As always, reading an issue of Rakuen Le Paradis is like a trip into the adult reading room when you’re usually stuck in the kid’s room at the library.
We’re at Volume 6 now, and there’s a rhythm to the stories. They focus on so many kinds of relationships – from consensual abuse to tentative first love, with every kind of experience in between. But they are rarely same-old, same-old.
For Yuri fans, Nishi UKO’s “Collectors” continues to be touching and amusing, as Shinobu, Takako and their friends hit up a hot springs resort for a weekend away, only to find their conflicting personalities and priorities split them up almost immediately.
Also from Nishi UKO comes a rather touching homage to the story of Galatea, “Mannequin.” This was a totally “awww….” story, told in style by an elegant artist.
Takemiya Jin’s “Omoi no Kakera” continues with a shocking confession by one of Mayu’s friends who is sick of hearing Mayu say that gays make her sick…because she’s gay herself.
As always, these Yuri stories are only a few examples of the quality artists and storytellers captured in the pages of this volume. If you’re not reading this magazine yet and are wondering if there’s more to manga than just the same three plots over and over, I once again recommend Rakuen Le Paradis.
Overall – 9
For grown-ups who want to read manga for grown-ups.