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No Touching At All

No Touching At All - Kou Yoneda Edit 4/19/14: THERE WILL BE A MOVIE?!

Decided to do a review of this after my fifth reread. :D

Doushitemo Furetakunai (translation: No touching at all/I don’t want to touch) remains as my favorite comic by Yoneda Kou and is definitely one of my favorite M/M comics of all time. The story centers around Shima Toshiaki, the new employee of the systems section department of some undisclosed company, and his relationship with the section chief Togawa. Shima is an introverted gay man who just got over an ugly relationship with a closeted man from his previous company. Togawa is the polar opposite: loud, carefree, and very social in his dealings with others. He’s also straight as a pole and has plans of eventually having his own family.

While the plot itself may not win most original gay-for-you story of the century, especially to veterans of M/M fiction, I believe the execution of it was done well. However, it was the artistic style and characters that make DF shine among the stagnant waters of M/M comics (which is pretty much porn-without-plot it seems). Yoneda Kou has a very subtle, yet poignant quality to her style that is reminiscent of some writing styles of M/M authors I very much admire and appreciate. I feel like I have to take the time to appreciate not only the quality of the actual drawings itself, but her execution of the story from one panel to the next. I call it her “art prose” (now I’m just making up words!). She doesn’t really focus on the sex between her characters – it’s there, but subtle and tactfully done.

I do want to warn readers that there IS a published, translated version of DF titled “No Touching At All.” It can be found on major retailers for digital download (i.e. Amazon and eManga) for purchase. I really hate to say this, but I will be blunt: the official translations for this story sucks, and not in the way that turns me on either. There are moments when conversations don’t make sense. That wouldn’t have bothered me so much since this only occurs occasionally. However, it carried over to the more intimate situations as well where the moment felt ruined because of badly done translations. After I bought the digital ebook version, I switched back to rereading the fan-translated material after about halfway through and started enjoying it again. Not only that, but the digital quality of the published version leaves much to be desired (I was reading the PDF I bought from eManga on my iPad 2, and wasn’t impressed). So my recommendation: read the fan-translated version of DF online. It is well done, understandable, and devoid of bad grammar and misspellings. You can read it online on any major “manga” hosting sites such as Mangafox. Here’s a direct here