Everlasting Love Vol. #01 - Mania.com

Manga Review

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  • Art Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 18+
  • Released By: Digital Manga Publishing
  • MSRP: 12.99
  • Pages: 180
  • ISBN: 978-1569707784
  • Size: A5
  • Orientation: Right to Left
  • Series: Everlasting Love

Everlasting Love Vol. #01

Everlasting Love Vol. #01 Review

By Briana Lawrence     July 01, 2010
Release Date: January 15, 2008

Everlasting Love Vol. #01
© Digital Manga Publishing

Lots of boys, lots of unrequited love.

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist: Ryoko Chiba
Translated by: Melanie Schoen
Adapted by: Melanie Schoen

What They Say

Youji has been pining after Noboru for 20 years! And not silently either! Youji's been stalking his beloved and stealing away his girlfriends ever since they were in grade school. Noboru, on the other hand, can't stand Youji's stalker tendencies and doesn't understand that all of Youji's actions are out of love. Will Youji's clumsy one-sided love ever reach Noboru?!

The Review

These are the stories about boys who love other boys who don't love them back... until some boy's love style persuasion happens.  The moral of the stories?  Try and try again, and eventually the boy will love you?
1.  Everlasting Love
The title story starts with an adorable childhood flashback between two boys named Noboru and Youji.  In it, young Youji declares his love for the tiny Noboru and decides that he will one day marry him.  Noboru declines the offer, saying that two boys can't get married, and Youji lets us know that this was his first taste of heartache.  The story then jumps to many years later and Youji is still trying to gain Noboru's affections.  They now work together, and Youji is a bit... conceited, saying that he's popular with the ladies, an ace at work, blah blah blah the point is that he has all those things but still does not have the one thing he really wants -- Noboru's love.  One day, Youji finds out that Noboru is meeting up with a girl.  He decides to "do what he use to do in high school," and this where we find out that Youji is not only conceited, but he's a complete a-hole.  It turns out that he would purposely go out with Noboru's girlfriends and sleep with them just so they wouldn't steal Noboru away from him.  Um... what?  Personally, I would've kneed the guy in the groin, but since this is the wonderful world of boy's love Youji ends up molesting Noboru in the middle of an argument.  Noboru ends up leaving and Youji ends up going back to his high life of money and women, but when Noboru sees Youji with a woman he gets jealous.  This leads to the inevitable love confession and the two of them hook up, despite the fact that Youji has been screwing up Noboru's love life for years.  Um... yay?
2.  Never Give Up Love
Ichimonji-san is part of an elite family and is the best at everything he does -- grades, sports, and he's good looking to boot!  He's even got a group of fanboys who follow him around and want to do his every bidding.  Despite all of this he still doesn't have the one thing he really wants: Sakura, a boy he's been pursuing for months.  The two slowly begin to grow closer, going out shopping together and Sakura starts to warm up to Ichomonji-san.  But he gets the wrong idea about him, thinking that he's only going after him because he is something that he doesn't have and he's always use to getting what he wants.  Needless to say, the misunderstanding is cleared up and Sakura sees how much the boy really cares about him.
3.  My Sweet Home
When Katsuki was 21 years old, he took in an 8-year-old boy named Riku.  The story focuses on their relationship as father and son, at least until Riku turns 18.  To be fair, it still stays in the father and son realm since Katsuki is thinking about Riku going to college.  But then we learn that he doesn't want Riku to leave, a thought that parents sometimes have about their children, but then we get moments where Katsuki's "heart pounds" when Riku comes up behind him.  Um... why hello there, sort of kind of incest because he's not really his father but he did raise him like his son for ten years so he might as well be his father?  As the story goes on we learn that Katsuki gave Riku a notebook as a child so he could write him messages, because Riku was hesitant to talk to him.  The last message is Riku asking if he can stay at the house forever, which brings tears to Katsuki's eyes.  Riku catches him with the notebook and snaps at him, not feeling like he's worthy of him yet.  Katsuki lets him know that he's more than worthy and the two of them begin a new kind of relationship. 
There is a follow-up story between them at the end of the manga where Riku has graduated, and we learn that Katsuki promised Riku that the two of them could have sex together once he graduated.  This is kind of an odd scene, as Riku confesses that he's had sex before to his... father figure... as he's trying to sleep with said father figure.  And Katsuki is worried about how the moment will change things between them.  Um... of course it will, you're about to have sex with the boy you raised like a son!  Sigh... needless to say, they have sex. 
