Manga: Gorgeous Carat
A Boys Love manga series by You Higuri (mangaka of Gakuen Heaven), set in Victorian-era France. Currently a four-part series and a one-shot sequel, with more on the way.Paris is in an uproar over the famous and notorious Phantom Thief Noir, aka usurer Ray Balzac Courland. A penniless aristocratic woman seeks Ray out to help with her family debts, and is forced to give him the only thing she can as collateral—her son, Florian du Rochefort. Their relationship starts off quite rocky, but, this being BL, things run their natural course as the pair go on treasure-hunting adventures, try (unsuccessfully) to fool the private detective bent on proving Ray's identity, and have run-ins with the crime syndicate Black Hand.The main story is available in English from Tokyopop's BLU imprint, and the Gorgeous Carat Galaxy spinoff is licensed by DMP's Juné imprint.
This series provides examples of:
- Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: The Ho Yay between the heroes isn't as blatant as other Boys Love series, but that just makes the sweet moments all the sweeter. Like Florian (and Ray, but it's not quite as poignant when he does it) willing to give his life for Ray. And Ray increasing Florian's debt so that he can never leave him.
- Blood Brothers: Ray and Azura.
- Break the Cutie
- Cleaning Up Romantic Loose Ends: Poor Laila, so in love with Ray, starts to fall for his cousin near the end.
- Converse with the Unconscious: Ray to Florian. Needless to say, Florian heard, and Ray is embarrassed.
- Cross Dresser: Florian doesn't need makeup or a wig. Just a dress.
- Even the Guys Want Him: Florian. It's the eyes.
- Everyone Is Bi: Characters' sexualities are never addressed (except for a couple "are you gay?" jokes at Ray's expense). The guys just all want Florian.
- Fingore: Florian gets a needle wedged under a fingernail during a torture session.
- Heroic BSOD: Florian. Drugs and rape are bad.
- Impoverished Patrician
- Intimate Healing: Azura does the Medicine Kiss variation. That ain't medicine, though, and he ain't trying to heal.
- Kick the Dog: Azura, many times.
- Kissing Discretion Shot
- Loan Sharks: Averted and played with. Ray jokes about being this, but he goes out of his way to prevent Florian from being able to pay him back.
- Love at First Sight: The relationship starts off quite one-sided. Ray just needed one look at those eyes. More of a "desire for possession at first sight".
- Misplaced Sorrow: Played with. Every time Ray is concerned for Florian's safety, no matter how serious he gets, he turns it into a joke along the lines of "Look at how much you owe me, I'd never get that back if you died..." It becomes obvious that it is a cover-up for his feelings, and he never brings up the debt when he's alone when he's worried about Florian.
- No Sense of Direction: Very much Florian.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Ray's disguise as Noir is a top hat and cape.
- Parental Abandonment: Pretty much everyone.
- Phantom Thief
- Private Detective: Solomon Sugar.
- Rape as Drama: Poor Florian.
- Secret Identity
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Ray kicks ass and wields a mean whip. Florian also kicks ass, but he sure cries a lot.
- Spoiler Opening: Manga variation. Azura's evil isn't much of a shocking plot twist when it's shown on that chapter's title page.
- The Syndicate: The Black Hand.
- Technicolor Eyes: Florian has amethyst eyes. For once, unusual eyes in a manga aren't treated as an everyday occurrence; they're commented on quite frequently.
- Underwater Kiss
- Unlucky Childhood Friend: Poor Laila.
- What Beautiful Eyes: Florian gets it constantly. They're purple.
- Whip It Good: Ray.
- Will They or Won't They?: Ray and Florian aren't the type of couple to fall into bed together by the end of the first volume. They don't even kiss until the end of the fourth volume, and it isn't really shown. We're still waiting for outright declarations of love and sex.
Yaoi FangirlYaoi Fanboy: Ray and Azura embrace in a Muslim greeting. Everyone misunderstands. It is Noel, the five year old boy, who is squealing with glee, little hearts floating around him.
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