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Fan Comic Spotlight: Obsessions

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obsessions cover Obsessions, Battousai X Aoshi (Rurouken), rated PG-13, 20 pp.
$2, rated PG.
Warnings: m/m romance, intimacy

Aoshi is called out on a mysterious rendezvous with Kenshin, but when he arrives, the encounter is nothing as he expected. Rather than the fight he had long been waiting for with Kenshin, possibly ending in his death and a long awaited release, the Battousai of days past offers him an indecent proposal.

Special thanks to Susan for taking the time to review this title for AC!
    First off, I must declare that I am already a little biased in this review from the word go. Not only am I an Aoshi-phile, I am also addicted to the psychology of feisty 26 year-old pretty boy.  By this I meant, I've been quite spoiled by the doujinshi-ka and circles whose works emphasized on Aoshi as the tragic beauty. He has become more than a grim, semi-psychotic character who's more inclined to talk to the dead than to the living.  I've not seen nor read much stories involving Aoshi that attempted to go inside his soul and maybe drag a little bit of angst out of him. It's a difficult task, understandably, Aoshi's not the kind that divulged much information in the canon.  It's a mild act of audacity, if you will, to force the writing pen to want dissect this pretty creature for other reasons besides the instaneous desire to ply PWP on him. Aoshi is prime slash material, but it takes the right seme to make the pairing work. Battousai's one of Aoshi's best matched seme--filling the exact Sado-Maso psychology that made this kind of slash hot. I am quite pleased to see Obsessions, for obvious reasons.

    One of the main details that I noted in this story's the fact that the writer carried on the writing and plotting without making any apologies.  By this I mean, there's none of these long winded explanations of why Kenshin had averted to his former self or why Aoshi had finally asked for freedom (or death, if you want to read it that way). Most of the time, this works against the stories because it leaves the reader a little bewildered but in this instance, it moved the story along quickly and smoothly with heavy focus on the pair's hidden past.  The only thing I must point out while we're talking about the construction of the story is the language. It felt a little too poetic in parts and some of the dialog read like riddles. Perhaps that's the writer's intention. Whatever the case, it's a minor point and it does not distract from the purpose of the story which is to present a disillusioned man who asked for salvation from the most unlikely god.  The writer scored major points by wanting to tackle this pairing that even most dojinshi-ka avoided and with tighter writing in the subsequent parts, this might be one of the best Aoshi fanfics out there. 

    It's rather unfortunate that the story came to an end at the beginning of a grand revelation but with the work the artist pressed into this short span of pages, it's quite impressive. And in case you're wondering, I have the edge on the dojinshi review since I was sent the finished copy with color cover and bound with textured tissue-like paper. Pretty stuff, just like Aoshi--and I hope to see more parts to follow.

~ Susan

Our guest reviewer, Ashura says: "First, let me start off by saying that I know almost nothing about Ruroni Kenshin, beside what I've read from Pluto's Aoshi doujinshis, and some last minute research from some Ruroni Kenshin websites. So as I am writing this review, I am basing my review mostly by the story, artwork and layout. The story is basically about Aoshi's meeting with Battousai to help Aoshi find a release from all his crimes. What Battousai offers, causes Aoshi to recall old memories that he never truly acknowledged. Pluto's artwork and layout seems to change to accommodate each story. The minimalism in this story works very well with the dialogue. I particularly liked pages 8 and 9 where the balance of power between the two characters can be seen without the typical seme/uke kiss or rape. All you see is Aoshi's sword falling to the ground, and that is enough to assign their roles. Simple, yet effective. Another thing I'd like to point out is Pluto's brilliant use of tones. She makes good use of a variety of tones, and well enough to illustrate her "minimalist" style without over- doing tone usage, which many beginning artists using tones, tend to abuse. I absolutely love the dialogue and the flow of the comic. The dialogue seems to just flow along with the images, giving a very natural feel to the reading. I am looking forward to reading MORE Aoshi comics from Pluto. Perhaps an exploration on what REALLY happened that night between the young Aoshi and Battousai..*cackles* "

Our second guest reviewer, Lady Bax, commented: "I wanna a copy just for the gorgeous watercoloured Aoshi on the cover! And the first page illo of sexy sexy aoshi! And well...ALL the sexy aoshis! The story is very psychological and angsty. It takes place after all the anime. Aoshi is forced to come to terms with what freedom means to him, and if he really wants it. Quite long, and absolutely scrumptious! Two thumbs up! If you are a Kenshin/Aoshi fan, you've got to read this comic!"


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