Love Share Vol. #01 (Mania.com)

By:Patricia Beard
Review Date: Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Release Date: Wednesday, January 30, 2008



Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Aoi Kujyou
Translated by:Translation by Design
Adapted by:

What They Say


The Review
Packaging:
This DMP standard trim volume shows Kazushi and Izumi in semi-embrace on the front cover and in full embrace on the back. No guessing what this is about. Print quality is good - the blacks are sharp, and the multitude of screen tones are resolved without moiré or fuzziness.

Artwork:
While Kujyou has not expanded her character types from those seen in "Duetto", they have a new energy and vibrancy in this volume. Backgrounds are carefully considered with respect to the emotional context of the characters, and the deft use of screen tone is now combined with skillful black and white composition for a dramatic page presentation. Kujyou now applies the cinematic approach she used for the final story in the Shinobu-Eiichi stories of "Duetto" for the more serious sex scenes in Love Share. What had been a few panels of very sweaty bodies, now becomes a lingering look at bodies together and in isolation. There is often no dialog and only the briefest of sound effects. The visual emphasis is on the sensual and erotic, not the physical and sexual.

SFX/Text:
Sfx are offset unobtrusively. There's not a lot of dialog, Kujyou is not a dialogue driven mangaka - her pictures tell the story, but the translation reads well. It's clear and natural.

Contents: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Kazushi has known Izumi since they were both fourteen years old. They have maintained their friendship through the years with Kazushi, now 25 and an office worker, even living next door to Izumi.

Izumi is a flirt with commitment issues; every time a lover gets serious, he moves away from them. This has been a problem for Kazushi, who would like to be more to Izumi, but would prefer to keep him as a friend rather than alienate him as a lover.
Love Share is the story of how Kazushi and Izumi become lovers (and friends), and how Kazushi deals with Izumi's charming, flirtatious ways along with his penchant for mystery. (Neither Kazushi nor the reader find out what Izumi does for a living - or where he goes!)

Comments
What a wonderful couple! So romantic.
This friends-turned-lovers story has a surprising amount of depth, largely due to the characterizations. The main characters are very engaging - Izumi, with his puckish charm, and Kazushi, so careful, considerate and protective. Characters often wear out their welcome at the end of a volume, not these two. I wanted more.

The sex scenes are abundant, but not bodily fluid graphic. They reflect more of the romantic nature of the relationship rather than just the sexual aspect. Although given an 18+ rating, those readers who favor a gentler BL might find this to their liking.



Mania Grade: B
Art Rating: B+
Packaging Rating: B+
Text/Translatin Rating: B+
Age Rating: 18 & Up
Released By: Digital Manga Publishing
MSRP: 12.95
Pages: 198
ISBN: 1569707596
Size: A5
Orientation: Right to Left
Series: Love Share