This is where the story gets -- for lack of better words -- really frickin' good.
Writer/Artist: Ayane Yamane
What They Say
Akihito had thought he'd left the cutthroat dangers of the underworld behind after barely escaping from his last adventure alive. However, he soon finds himself reunited with the mysterious and powerful crime lord Asami, and he is once again thrust into an unseemly world of decadence and bloodshed. Will Takara be lucky enough to escape a deadly fate twice in a row, or are Asami's plans for him of a more amorous nature?
I never thought I would want to skim through the parts with Asami and Akihito, but knowing that the back story between Asami and Fei Long was waiting to be read made me want to skip right to it. Their story is pretty short -- and sexy, of course -- but the story between Asami and Fei Long is so intense that you don't even care. Asami and Akihito follow their normal formula of Akihito getting mixed in with Asami's suspicious lifestyle, Asami catching the boy off guard, delicious sex, and the two going their separate ways. We do randomly find out that Yamazaki -- the corrupt cop from volume one -- was actually a good cop, he just turned to 'dirty money' in an attempt to pay for his child's surgery. Good to know that he had a reason for trying to kill Akihito, I guess? But now onto the real reason why we're here for volume two: a ridiculously long flashback!
Years ago, Fei Long was adopted into the Liu family by the head of the Hong Kong mafia. Fei Long always tries to please his father, caring for him very much along with his brother, Yan Tsui. The two brothers run the Hong Kong mafia due to their father's poor health, but Fei Long is the one who does all of the dirty work while Yan Tsui takes all of the credit. One night, Yan Tsui sends Fei Long out on a job, and its on this job that he meets the man who would change his life forever: Asami. Asami has connections with a politician named Tou who has ties with Fei Long's father. Asami and Fei Long have a rocky start, but despite this Asami treats a bad injury that Fei Long received from a previous job. Asami warns Fei Long that if the Liu family continues things the way they do they will end up making Tou into an enemy. When Fei Long tries to tell his brother about this the man snaps, thinking that Fei Long is questioning his leadership. He even goes so far as to accuse Fei Long of pleasuring the enemy behind his back because of his good looks -- something that Yan Tsui himself seems to be weak against. He attacks Fei Long, ripping his clothes and telling him that he'll show him what happens to those who go against him, but before I could start waving the 'boy's love incest/rape' warning flags Fei Long does something I never expected -- he fights back.
No that's putting it lightly... he punches the sick bastard and pulls a gun on him. Insert completely unprofessional response here: yes, yes yes yes! I mean... wow! Maybe I'm too use to the crying ukes who weakly try to shove away their attackers, but Fei Long means business. Do not mess with him!
Unfortunately, when their father enters the room he doesn't get to see the reason behind the 'brotherly spat,' as he put it, and he orders Fei Long to distance himself from his brother to cool his head. This upsets Fei Long greatly as this further proves that he's nothing but a tool for his brother to use. He goes out on the missions, his brother gets the credit, and at the end of the day -- even when his brother is clearly in the wrong -- Fei Long is the one who gets punished. In response to this sudden string of horribleness in his life, Fei Long goes out and does what any rational person would do after their big brother tries to rape them and their father kicks them out of the house: he gets wasted. All right, he only has one or two drinks, but in the end he passes out. Asami is there with him and after Fei Long wakes up in his room the two talk for a bit. After sexily molesting Fei Long's hair -- yes, it's exactly what it sounds like -- Asami reveals that Tou wants Fei Long to join him. This upsets Fei Long and he leaves, thinking that Asami is suggesting that he betray his family. Considering how 'wonderful' his brother is, it might not be a bad idea. Fei Long seems to agree, because he finds Asami again and goes off with him to meet Tou. Yan Tsui isn't happy with this and goes after Fei Long. After a brief battle Asami is hurt when he tries to protect Fei Long, surprising both Fei Long and himself with his actions. This is when their relationship starts to develop, Fei Long starting to feel... something towards Asami, while Asami continues to be... Asami -- hot, sexy, and hard as hell to figure out.
Later, Fei Long gets a message that his father is in critical condition. He wants to rush to see him, but Asami warns him that it's probably a trap set by Yan Tsui. Fei Long doesn't care, wanting to be at the man's side because he has no one else if his father dies. Asami still doesn't want him to go, which leads to Fei Long blurting out, 'Will you love me in his stead when he is gone?!' In response, Asami kisses him. Is this Fei Long's way of admitting his love for the man? And is the kiss Asami's way of responding to his love, or an attempt to calm Fei Long down so he doesn't rush out and do something foolish? Needless to say, some prettiness does happen between the two but I'm surprised that no full blown hardcore sex was had, especially when you think about how this series started off -- bondage, sex toys, and drugs.
Despite his moment with Asami Fei Long rushes off to see his father anyway. Meanwhile, Yan Tsui tells their father that Fei Long has betrayed them, but his father tells him that he knows that Yan Tsui is the reason. In fact, he knows of Yan Tsui's impure thoughts about Fei Long and calls him disgusting. This angers Yan Tsui greatly, and when Fei Long returns home he locks him up. While that's going on, Asami goes to their father to talk to him, learning that he isn't on his death bed at all. It's here that we learn that Fei Long's real father is Tou, and that Yan Tsui's father adopted him from the man due to his illegitimate birth. Yan Tsui barges into the room, ready to kill Asami for 'corrupting' his family, and then the scene changes to Fei Long hearing a gunshot from the room he's locked in. When he's let out of the room by one of the servants he rushes upstairs to see his brother, shot, and sliding to the ground. His brother tells him that Asami shot him, and says that he also shot their father too. Fei Long rushes into the room, just in time to hold his father in his arms and get the recognition he's been needing ever since he was adopted into the family. Sadly, he dies in his arms, and while we don't see who actually killed him I'm pretty convinced that it was Yan Tsui and not Asami.
Asami finds Fei Long passed out outside in the rain and takes him back with him. He then meets with Tou, updating him on the situation. Fei Long is going to be the new leader of the Hong Kong mafia now that his adoptive father has passed, which disappoints Tou because now he can't use Fei Long the way he wanted to. So it turns out that Fei Long's biological father is a jerk who wanted to use him just like Yan Tsui did. Fei Long overhears Tou and Asami talking and decides to kill Tou, but Asami reveals to him who Tou really is in an attempt to get Fei Long to calm down. It works, but it doesn't stop Tou from shooting Fei Long himself! And now we have the back story for the bullet wound in Fei Long's chest. The one father he knew is now dead, his brother is a lunatic, and his biological father shot him because he couldn't use him for his plans. No wonder why the man is so bitter! And the reason why he despises Asami so much now? He feels that Asami took Tou's side by talking him out of killing the man only to be shot for lowering his gun. Unfortunately, he missed the part where Asami shot Tou to death.
The side story in this volume, 'DNA in Love,' is a continuation of the previous side story, 'