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Every now and then, a targeted ad comes along on social media that feels so perfect it's almost like a personal attack. Late last year, I saw an ad on Insta for a Kickstarter to help a comics publisher called Aloha Comics (@AlohaComics) release a series of manhua (Chinese and Taiwanese comics) titles with fresh translations for western audiences in beautiful, full color hardback editions. The moment I realized one of their launch titles was one of my all time favorite BLs, I raced to Kickstarter and signed up for the pre-launch!

The campaign was a raging success and I could not wait to dive into the Golden Collection the moment it arrived on my doorstep. Every volume is beautiful, with custom slip covers, vivid colors, and tons of fun goodies. Aloha launched with a wide range of genres, and every title has been a blast to read, so I wanted to share my thoughts and urge you to go nab these amazing manhua releases for your summer reading list!

Here U Are by DJun was the title I was most excited to grab, as it's never had an official English edition despite it's popularity throughout the BL community. This is one of my favorite BL titles of all time, I love it so much I had the first volume imported from China several years ago just to have a copy on my shelf. Here U Are follows easy-going, cheerful college sophmore Yu Yang and the quiet, moody incoming freshman Lu Huan as a series of events causes them to continually cross paths on campus. It's a well-paced slice-of-life story about identity, romance, relationships, and college life that I highly recommend any fan of slow burn BL pick up and experience for themselves.

The only thing I was disappointed in was the fact it's the smallest of all of the titles at 140 pages. It's about 100 pages shorter than the Chinese version of volume one but, comparing them side by side, you can see Aloha's team put exceptional care into making sure the English edition was formatted, translated, and printed with accuracy and accesibilty for newcomers to the series. My sadness quickly faded when I picked up the next volume in the stack, which quickly became my newest obsession...

If you know me on any level, you know my favorite niche BL genre is office romances between a peppy blonde suboordinate and his dark-haried, moody boss, so DailyGreens' sugary sweet Day Off quickly took its place on my favorites shelf on my BL wall within the first few pages. This collection of bite-sized stories follows the romantic moments between Shi Dongyun and Hua Xiaofei, both at the office and on their days off, as they struggle to keep their burgeoning romance under wraps, and it quickly became a new comfort read that I've read several times already.

It's a sweet, easy to digest collection of webcomic episodes with a simplistic color palette and adorable artwork. This Taiwanese series has been translated into eight laguages and is perfect for fans of iconic titles like On or Off (my all time favorite BL) and The New Employee who enjoy a bit of comedy with their office-focused slice of life stories. This one is my most recommended release of Aloha's new titles, and I definitey urge you to go grab a copy ASAP.

Nirvana In Fire is the manhua adaptation of an original novel by Hai Yen with artby Chen Si and tells a story of political and royal drama as a brilliant strategist named Mei Changsu arrives at the capitol with a prophecy following in his stead: anyone who has Mei Changsu as an ally could gain control of the Empire. The art in this is stunning, each page feels like a watercolor portrait and the harrowing historical-style drama is engaging and detailed to the point it warrants numerous reads.

Even without a BL romance, this one is perfect for fans of the increasingly popular danmei genre - especially fans of titles like The Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation - with the beautifully illustrated male characters, period settings and clothing, and historical narrative. It is a dialogue-heavy drama about war, revenge, and purpose, and the intruige and world building are phenomenal. If you want to get wrapped up in a thoughtful story, this is one to pick up ASAP.

And finally, we have the manhua adaptation of the popular Chinese donghua (animated series) of the same name, BeDream's Link Click, which has an incredible team behind its creation including writer and director Haolin, South Korean illustrator INPLICK, and Japanese scene artist Takumi Tanji. This bromance heavy story about two down and out guys trying to get out of debt while living in a tiny photography shop called Time Photo Studio is an excellent thriller-esque story that was incredibly immersive and captivating. Cheng Xiaoshi and Lu Guang share superpowers that allow them to dive into a photograph with a clap of their hands, granting them a twelve hour period of time to find precious information requested by their clients in the memories the photographs hold.

This beautiful, tense detective story has some excellent visuals and a unique take on time-hopping mystery stories. Our main duo has that classic angsty rule-follower and rebellious loudmouth combo that works so well for the dynamics of their missions, and I'm excited to not only read the next volume but dive into the animated series, as well. This was the only title that was plastic wrapped of the bunch, as it does deal with some darker themes, but if you're looking for an engaging mystery, definitley pick up this adaptation!

Overall, Aloha's Manhua Golden Collection is an excellent series of manhua that I highly recommend picking up for comics readers of all kinds. Longtime fans of manga will enjoy the beautiful full color stories and diverse narratives, and newcomers will get a rich introduction to a wonderful world of storytelling. I'm immensely thankful to Aloha for letting me dive into these titles and the fun bonus one-shot manga that came with the collection, too. I definitely suggest following them on socials to keep tabs on their upcoming releases! You can find Aloha's titles wherever books are sold!

The image(s) used in this article are from a comic strip, webcomic or the cover or interior of a comic book. The copyright for this image(s) is likely owned by either the publisher of the comic, the writer(s) and/or artist(s) who produced the comic. It is believed that the use of this image(s) qualifies as fair use under the United States copyright law. The image is used in a limited fashion in an educational manner in order to illustrate the points of the author and not for the purpose of entertainment or substituting the original work. It is believed the use of this image has had no impact on the market value of the original work.

All Aloha Comics characters and the distinctive likeness(es) thereof are trademarks of and copyright Aloha Comics or their respective owners. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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