cover image Pastel, Volume 1

Pastel, Volume 1

Toshihiko Kobayashi, . . Del Rey, $10.95 (208pp) ISBN 978-0-345-48627-1

Like most hormone-saturated boys his age, 16-year-old Mugi Tadano is obsessed with sex but timid about the prospect of actually "doing it." When he catches sight of lovely Yuu Tsukisaki changing into her bikini, he's both flustered and fascinated. He falls in puppy love/lust. Mugi's emotional turmoil intensifies when he goes home and discovers that Yuu and her smart-mouthed sister will be living there from now on. Then Mugi and Yuu are left alone in the house at night. Then they wind up sleeping in the same bed. Then she rolls over in her sleep and hugs him. And so on. Everything that happens is innocent but intensely titillating. As he gets to know her, Mugi's feelings for Yuu deepen; she really is a sweet person. At the same time, he's getting incredibly horny. He doesn't want to behave like the irresponsible people around him—but who wouldn't when Kobayashi presents constant crotch shots of Yuu. Kobayashi has pitched this manga perfectly at the adolescent inside most adults who are trying to juggle incompatible desires. There's no hint that Mugi's dilemma will be resolved any time soon, so readers can expect an endless series of titillating developments. (Jan.)