deal. He makes an ideal informant, but at what price?
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S Vol. 1 (v. 1)
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