There are some sample pictures and summaries of my favorite stories under the cut.
The Ideal Love. Makino has bad luck with men, and even though his sometime sex friend Sasaki (who is great in bed and in the kitchen, good looking, fallen in love with Makino at first sight and just all around perfect for him) moves in, Makino ignores his chance to find happiness until it's almost too late, and just because Sasaki isn't his type.
There are parts of the story that I don't like, but I'm weak for the loyal seme characters with cooking and cleaning skills, not to mention the cold salaryman megane-uke characters, so yeah. Apparently the couple is voiced by Toriumi Kousuke and Nojima Hirofumi on the drama CD, so I think I'll need to hunt it down. ^^
Direction of a Smile. A hotel lovestory between a gay bellboy and a beauty working at the front desk. :'D
(Two types of men? Gay and not gay, obviously.) Kashiwagi has a crush on the cold beauty and a homophobe Sako, and after a drinking party they wake up from the same bed?! The plot devices used in this story are particularly lame, but the two are just so cute together.
Friendship Formula. This is Ueda-sensei's first BL story that was originally published as a doujinshi. The story is short but sweet: boy A likes a girl, girl gives boy a love letter - to pass on to boy B, who happens to like boy A.
In her freetalk, Ueda Kiyo thanks Yamada Yugi for drawing the binding (?), but I didn't notice Yamada's artwork in the book. Either it refers to the Japanese edition or I'm blind, but Ueda has some panels that remind me of Yamada's (the "No! You're not my type." for example).
Ueda Kiyo's second published manga Classmate is another collection of oneshots. In addition to the schoolboy oneshots, there's a salaryman story, and I find it interesting that Classmate was chosen to be the title story and to be featured in the cover illustrations, when the salaryman story is longer and IMO better.
Three oneshots, one of which is in two parts, and an extra of the title story.
Classmate. Izumi is in the school's tennis club. He isn't particularly good at tennis, but he has a crush on his sempai Nishizaki. However, he hates his sempai Asakura, for saying something nasty to him.
Asakura appears to be aloof, but he's actually a nice guy. He's noticed that Izumi doesn't like him, and he confronts Izumi to ask if he's done something wrong and to apologize. They start spending time together and go out to buy tennis supplies for the club. Nishizaki turns out to be the bad guy, makes fun of them being on a date, and mocks Izumi's obvious feelings for him.
Asakura accepts Izumi being gay, and Izumi ends up crying in his arms. They also clear up the misunderstanding that had first caused Izumi to dislike Asakura, and Izumi begins to realize that perhaps he actually likes Asakura.
The extra chapter is from Asakura's point of view. His memory of Izumi resenting him is adorable. ^^
マイナスの心温. Minus no... err, something. :p This is Ueda-sensei's first story with two chapters, and the first of her stories I read and fell in love with. I noticed the first chapter when it was published in an issue of the Hertz anthology, because the art and the salarymen stood out from the rest of the contents. Aaaand there's a cold megane-uke, so I just couldn't resist buying the tankoubon when I saw it for 105 yen at a Book Off! Sometimes I'm easy to please.
Aoyama hands in his resignation letter to his boss Itou, but later that night Itou visits Aoyama to ask why he wants to quit. At first Aoyama doesn't want to say because it'd inconvenience Itou, but finally he confesses that it's because he's in love with him, and wants to sleep with him. Aoyama apologizes and asks Itou to leave, but instead of leaving, Itou calmly takes off his tie and lets Aoyama have his way with him.
Afterwards, Itou tears the resignation letter into pieces. The next morning at work is awkward. Sometime later, Aoyama wants to talk to Itou, and Itou invites him to his apartment. Aoyama wants to know why Itou slept with him; because Aoyama wanted him to. Aoyama is upset at the answer, because he thinks Itou would sleep with anyone. He confesses his love again. Itou begins to take off his clothes and Aoyama asks him to stop because that's not what he meant, but they have sex anyway.
Itou has a reputation of being strict, but Aoyama couldn't help falling in love with him when Itou once smiled at him and said something nice to praise him. Their relationship continues, and sometimes Aoyama wonders if Itou likes him a little, but is too afraid to ask. Then, he finds out that a girl from the office is in love with Itou too. They have an argument and break up. Aoyama sees Itou going out with the girl and is upset (hey, I love this story, but I didn't say it was particularly original...), but later hears from her that Itou dumped her.
Aoyama confesses his feelings for the third time, and again asks why Itou slept with him. Because Aoyama said that he loved him. Could it mean that Itou liked him just a little? Itou says he hates him, but then kisses him. They end up in bed again.
Afterwards, Itou dreams of the past. He overheard some people at work making fun of him and calling him a robot, and then Aoyama honestly defending him; saying that he liked him and that he was a kind person. When he wakes up, Aoyama gets to see Itou smiling for the second time. <3
Perhaps Ueda Kiyo's first works are somewhat uneven, but I'm already a fan of the art, and I'm expecting more from the storytelling in the future. I'm especially looking forward to reading more of her longer stories. ^^