I wanted to share another part of me that you all may not know. I know it’s a little late for a post, but I figured I could post it since I am currently in the middle of reading it!
I am currently reading (and for some parts re-reading) Loveless by Kouga Yun. It is currently ongoing, on hiatus. The reason for the hiatus? I’m not quite sure. If I ever find out I will definitely post on here. Although, considering MU states that it’s on hiatus on VOL 9 and a chapter from VOL 10 just came out, I’ll assume hiatus is over? Maybe…we’ll see. It might be like D. Gray Man where it will become a monthly release rather than the biweekly it was before.
Synopsis: The main character is Aoyagi Ritsuka, a 6th grader. His life is full of facades, masks, and pain but he endures. He meets a rather mysterious, charming, and a little weird man by the name of Soubi. Soubi claims to have known Ritsuka’s brother, who has already died. With the appearance of Soubi, it seems many other are looking for Ritsuka. A fighter and a sacrifice, a bond deeper than love. Ritsuka must learn to control his emotions, his doubts, and Soubi.
Story: For the storyline I would give it a 8.5/10
I think in a way the story is unique. The concept of a battle manga with drama and family ties. The main story is tied into the battles that occur ever few chapters. Unlike other fighting mangas, this one is not pepper and over saturated with fights. While there are battles, they are also not physical fights but rather a magic fight. It sounds corny I know, but the mangaka does a good job skirting the cliche-ness of magic powered fights. While they do speak spells, the spell are sometimes like riddles playing off each other. It’s interesting to read since much of the battles are 4 people standing around. So visually, the fights aren’t engaging. Luckily, the words spoken by the fighters intriguing to say the least.
But the overarching story is about a 6th grader trying to find out who killed his older brother. Being abused, he grew abnormally attached to his older brother. There is a slight hero-worship in the way Ritsuka thinks of his brother. It is because of his brother that he even comes to trust Soubi (and resent him as well.) Most of the manga is focused on how Ritsuka is searching for the people who killed his brother. I am only on volume 5 though so I will write more when I get caught up.
I love Kouga-sensei’s drawings. Each character is intricately drawn with a beauty that is unique to each character. The people in the manga are all cute and beautiful (yes even the men, especially Soubi.) The art is very detailed, which is why I think the fighting scenes aren’t all BAM BOOM SLAP! Kouga-sensei focuses more on each character during the fight. From subtle facial expressions to the back drop of each scene, there is not part that is lacking in the art.
The style of art is also quite different. I am hard pressed to think of another manga that has the same style of drawing. It is a mixture between reality and cartoon. It looks almost like a comic but at the same time it has the realisitic touches that one usually sees in a manga.
The story is never boring. There are enough twists and turn that you will want to keep reading, but at the same time it is well paced. You don’t feel overwhelmed by the information being discovered. Also, the pace allows you time to discover each character. You begin to understand the characters more and feel connected to each of them. The manga focuses a lot of its effort into character development with a mixture of fighting and drama. If you don’t like mangas that focus a lot on dialogue and simple scenes where you see a character begin to change in a small slow way then this is definitely not for you.
I think it has the perfect balance of drama and action, but it is lacking in much of the humor department. The main comedic relief is a side character, soubi’s roommate. Since the roommate hardly makes an appearance in the manga, the comedy is few and far inbetween. But Loveless does a good job of making up for it by keeping you interested in the characters. I find myself reading more and more to find out how Ritsuka is going to change, how he is going to grow up to, to face the obstacles he is bound to face. Plus, I want to see how his relationship with Soubi develop. If you aren’t a fan of shounen ai, again this is not for you. There are heavy hints and innuendos towards shounen ai, and shoujo ai a little bit. I think the story does a good job of taking the focus away from “This is between two guy” and places it more on just the feelings not who it is between. You see that although the relationship between Soubi and Ritsuka is special, it is only unique for one reason and one reason alone. Without that reason, it is like everyone else in their situation regardless if it’s a guy and girl, a girl and girl, or a guy and guy. I think I appreciate that the most about this manga. It doesn’t emphasize the shounen ai. It is apparent and I am sure fangirls everywhere squeel while reading it, but I found myself more absorbed in how the relationship was going to develop and not between who the relationship is developing.
Overall, I think this manga is amazing. It is one of the few that has drawn me in this much and makes me read it. It is also one of the few mangas that make me forget I’m reading a shounen ai. I think if you are planning on reading it but are unsure give it a 3 chapter test. Read the first three chapters, if you don’t like it you only read three chapters. By saying three you give it enough of a chance to get interesting to you without writing it off too quickly but also without getting into too much either.
Thanks for reading,
PS- Next time: A book review…so many reviews.