This is not your typical Yaoi at all. Rated 16+, there is no explicit scenes but Dining Bar Akira does not need it to get my full attention. The developing romance between its two characters is convincing, tastefully done and punctuated with comical and quirky moments. Akira and Torihara are both likable ordinary Joes and it is their very ordinariness which makes these 2 characters believable and gives their romance its credibility and ultimate sweetness. I like the setting in the Dining Bar with its 7 guys and 1 lady. Too bad the story is not long enough to let us know all its characters, but the few who are given roles to play certainly spice up the plot. This mangaka has her own unique style both in her story telling skills and her lovely artwork. Love all those facial expressions. Her guys are guys and I like Akira's little goatee even if I feel guys look more sexy without their facial hair! The story is told from first Akira's view then the dining bar owner's view and finally Torihara's view as these 2 guys struggle with their feelings and insecurities. The dining bar owner Maki is one cool hunk as he watches over the seemingly more vulnerable Akira. But who could blame Akira as he is near mid thirty and the last thing he wants is Torihara, his much younger part time helper, suddenly declaring having feelings for him. Gay love is never easy but "truth is, its foolishly simple" to quote the mangaka :)
There are two short one shots. One on a guy afraid to declare his feelings for his school mate for fear of rejection is bittersweet. The other on one gay man suddenly having the hots for his chubby co-worker is funny but a tad too short.
I hope there is more releases from this mangaka in the US as I really appreciate her unique style and interesting characters and setting which is demonstrated once again in her varied short stories in Black Winged Love.