Yaoi Review: Steal Moon vol. 2

Steal Moon vol. 2
Story and Art: Makoto Tateno
Published by the Juné Imprint of Digital Manga, Inc.
ISBN13: 9781569701010
ISBN10: 1569701016

Review by I-hsiu Lin

Voyeurism taken to the next level.

In the first vol. of Steal Moon, street fighter Nozomi ends up as commodity in the peeping room internet site of ‘Digital Angels’. He later discovers that it is only a cover-up to distract a computer monitoring them from the moon, ‘Isis’. Teaming up with Hermes and Coyote (who placed him in this situation in the first place,) he finds himself wrapped up more and more with the conspiracy to take down the digital surveillance. Through it all, Nozomi falls for the enigmatic Coyote who in turn confesses his feelings for him. Just a bit more, Coyote promises that they’ll be free from observing eyes. But the situation turns to shock when during their final plan to shut down the moon’s computer, they had in fact turned it on. Hermes and Coyote had a plan of their own, but what about his feelings for Nozomi? “You may not believe me but…I still love you.”

Nozomi is left behind with those words as he discovers his involvement led to the awakening of ‘Isis’. Feeling betrayed and hurt, he teams up with Lahti who is planning to get Kai back after Coyote captures him at the end of the first vol. Their plan was to get Coyote and Hermes out of hiding and discover the reasons behind their betrayal. Revealing what occurs will be revealing too much of the story, but there is more to it then just the moon monitoring civilians. ‘Isis’ has another program and shutting it down will not be easy. However, leaving it alone is not an option as people will be killed…including Coyote.

The second volume deepens the growing relationship between Nozomi and Coyote, but the story doesn’t just concentrate on them. Through the various plot twists, we learn a bit more about the world they live in and the ‘enemy’ that they’re facing. Tateno Makoto created a world that weaves mythology and romance together. In the second volume alone, there are many surprises in each of the chapters with unexpected characters and plot twists. Tateno does a brilliant job in tying it all together.

Coyote is definitely one of Tateno’s more ‘well-rounded’ seme in terms of personality. Although he is strong, secretive and sexy with an alluring demeanor, he also has a sense of humor. Nozomi is one who knows what he wants and strives for it. For a boys love story, the plot doesn’t really surround Nozomi and Coyote falling for each other (since that was well established in vol. 1,) but more on their growing relationship and working together against the odds. Of course, that doesn’t mean that we don’t have an abundance of sex scenes to drool over. In beautiful Tateno art, we have varied scenes of seduction between Nozomi and Coyote as well as a little moment with Lahti and Kai. Sex isn’t just about the act, but the words that are spoken and left unspoken. *grins*

Lahti and Kai from Blue Sheep Reverie made their appearance in the first vol. In the second volume, we see a few more characters and hints that allude to that story. It isn’t necessary to read Blue Sheep Reverie in order to understand this story, although knowing about it gives more meaning to the depth of the characters. Their actions, relationship and connections are drawn out in that backstory. For those that already read the book, it truly is sweet seeing their trust in each other from what was established before. For more info, you can check out my previous review.

There are shota elements in the story, but their presence is only very slight. The two little kids, Soma and Gyokuto might deter others from reading this story, but please note that their presence isn’t one with much sexual content. (In truth, there were more ‘hints’ in the first volume.) It’s refreshing to have kids in the story and their scenes are definitely plot driven.

One last thing to note, my favorite piece of art is one of Coyote’s face when he bids Nozomi farewell…. The gaze is a mixture of sweetness and sadness…something that I think is brought forth very well on Tateno’s part.

The second volume of Steal Moon was made in the new style of Juné manga, meaning no dustjackets. It is the same size as previous Juné manga releases (which is good to know since I would be disappointed if the first and second volumes were two different sizes,) but the covers are a bit different. The previous Juné manga covers had the pink bar at the bottom with the Juné emblem and 'Yaoi Manga' printed. Now, it is a larger blue bar on the right side with the same Juné emblem and 'Yaoi Manga' words in different font. A minor change but something to note for those that are concerned with the look of their collections. Of course, I'm still upset at the disappearance of dustjackets since they sometimes have additional colored art at the front and back flap which is now absent. However, I still have no complaints to the translation and the size of the manga itself. Juné does a fantastic job in choosing another awesome Tateno manga.

Strong story, fantastic characters and brilliant artwork. Tateno fans will not be disappointed with the closing of this story and those who have not ventured into this particular world yet may want to start with volume one.

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