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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!, March 19, 2008
This review is from: The Prime Minister's Secret Diplomacy (Paperback)
I love Youka Nitta's "Embracing Love" series. It is one of the top 3 hard yaoi series available, and is more or less a straight up romance. This, however, is not so simple. At first, I was a little off-put. The minister isn't very likeable, and the diplomatic storyline really requires attention. A person actually has to read this manga carefully to follow along. Not because of poor translation or misplaced bubbles, but because the language is that intricate. I quickly realized this could be Nitta's best work. The artwork is her typical high standard, with clean lines and well defined backgrounds. The men are attractive (and look suspiciously like Iwaki and Katou;), and undeniably male.

Nitta obviously did some research for this title. The conversations between the ambassadors are clever and have a lot of innuendo and hidden meaning. The story revolves around a young up and coming diplomat. There is a vicious rumor that he uses his body for negotations instead of words. However, readers learn that he truly is a brilliant diplomat. Those rumors aren't completely off-target though. He is hiding a scandalous secret - just not that! When another young diplomat, who happens to be the brother of his fiance, learns his secret he seduces him. And then proceeds to play mind games with him throughout the novel! This is what makes him not so likeable. However, the minister has demons of his own that make him crave destruction as much as success and he needs someone to love him. And I loved how Nitta shook up the traditional yaoi roles. The young diplomat is the seme but it's the minister who's obviously in control. Delicious.

The interplay here is fabulous. The sex isn't as frequent as in "Embracing Love" but it's actually a little more graphic and surprisingly crude at one point. These two men are having an affair that could destroy them. And they know it. They are complicated characters in a complicated plot. Nitta includes a note at the end that this was intended as a stand alone, but she loved the characters so much it will continue. Phew..boy are we lucky! I would have given this more than 5 stars if I could. I hope volume 2 comes quickly. Highly recommended!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Prime Minister's Secret Diplomacy, April 19, 2008
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This review is from: The Prime Minister's Secret Diplomacy (Paperback)
I have read a couple of Youka Nitta titles but I can say that this one is my most favorite. Both main characters are hot and sexy that I couldn't get enough of their love time together. The sex scenes are hot and juicy, though they are not as frequent as her other books.

The ending was left open and I am so, so happy that the mangaka decided to continue this title and hopefully the second volume will be out soon. I can't wait!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Prime Minister's Secret Diplomacy by Youka Nitta, May 21, 2008
This review is from: The Prime Minister's Secret Diplomacy (Paperback)
Shiraishi is a young diplomat for a Japan's embassy in Thailand. Here he has the change to work with Yoshinaga, a very young diplomat whose genius and political ability helped him to make a fast career. Yoshinaga is also Shiraishi's sister fiancee, even if the engagement is more a interest bargain than a matter of love.

When Shiraishi sees Yoshinaga in a night club kissing another man, he has puzzled feelings: he is angry for a man of Yoshinaga's level to be so open in public, but he is also worried for his family and sister. So he corners Yoshinaga and pretends some explanations to a scandalous behavior. Instead Yoshinaga justifies all his unethical moves due to the context and moreover, he kisses also Shiraishi and soon after they start an affair, putting also Shiraishi in an embarrassing position and bonding him to not reveal anything otherwise he will put at risk also his career.

Between Shiraishi and Yoshinaga there is a strange relationship: obviously they are very attracted from each other, but both Yoshinaga than Shiraishi seem not willing to give up their career for love; on the contrary Yoshinaga has no intention to break his engagement with Shiraishi's sister, and Shiraishi seems right with having an extra marital relationship with him, betraying not a mere other woman, but his own sister.

The story is pretty complex, the graphic detailed and rich; this is, according to the author, only a first volume of several others, even if the American publisher released it as a one stand volume.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sensitive Negotiations, October 9, 2010
This review is from: The Prime Minister's Secret Diplomacy (Paperback)
The Shiraishi family are a family of prestigious diplomats, and son Tomohiro is on track to follow his father's rising star. Relying on personal connections he makes for himself and his wits, he gains the respect of his fellow junior diplomats as well as his superior. This is just as well, for his relationship with his superior is a messy one. Yoshinaga has been steadily rising through the ranks despite his young age, though his often unorthodox methods and pretty face have led to some scurrilous rumours floating about. Add in the fact that political alliances are not just made with other countries, but with others in one's own diplomatic corps, and it is no surprise that marriages are used for personal political alliances. This is certainly the case for Yoshinaga, who is engaged to Tomohiro's sister by arrangement with the politically prominent elder Ambassador Shiraishi. This doesn't make Tomohiro's posting to Thailand under Yoshinaga any easier though, as he quickly discovers that Yoshinaga is not quite what he seems. For one thing, he picks up men in bars. Confronted with the reality of this, Tomohiro confronts Yoshinaga, and the two begin their own diplomatic battle. With reputations and emotions on the line, this bartering has high stakes indeed. But can the two men come to a compromise their hearts will accept?

