A Full Review
I rea- er- listened to the audiobook version (more drama than an audiobook, really) of Star Collector by Sophie Schönhammer and Anna Backhausen. What intrigued me most is why, out of all the shounen-ai's out there, did this one get the audiobook treatment? Perhaps, it's because Star Collector is an original English-language manga, and therefore has fewer licensing hoops to jump through? Perhaps, it's because the story is mild. Maybe, it's popular. All of the above? Whatever the reason, I have found the one thing I like from the new Tokyopop thus far. Tokyopop describes the story:
Fynn has always been lazy: his favorite activities are skipping class, smoking, and lounging around. When his girlfriend breaks up with him, telling him to try doing something else for a change, he has no idea where to even start.
One night, on a walk around the neighborhood, he comes across Niko stargazing on a hill. Niko wants nothing to do with this chain-smoking, loud-mouthed guy getting in the way of his astronomy — but Fynn is intrigued.
What's up with this nerdy boy who loves to watch the stars, and why is Fynn so captivated by him?
In short, Star Collector is about two graduating high school seniors who get into a relationship. It's a coming-of-age romance drama tackling first-time gay relationships, homophobia, and other stuff. The back-of-the-book description didn't sway me so I ignored the manga. Then, Tokyopop announced the audiobook on Twitter, and I decided to pick it up because veteran VAs Todd Haberkorn and Caitlin Glass were doing the voices. Haberkorn did all the male voices, and Glass did all the female and kid voices.
Overall, the story is fine. The voice work and audio production were great and elevates the material. Over the past few years, more manga has received the audiobook/audio drama treatment, and I'd like to see that trend continue. If you're looking for a mild and sweet bad boy x good boy shounen-ai story with a happy ending, then give this a shot.
What to read/listen to after Star Collector:
A New Season of Young Leaves by Venio Tachibana and Akeno Kitahata (BL published by Juné)
Given by Natsuki Kizu (BL published by SuBLime)
Halloween Night (original 18+ BL audio drama published by Rotten Blossoms)
Seven Days: Monday to Sunday by Venio Tachibana and Rihito Takarai (BL published by SuBLime)
Tomorrow, Make Me Yours by LKaoruko Miyama (BL published by Tokyopop)
You Are My Princess manga and audiobook (the infamous CDawgVA BL project; exclusively available via Bookwalker)