UNDER GRAND HOTEL VOL. 1

Posted On November - 19 - 2010
  RELEASED BY:   801 MEDIA
  AUTHOR / ART:   MIKA SADAHIRO
  FORMAT:   WESTERN / B&W 
  PAGES:   360
  RATING:   MA
  RELEASE DATE:   08/17/2010
  REVIEW DATE:   11/19/2010
  REVIEWED BY:   SANDRA SCHOLES



Sen is a new to the maximum security prison complex Under Grand Hotel, and looks too cute a guy to be there if looks are anything to go by. The place is for those who have done a great wrong to society and some of the worst offenders are there kept from the public eye – he finds out who the hard types are, who the nice ones are and who will look after him when others would turn on him in a second. He is met by the rangy and strong Swordfish, the self-proclaimed leader of the prison who takes him under his wing for the moment and shows him what goes on in a dark and dingy place like this one. Sen soon learns what killing the husband of his boyfriend gets him, a spell in one of the worst prisons imaginable, but some time with someone he can call a friend.

Soon though, Sen and Swordfish start to become more than just plain friendly, they decide on becoming lovers, which leads to an interesting romance no one else can see. Sen gets on well with Swordfish who tells him he hates gay men, and makes out with them due to the lack of female attention in the prison – Se also has a friend in Brody, a handsome younger inmate who is quick to get to know him. There are some nice steamy scenes with Sen and Brody, as well as some cute ones with him and Swordfish.

Mika Sadahiro's controversial yaoi masterpiece is available for the first time in the English language, and readers will enjoy the dark and sometimes humorous world of Under Grand Hotel. As the first in a series of novels, readers will be itching to get involved with the main characters and see how the story will progress over the next few novels.

The artwork Mika has created is as gritty and realistic as it gets, and resembles in many ways the look of anime art used for Black Lagoon. Unlike many manga of this genre, this particular novel, one in a series of volumes has very little of that cuteness associated with yaoi manga. It goes far to showing what it would be like in prison for those who love young men, and for those who have thought that their lives had ended, just to realize that they can just as easily pull themselves out of the mess they’ve made in the world outside.

IN SUMMARY:
Dark, gritty, good-humoured and packs decent punches – it's the perfect prison manga.

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