Here we go with my new acquisitions. Information and samples for these mangas are compiled in my Harlequin & Romance comic raws collection. And as usual, if someone is interested in scanlating a story or more, listed at that page, you can submit a request for the raws HERE.

Harlequin comics

  • HARA Chieko: The Duke and I (reserved for English scanlation)
  • Nora Roberts’ Three Sisters Island trilogy illustrated by TACHIBANA Kaya:
    1. Dance Upon the Air
    2. Heaven and Earth
    3. Face the Fire
  • Deborah Hale & SACHIMI Riho: The Bonny Bride
  • Leigh Michaels & AMANE Ritsuka: Backwards Honeymoon (translated)
  • Michele Dunaway & SHINOZAKI Kakuko: Nine Months’ Notice
  • Jessica Steele & INOUE Youko: With his Ring
  • Emilie Rose & NAGASAWA Satoru: Paying the Playboy’s Price
  • Caitlin Crews & SHINOHARA Masami: The Man Behind the Scars
  • Maggie Cox & SOUMA Jinko: Brazilian Boss, Virgin Housekeeper
  • Kate Hewitt & SAKUYA Kaishi: The Greek Tycoon’s Convenient Bride

I’m no fan of Hara Chieko. In general, old school is not my cup of tea but sensei’s drawings don’t bother me contrary to other well-known mangakas’, maybe because she has a sweet understated style — old school style usually tends to annoy the hell out of me with melodrama and theatrics overuse. I wouldn’t have bought this manga on my own but exceptionally, purchased it for a scanlator who needed decent raws. In the end, I should thank them because after browsing the manga, I think the story looks nice and sweet. It doesn’t change my opinion about Hara Chieko’s art style but I’m curious to read this manga once it’ll be scanlated.

In this set of 12 mangas, I’m only put off by With his Ring. It’s a pity because the drawing is not bad, nicely detailed, and the story seems sweet. But I can’t stand the hero’s face! He has prettier and more delicate female features than the heroine. His flyaway hair is darn ridiculous and what’s with the absurdly long eyelashes for a man?! Other mangakas also draw feminine looking heros but it doesn’t bother me as much because they actually draw all characters, males and females, like that. In this case, it especially disturbs me because the other men appear decently male. Sorry but as soon as I saw the hero, I had images of Takarazuka revue flashing in my mind, otokoyakus parading with their kitschy wigs, padded suits and corny songs.

Better not dwell too much on this disappointment and instead mention the manga I’ve prefered this time: The Man Behind the Scars. The illustrations look so lush and mouth watering. And I’m a sucker for attractively drawn men with scarred faces.
Shinohara Masami is an alias for the BL mangaka Suzuhara Shino. I already noticed sensei’s art style in the past and wanted to read her recent BL works. But when I saw the previews for The Man Behind the Scars, I was a goner. The technical mastery reminds me of JET’s and Iwasaki Yoko’s though the 3 mangaka’s art styles are different. It’s something about the maturity of their drawings, the precise way they draw facial expressions and bodies like the characters are breathing and moving…

I’m hoping to see Shinohara-san’s Harlequin comics translated very soon. The biggest flaw I’ve noticed in her art is that her hero’s design screams Asian — slanted eyes, slick black hair. But I can forgive her because the vulnerable Scottish man is flat-out hot. Well, the dark looks can pass for some exotic British mix.