Nitta Youka once more brings us a sizzling tale of romance, but it is one that quite defies most BL conventions. Not that she is any stranger to that, but with this series, she really has raised the bar. The fascinating inside look at political negotiations and the inner workings of Japan's diplomatic corps was fascinating and well researched. She seamlessly integrates the professional aspects of the main characters' lives without feeling like an interruption, causing any dragging, or creating filler. The actual diplomatic encounters actually play a vital part in the world and character building, creating a setting that was as exciting as it was unusual. As usual, her background settings are lushly detailed, and her characters meticulously dressed. From the flow of the hair, to the line of the clothes, to the profile of the shoes, all are flawlessly executed with a high degree of elegant realism.

The story is emotionally complicated, and while this volume is sold as a one shot and ends in a place that could be taken as an ending, it is nonetheless a very open ending that seems more of an introduction to a longer series chronicling the development of a complicated love affair. This seems deliberate, as the story is immediately followed by a letter from Nitta Youka to her readers, stating that she had originally intended but a single volume, but had decided to extend it. Sadly, perhaps due to the reasons that led to the hiatus from which she has only just returned, she began a second volume but then dropped it just before completion, and has never picked this up again. One only hopes that is a "has not picked this back up YET", rather than this becoming an orphaned series. I for one certainly would love to see more of the negotiation table that the two men face off across, both publicly and privately, as the political scenes crackle and the romantic scenes fairly smoulder on the page.

Rated an 18+ due to scenes of a graphic sexual nature, this is available currently as a paperback which, due to the lack of censorship and the time it was originally printed, is available under Digital Manga's 801 Media imprint. In case anyone is left pondering just why that particular imprint is called 801, I'll hand you this piece of trivia: In Japanese, the "short" reading for the kanji for the number 8 is pronounced "ya", the 0 can be read as "oh" and the 1 as "I" (or "i", pronounced in Japanese as a long e), which when then read together says yaoi, which is the main name that the Boys' Love genre is often referred to by. Now you know!

I'd like to take the time to thank Digital Manga for providing me with my review copy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Buy It, July 8, 2009
This review is from: The Prime Minister's Secret Diplomacy (Paperback)
You may think that this couple is a little worn out, you may think that the same to characters in a thousand different rolls over and over is tiresome: You would be WRONG!!! Iwaki is stunning, his cold no-nonsense outlook makes him the funnest thing to watch melt between the sheets and Katou is a mess of a man torn apart by his sense of right and wrong as EVERY part of him screams this relationship is wrong,(but come on, its Iwaki-as if anyone could say no). The result is a roller coaster of angst, lust, love, jealousy and secretsthat could destroy everyone-a great story precedented only by Nitta's art, outstanding! Buy It!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very intense at times...., January 24, 2013
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This review is from: The Prime Minister's Secret Diplomacy (Paperback)
It comes off the way I feel it should. Very professional and very diplomatic and a bit cold. I enjoy the way the characters are almost stoic and are at ease with their realities and situations and how they deal with them and I like how the fiancee isn't stupid or too much in love or at all. It's really very well done, descriptive and something you need to pay attention to and some parts are very sneaky and executed flawlessly. If you don't mind quieted feelings, suits and politics and a little back door tactics, then this is really for you. Of course, I did want to smack and shake these characters, but, you come to understand their positions and the way things have to be.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful!!!, July 27, 2012
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This review is from: The Prime Minister's Secret Diplomacy (Paperback)
This manga is amazingly beautiful!! I'm actually glade that I wasn't ripped off. I sugest you buy this book. It's worth the money. This is my first Youka Nitta manga and I'm very pleased with the results of this purchase.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars prime minister's secret diplomacy, April 6, 2008
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This review is from: The Prime Minister's Secret Diplomacy (Paperback)
great art and, above all, a great story! definitely a must have for all yaoi lovers!
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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars pretty good, April 7, 2008
This review is from: The Prime Minister's Secret Diplomacy (Paperback)
it was entertaining to say the least.

not a 'WOW' but not a 'suck' either. it probably deserves a 3 star, but when i think of all the utter crap that is out there... this one ranks pretty high in comparison. (there are not many books that warrant the whole 5 star rating)
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The Prime Minister's Secret Diplomacy
The Prime Minister's Secret Diplomacy by Youka Nitta (Paperback - January 28, 2004)
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