Story, Art and Letters by Dany & Dany
Published by Yaoi Press
Slugline: A setting that has nothing to do with the story
Patrick Owens is a burned out political reporter that has seen nothing but the worst of humanity with his one weakness being an appreciation for the ballet star Danya. Of course, Dany has secrets of his own as an illegally modified android masquerading as a human. But despite Patrick's own despair and Danya's secrets they are drawn to each other. Danya's 'teacher,' the former ballet star Nikolaj is using Danya to act out his dreams of greatness, becomes the main obstacle between the two lovers. To resolve this conflict will cost both Danya and Patrick part of their own sense of belonging.
I am a big fan of steampunk, which is why I pulled this out volume out of the review stack. Imagine my disappointment as I read it to find that there was a very few steampunk aspects. What little advanced technology that was in story was not especially steampunk inspired, and the clothing seemed to be draw more from French fashions than Victorian. Patrick's occupation as a reporter did not figure much into the plot, and Nikolaj's connections to the mafia and corrupt politicians remained in the background. Whole swathes of the setting could have been changed without affecting the story. I usually prefer the characters and the setting/environment to interact more, so that the characters are part of the world rather than existing apart of it. Separate from that, the back cover text is especially important with Anima since it is shrinkwrapped, but it gives an impression of a far more nuanced and dark story that what the title really is. But for yaoi fans, the title delivers on its promises, barely avoiding being pornography but showing everything else.
Anima is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga