I purchased a stack of 3 volumes of Kayono manga after glimpsing a preview of some of her art on a Japanese website. I have found a new artist to obsess over! I had no idea what the stories were in these books, but the artwork is just so pretty, I almost didn’t care! Fortunately I find the stories to be entertaining too, so I look forward to collecting more of Kayono’s works in the future. All three volumes I purchased are short story collections. This book has one story set in modern Japan, and two stories set in a fantasy world. The artwork on the cover, and in my scary little scan below doesn’t really do justice to how pretty the interior art really is. You’ll have to take my word for it ^_^
The first story is the one set in modern Japan, and it features an unusual heroine. Her name is Yuuka, and by day she is a rather sickly, unpopular schoolgirl. But by night she has a secret life as a night club host! No, not ‘hostess’, but ‘host’! Every night she crossdresses as a bishounen named Eiji, and works at her brother’s ‘Host Club’ where she charms all the middle-aged women customers who all drool over her handsome bishounen looks. Eiji even kisses the ladies and has them all passing out in happiness. Personally I think ‘Eiji’ looks a lot like one of the guys from Gundam SEED… anyway, things get complicated for Yuuka/Eiji, when a young sexy woman at the club takes an interest in Eiji and ‘he’ finds ‘himself’ responding!
The next two stories take place in a fantasy world, and are rather sexy and somewhat violent. Kayono’s artwork is especially pretty in her fantasy stories. Her costume designs are gorgeous, and she has some unique clothing for her men, too. The first fantasy story follows the adventures of an abducted desert princess and the mysterious man who steals her away. Beautiful butterfly imagery here. The next story is about a dancer who is betrayed, and an artist/magician who makes her his slave and holds her captive in this elaborate tower. The back of the book has a section of artwork of the characters from all three stories, and some amusing advertisements in which her characters sell cosmetics ^_^;;
EDIT: I’m no longer as much of a Kayono fan as I was when I wrote this summary. Kayono was eventually accused of plagiarism by another mangaka, and I thought the provided proof and comparison images were pretty convincing. However Kayono was able to win the lawsuit (it helps that she’s the daughter of a famous mangaka too). I’m not convinced she’s innocent though. So I’m keeping my summaries up, but my feelings on her now are kinda meh.