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review 2020-05-17 01:46
BL Metamorphosis (manga, vol. 1) by Kaori Tsurutani, translated by Jocelyne Allen
BL Metamorphosis, Vol. 1 - Kaori Tsurutani,Jocelyne Allen

Note: I've seen a few places online tag this as "boys' love." While it includes characters that read that genre, as well as a few panels and pages of the works they read, this is absolutely not a "boys' love" series, in case the cover doesn't make that clear.

Ichinoi is in her 70s and lives a quiet life. Her husband died a while ago and her daughter lives in another country, so most of the people she sees on a regular basis are the children and elderly people who come to her for calligraphy lessons. This changes when she goes to a bookstore for the first time in a while and buys a manga volume because it has beautiful artwork. She figures it will be like the manga she read when she was younger, but it turns out to be a romantic "boys' love" (BL, m/m) series. She ends up hooked and goes back to the bookstore for more volumes, attracting the attention of one of the store's employees, Urara, a high school student and huge BL fan.

Right Stuf has started including more reviews on their blog, and it was one of those reviews that prompted me to buy this. The artwork wasn't the style I'm normally attracted to, but the premise, a budding cross-generational friendship prompted by a shared love of BL manga, made me want to read it immediately.

This was a wonderful first volume. Urara desperately wanted friends with whom she could talk to about the things she loved, but she was too shy, and possibly too worried about how others would react to the things she wanted to gush about. Ichinoi was less shy, and she was the one to take the first steps in her and Urara's friendship, inviting Urara out for tea.

I loved how friendly, positive, and open-minded Ichinoi was. I also loved watching Urara try to navigate the potential hazards in this new friendship. When Ichinoi asked for manga recommendations, it was like the floodgates had opened up for Urara. She could think of lots of titles to recommend but was afraid of making a misstep and ruining things. Ichinoi had already defied Urara's expectations by enjoying a manga featuring a sweet gay romance, but would manga with on-page sex scandalize her?

This volume also touches a bit on Urara's school life - the one person her own age that she talks to is her childhood friend, a guy who's dating someone else and who I think she might have a bit of a crush on.

My biggest issue with this first volume was that it was very short. Also, it's setting off various alarm bells that make me wonder whether I should wait until a few more volumes have come out and I can hunt for spoilers before continuing on. Unlike A Man and His Cat, another series I recently started reading featuring an older protagonist, this one screams "will end with the death of the older character, after the younger character has learned to be more assertive." I like Ichinoi so far, and that would wreck me. I'm also not sure how I feel about the hints that Urara might have an unrequited crush on her childhood friend. It depends on how it gets handled, I suppose.


A full-color illustration and a 2-page afterword manga featuring Ichinoi making and eating milk jelly.


(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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text 2020-05-12 20:52
Reading progress update: I've read 73 out of 140 pages.
BL Metamorphosis, Vol. 1 - Kaori Tsurutani,Jocelyne Allen

Ichinoi just realized that the author of the series she likes only releases about one volume every year and a half, and she's already read the most recent volume, so now she's calculating how many more years she might still have left to live and how much more of the series she might get to read. T_T


Well now I'm sad. But I bet Urara can recommend lots of other series to her.

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text 2020-05-12 20:41
Reading progress update: I've read 54 out of 140 pages.
BL Metamorphosis, Vol. 1 - Kaori Tsurutani,Jocelyne Allen

I need to stop buying paper books, or I'm going to end up buried in them. I don't really have a lot of room for more unless I start offloading, and even if places are taking them right now (I think my library is currently accepting gifts still), I don't feel comfortable giving piles of my books to places right now.


So anyway, this was part of a recent order inspired by a Right Stuf review blog post. I'm not a fan of the artwork at all, but it's turning out to be sweet. An older lady named Ichinoi stops by a bookstore and picks up a manga with a cover she likes, figuring it would be like the manga of her younger days. It actually turns out to be BL (boys' love) manga - in this case, not the raunchy stuff, but the sweeter and more romantic stuff. She gets hooked and goes back to the store for more volumes, attracting the attention of one of the employees, a female high school student who badly wants to make friends but who doesn't know how to start socializing with people at school. It's looking like she'll have found both a friend and a reading buddy in Ichinoi.

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text 2019-09-13 16:16
Reading progress update: I've read 62 out of 96 pages.
The Metamorphosis and Other Stories (Dover Thrift Editions) - Stanley Appelbaum

It's a wonderfully weird book. So far I've read "The Judgment" and even after the third reading of this story I'm still not sure I've made sense of it; "The Metamorphosis" the reason I'm reading this for CREEPY CRAWLIES" and a brilliant and evocative tale, and I'm most of the way through "The Penal Colony", reading about a strange machine that tortures an accused prisoner to death through language.

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review 2019-02-03 22:19
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
The Very Hungry Caterpillar - Eric Carle

The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a great informative and entertaining book for young readers. The illustrations and the holes in the pages will keep readers interested. Science can be easily incorporated with this book because metamorphosis is described from the egg stage to the caterpillar finally becoming a beautiful butterfly. Students can also watch an animated film of the book and see the metamorphosis in depth and the book come to life! https://youtu.be/75NQK-Sm1YY


Lexile AD460L

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