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Love Soul - Yaoi Manga (Kindle Edition)

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1 Review

Genre: Graphic Novels / Comics / Author: Koukou Aguawa / Kindle Edition / Publication Date: 2012 / Publisher: Digital Manga Publishing

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      03.08.2012 12:21
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      one that you really warm up to more and more upon re-reading.

      Official summary: Kei Arimoto and Makoto Ohtaki had been bosom buddies since middle school, but their relationship begins to change as college forces the two to spend more time apart. Kei is using all his wiles to take their relationship to the next level but Makoto continues to resist a more physical connection. Can Makoto finally acquiesce to Kei's advances or will he find his soul mate stolen by a formidable rival instead? "Love Soul" shows that their paths to true love and positions in bed can be ambiguous and painfully funny. Includes two extra stories: In "Love is a Question", Harada finds himself falling for his best friend's rival in love. In "Double Face", Atsushi is determined to seal away an evil power - but must he risk his friend's life?- Kimi's thoughts: I'm going to have to 'fess up. I've had this book in my review pile for quite some time, and I've read it several times before writing this up. That said, I put off writing this review because I couldn't quite decide what I wanted to say about this manga as I have rather mixed feelings about it. The localization isn't the issue- the translation is smooth and natural, the editor did a good job all 'round, and the letterer did an ace job. The problem lies in HOW the story is told. We get thrust straight into the story while Kei and Ohtaki are adults, and any backstory tends to be fleetingly alluded to, but not with any real emotionally impacting reason. No past event caused any angst or trauma or anything. In fact, that is rather the whole point- these two have just sort of drifted along calling each other boyfriend, but without anything really more than a few kisses. Kei is rather anxious about that, and is getting a bit insistent about moving forward. Makoto is resistant because he doesn't want to bottom, but his reason is one that really the pair needs to explore and don't. In fact, the mangaka doesn't even bring up that titbit again (Makoto has some idea that it makes him the "woman" in their relationship). Then there is the fact that the progress of the story is via loosely connected vignettes. We get isolated incidents in their lives, and these are quite entertaining in themselves, especially a fiasco at a host club, but without any continuity or connection to each other other than the fact that the two are boyfriends and haven't done "that", there isn't really one. It left me feeling like I was drifting along and catching parts of a show, getting enough to grasp what as going on, and being left unresolved. Yup, there's an ambiguous ending, which is cute, but all things considered, ultimately not super satisfying. I came away feeling I had had a sweet little taster of BL rather than a full snack or a meal. That said, the art and layout were well done and easy to follow, and was very adept at conveying emotions without having to resort to exaggeration or lots of little asides. Her backgrounds were well done as well, and I quite liked the way her side cast of characters were depicted. No one was too gorgeous, or too ugly. In fact, even the two main characters were realistically without a lot of fanfare. This actually gave me more of a lift in how I felt about this, as this very ordinariness made me come to view the vignettes as little slices of life. Upon subsequent readings, Kei and Makoto became friends I just happened to observe at certain opportune moments, and the way the plot just sort of drifted as a shared theme became more palatable. The two non-related extras are pleasant enough as well, though the last one begs for a continuation, it simply felt like it had unfinished business further along. So, do I recommend this manga? I'd have to say you have to be in the right kind of mood for this. If you're looking for a quietly funny story that is all about the relationship itself and don't feel the urge for Mr Super Rich and Drop Dead Gorgeous, then this is definitely a safe bet. It's definitely one that grows on you, given half a chance.

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