Fantasy Paradise it's obviously a story you cannot take seriously. The humor was great and it was not lame, which brought a smile to my face. I was laughing a lot. Even though I couldn't really stand the art, I definitely enjoyed this, though it was maybe a few steps away from brilliant.
I'll review this manga based on the drawing style, the plot of each story and the characters. Firstly Rokka Sugiura has a unique drawing style that can be characterized a bit sketchy and not so detailed. I'd like to read manga with more refined lines and with less sfx and other background speeches. Also I did find some faces a bit weird when drawn at 3 quarters.
Secondly, this manga contains 2 stories. The first one has about 8 short chapters (fantasies) concerning mainly the 2 males of an office and their interactions with the female workers (which some of them behave in a fujoshi-ing way!!). I prefer longer chapters (30-40 pages) instead of ten, but this kind of short story would be perfect if published on a magazine or a newspaper (well if any newspaper ever accepted to publish yaoi stuff!!!!). These were really funny with many punchlines and unexpected endings! The second story is about two childhood friends (a cafeteria owner and a white collar worker) who probably are on a relationship though one of them does not fully approve of it and constantly declines the fact that there are lovers... Cute and comical story but nothing really extraordinary according to me. One must not expect to read smut scenes cause there are none. So that may be a minus for some readers.
Lastly there were numerous amusing characters in both stories. I really liked the women working in the office and I was really fond of the female boss who tended to abuse bodily one of the main protagonists, Kakimoto, on various moments. It is quite rare in a yaoi manga not to dislike the female characters.
To sum it up, I liked this manga but not to the point that I'll remember it after a month. It was indeed very funny with comedic scenes and witty lines but not that much of a BL story. Still perfect for a weekly magazine, but not one of those manga that'll ever get nominated for an award.
It is very telling of a good read when I find myself laughing on the very first page, before I even get to the first chapter. If you’re looking for a gritty realistic story, keep right on looking. But if you’re looking for a light comedic escape from reality, then stop right here at "Fantasy Paradise". The vignettes in this manga are a hilarious glimpse into a world that is a half-step outside reality. I say half-step outside, because "Fantasy Paradise" isn’t a sci-fi or supernatural story. The stories fall into the ordinary categories of unrequited salary-man love, and café shenanigans. But ordinary isn’t usually this hilarious.
Meet Mr. Amano, an unobtrusive new addition to the (almost) all-female Sales Department Two. He’s quite the dreamer, Mr. Amano. He often (okay, frequently) drifts off into homoerotic fantasies, but he is also very shy. He’s also never had a real boyfriend. The other recent addition to Sales Department Two is Mr. Kokimoto. When Amano is introduced to the department, Kokimoto falls instantly in love. And Kokimoto is *not* shy at all. Quite the reverse, in fact. He is very vocal about his orientation. Now that he has met Amano, the love of his life, he is quite vocal about his love. He never lets a chance go by to express his feelings, either. The rest of the department (okay, all the women in the department) are alternately fascinated, amused, or (in the case of the boss) annoyed that the sales department is not working hard enough. It’s quite refreshing to see female characters in a yaoi manga that are not manipulative, sly, or homophobic. Instead, the characters are likable as well as being a genuine part of the comedy. (The very first page, even before the first chapter begins, is an indication of this. I haven’t laughed so much in ages. I wasn’t even familiar with the characters yet.)
Meanwhile, in another part of town, part-time café employee Kashimura is passionate in his public displays of affection for his high-strung lover Higashiyama. Kashimura delights in creating special meals just for him. Higashiyama’s colleague Nishino supports the couple, but he just cannot stand the extreme flirting that occurs Every Single Lunch Hour. Still, this is the place to be if he wants to eat lunch. It’s also the place to be if you want extra big servings of (one-sided) lovey-dovey hilarious flirtation.
Of course these vignettes are silly. But there are times when silly comedy is just what a person needs. When this is the case, "Fantasy Paradise" fits the bill perfectly. And after reading this, I’m now on the lookout for other works from Sugiura Rokka.
I gave 5 stars out of 5 because I will re-read this manga (have done so already), and it's made me want to see more from this mangaka.