4.  I Found a Twinkling Star
Kindergarten teachers.  Adorable kids.  Water hoses and finger-painting.  Alcohol and unrequited love.  Mix all of these things together and you get the premise to this story.  Keita has always wanted to be a kindergarten teacher, but he finds himself always being distracted by the other teacher, Tomoya.  But he's been hiding his feelings for months now -- can it really be called unrequited love when he hasn't expressed his feelings yet?  Tomoya seems to like spending time with him, the two of them spending a night together and Keita drinking a little bit too much.  Surprisingly, no boy's love action happens that night!  The next day, Keita accidentally ruins all of the children's pictures, which leads to a lot of big eyed children crying and Keita beating himself up for it.  Tomoya cheers him up, and Keita blurts out that he loves him.  Much to his surprise, Tomoya reciprocates the feelings and the two share a passionate moment together... in the school.  Thankfully, no children were around to catch them in the act. 
5.  Naive Love Triangle
This is probably the most appropriate title to a boy's love story in the history of boy's love titles.  Kitahara is completely oblivious to his childhood friend, Higashiyama, being jealous over his new friend, Nishiwaka, even after Higashiyama punches Nishiwaka in the face!  Meanwhile, Nishiwaka is a complete mass of jello around Kitahara, and Kitahara doesn't seem to understand why when its obvious that the boy wants him.  Higashiyami tells Nishiwaka to back off, because he's loved Kitahara forever, yet he doesn't do anything to pursue this love and even encourages him to go after Kitahara!  And after the two hook up, Higashiyami continues to be jealous of the two of them and watches Kitahara from the background... and Kitahara is still clueless about him being in love with him!  Naive.  Love.  Triangle.  It wins for being the best title to a frustrating love story.  
6.  A Town in the Evening
The last story in the anthology is all about townies.  Two boys who have lived in the same town for years, complete with "ain't" and "gonna" and "evenin'" and other dialect I wasn't prepared for, but it was a nice touch for the characters in the manga.  The unrequited love formula is a little bit reversed this time around, as Chisato has feelings for Yasu, but instead of being shy and blushy he often snaps at the older boy and does everything he can to push him away.  This is because the two always played together as kids, but when Yasu got a girlfriend it was clear that Chisato never stood a chance.  So this means that something drastic has to happen to finally give Chisato that extra push.  Enter a persistent ex-boyfriend who can't take no for an answer, sexually assaulting Chisato in the backroom of the store he works at and Yasu has to rescue him.  Chisato admits that he was only with the guy because he needed something, especially since he could never have the guy he loved.  In turn, Yasu declares that Chisato should do it with him.  Chisato stares at him -- because who wouldn't after such an outburst -- and accuses him of being turned on by the near sexual assault.  The response?  "YOU BETCHA!"  ... right... but Yasu cleans it up -- a little -- by saying he was turned on by seeing the one he loves in such a position, revealing that he is indeed in love with Chisato.       
In summary:
The stories in this anthology are... o.k.  A lot of the characters are just not likable, which isn't always a problem.  There are characters in stories that we're not supposed to like, the problem with the boys in this manga is that we're supposed to feel for them as they deal with the heartache of unrequited love.  But let's be realistic.  I don't feel bad for Youji at all in the first story, because he sabotages all of Noboru's relationships, which is a real jerky thing to do.  I most definitely don't feel bad for Katsuki, who doesn't want his son to go off to college because he wants to be with him.  And their conversations are just uncomfortable, "Hey dad, I'm ready to sleep with you, but I've never slept with a boy but I've slept with a couple of girls," "Oh ho ho ho, of course son, I've seen you bring girls home before, now excuse me while I go down with you."  Just... incest in boy's love is not really my thing... well... if it were really REALLY fleshed out, I would still feel uncomfortable but it would at least be believable?  Is that the word?  But 20 pages isn't nearly enough to make me accept a father and son sleeping together. 
The rest of the stories are just kind of bland.  Half of the couples really do suffer from unrequited love -- one person not returning another person's feelings -- and the other half just deals with boys who actually DO have the person's affections, they just blush too much to act on it.  It is a nice change of pace to see the semes as the shy ones in some of the stories, but besides that small saving grace the manga isn't really worth it.




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jnager 3/13/2012 3:31:27 PM

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