The Bottom Line
A flamenco dancer and an actor. A painter with artists block and a gallery owner. An aging punk legend and an up and coming rocker. Seduce Me After The Show brings together these creative men in five short stories about guys loving guys. It's more tasteful than torrid, but that allows est em's dramatic artwork and sensitive storytelling to shine through.
Instead of pretty boys in lust, Seduce Me depicts grown-up males dealing with real-life (but no less romantic) realities of modern relationships. An elegantly-drawn suite of short stories that has cross-over appeal for even non-BL comics readers.
- Elegant and stylish artwork with striking black / white compositions
- Mature and thoughtful storytelling that captures the complexities of adults in love
- Sensitive portrayal of male sexuality that is more artistic than pornographic
- A lovely departure from androgynous boys in love with mirror images of themselves
- Short on the "boom wacka mow mow," if you know what I mean
- The men, while handsome, look more like grown men than pretty boys
- Original Title: Sho ga Hanetara Aimasho (Japan)
- Author & Artist: est em
Deux Press / Aurora Publishing (US)
Tokyomangasha, Tokyo (Japan)
- ISBN: 978-1934496169
- Cover Price: $12.95 US
- Age Rating:
M – Mature, Age 18+
for adult language, sexual situations
More about content ratings.
- Manga Genres:
- Yaoi (Boys Love) Manga
- Adult Romance
- Dance / Music
- Slice of Life / Reality-Based
- US Publication Date: June 2008
Japan Publication Date: 2006
- Book Description: 192 pages, black and white illustrations
Guide Review - Seduce Me After The Show
I'll admit I haven't reviewed much yaoi manga – but that's not to say that there aren't some worthwhile reads out there in boys love land. One recent arrival is Seduce Me After the Show, a collection of stylish short stories by est em. These stories are bound together by a slender thematic tie: the men in love are creative souls, dancers, artists and musicians.
The first thing that will hit you as you flip through this book is est em's elegant linework and striking use of bold black strokes against stark white backdrops. While there are artists who pile on the details, sparkles and screentone, est em takes a more measured approach, and sets a mature, thoughtful mood for her stories. Shadows and light, smoke and rumpled sheets speak of passion, intimacy and longing more profoundly than explicit sex scenes.
The other refreshing aspect of Seduce Me After the Show is that it's not so much a "boys love" manga as it is about men in love. Gone are the adolescent school boy or fairy tale fantasies – instead, we have grown-up men, some that are even (gasp!) old and wrinkled who deal with the complexities of same-sex relationships in a largely hetero world.
While Seduce Me is a departure from the usual "androgynous pretty boys in love with mirror images of themselves" formula, there's a palatable chemistry between these men that makes their relationships seem plausible and touching. An actor and a flamenco dancer. A young musician and a burnt out rocker. A painter and a gallery owner. Some pairings are more interesting than others, but these stories work well together, like a suite of different songs by the same composer.
It may miss the mark for some yaoi manga aficionados, but Seduce Me After the Show's striking art and sensitive storytelling makes it appealing to a broader range of manga (and comics) readers, not just boys love fans.