by Katsura and Yuramei
Genre: yaoi, angst, drama, gangster
Authors: Yuramei, Katsura
Cover art: Yuramei
Editor: P.M. Leckie
First published: January 2014
ISBN-10: 1494979837 / ISBN-13: 978-1494979836
When in Hell, it's better to be favoured by the Devil than be left to rot with the rest of the damned.
In a poverty stricken district of Seoul, the orphanages are packed to the rafters with discarded children. But are they as unwanted as they seem?
To the ruthless South Korean Mafia, the Kkangpae, they are a welcome source of new foot soldiers.
Forced into a world of violence, drugs and extortion, these lost souls have no choice but to adapt and blend in amongst those already entrenched in a regime of crime.
But for one little boy, blending in is an impossible task.
Something which could either be his downfall or his salvation.
Raised to be the Devil’s golden boy, can Jeong keep his favoured position or will their bond be broken in the fight to be at the top of the underworld?
ReviewsAs a fan of the Big Deal series I was happy to see the artist start their own. The first chapter is mainly set up as were introduced to main character Jeong and the world he lives in. As the favorite for a mafia boss who is also his childhood friend things seem fairly sweet for Jeong. But things may be changing for him and the mafia and it's not clear what he status might be if he lose his boss's favor.
Readers of yaoi manga, anime, and male/male romance stories featuring Yakuza type gangsters are sure to love the stunning debut manga by authors Yuramei and Katsura. Beautifully illustrated in silvery black and white hues, this initial chapter reveals the story of Jeong, a young assassin whose place in the Mafia-type gang is relatively secure due to his long term relationship with the charismatic hoodlum known as “The Devil.”
In this first installment, I learned why Jeong is known as the Golden Boy and how he and The Devil initially met. Exquisitely composed illustrations show Jeong as a young orphaned child, herded with other orphans to the ghetto lair of the gang, where apparently, the children are put to work to earn their keep.
The layout of the pages stays true to Japanese manga styling, reading right to left from top to bottom. Yuramei’s drawings possess a delicate sensitivity that adds to the fragility of the emotion contained within the story and the page composition is quite strong. Dynamic cells are intersected with smaller inset images that effectively highlight impactful moments of the tale. The visuals alone communicate the story very impressively, but Katsura’s reserved prose adds just the right touch to the manga revealing the "voice" of the characters without overriding the lucid and compelling illustrations.
In addition to learning of Jeong’s traumatic childhood, I was also introduced to a number of gang members and its leader, who doesn’t seem to be on the best of terms with his second in command, The Devil. There are hints of amorous affection among the gang members, and Jeong seems to be ruthless, promiscuous, and a bit bloodthirsty…as any young assassin who has managed to make it to adulthood in this gang would be.
I encourage everyone to check out this debut effort by two authors whose work on their 'Big Deal' series, still has me rereading passages from all four books to quench my thirst for the crafty sexaholic of that series. Ye-ah, I can never get enough Judas Macgregor, but I daresay I’ll be pining for Jeong before too long.
Thank you, Yuramei and Katsura, for this lovely new manga full of tough talkers and tender moments. “Hip, Hip, Hooray”