Mania Grade: B+
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- Art Rating: A
- Packaging Rating: A
- Text/Translatin Rating: A
- Age Rating: 18 & Up
- Released By: Digital Manga Publishing
- MSRP: 12.95
- Pages: 200
- ISBN: 978-1-56970-774-6
- Size: A5
- Orientation: Right to Left
- Series: Crushing Love
Crushing Love Vol. #01
By Danielle Van Gorder
March 04, 2008
Release Date: December 30, 2007
Crushing Love Vol.#01
© Digital Manga Publishing
Translated by:Issei Shimizu
Adapted by:N/AWhat They Say
Keiichi Kuroda is a wealthy but selfish man who loaned his ex-boyfriend a large sum of money and is expecting payback. Kaoru Otowa needs 5 million yen by the end of the day! Teaming up seems to be in their best interest, and they set off to Kyoto to settle their debts, take their revenge, and realize their love! What kind of battle plan have these two money-driven lovebirds come up with?The ReviewPackaging
This book has DMP's standard large trim size and full color dust jacket. The paper and print quality are both very nice, with sharp lines and dark blacks.Art
Natsumizu's art isn't the best in color, but looks much nicer in black and white inside the book. Her linework is clean and assured, no sketchiness to be found, and she uses screentone to great effect. Panel layouts aren't particularly creative, but they do work, and the artwork flows well.Text/SFX:
All sound effects are subtitled on the page in a font similar to the original. The translation flows smoothly without any major rough spots.Contents (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Keiichiro Kuroda is a wealthy but bitter man, convinced after his lover left him for another man that everyone is fundamentally selfish. When that same man comes to him asking for money to help out his new boyfriend's company, Kuroda decides to make a bet with him - he'll leave five million yen, in cash, in the park. If someone turns it into the police within three days, he'll give his ex the money. Kaoru Otawa picks it up, and as it turns out it's the exact sum he needs to pay off an old debt that's due that day.
Kuroda, who was watching to see what kind of person would pick up the money, strikes up a conversation with Otawa, who's a sweet but somewhat unworldly guy who doesn't even have the money to make it to the moneylender - who's in Kyoto. Something about Otawa gets through Kuroda's bruised facade, and Kuroda finds himself not only offering Otawa the money for transport, but actually taking him there himself. Kuroda may even be falling for him. But will Otawa's new and fragile feelings survive finding out what prompted their meeting?
In Purity and Tyranny of Love and Love of a Tyrant King, Yukihiko is the flirtatious playboy president of a company, while Sei is his personal secretary the son of one of his family servants. They've been together since childhood. Sei secretly loves Yukihiko, but is unwilling to admit to it because of a comment he once overheard from Yukihiko, but Yukihiko's insistance that he doesn't need to marry anybody because he has Sei is trying his resolve.
The fact that they're in love is obvious to everyone else around them, but the spoiled Yukihiko isn't one to let a little thing like lack of interest stand in his way, and forces the situation, so to speak, after Sei attempts to set up an arranged marriage meeting for him.
The final two stories are much shorter than the first two, but are still well done. My Throbbing Heart deals with two high school friends who are casual lovers. When Nakahara discovers a love letter that Kimijima wrote, he starts to speculate about who it is that Kimijima is in love with. The part about how they became lovers in the first place is so outrageously unlikely that it lifts the story above the dull cliche that it might have been.
Love Love Me follows two more casual high school lovers who are again in love with each other without the being aware that it's mutual - clearly one of Natsumizu's favorite plot devices. When Adachi's family has to move away, he decides to tell Himura how he really feels - if only he could work up the nerve!Comments
While the back cover blurb is misleading at best, these stories were a lot of fun. The title story especially benefited from the longer length, allowing more time to explore the characters than an anthology book usually allows for. The unrelenting fanservice in the cosplay cafe was great - catboys, bunny boys, and a refusal to take itself too seriously made for a great read. In fact, this book never made the mistake of taking itself too seriously, which made it more entertaining than it might otherwise have been, since some of the stories are incredibly cliche.
This is a fun book - not creative, and the characters are almost self-deprecating parodies, but the humor and unrelenting fanservice throughout the whole book make it worth a look.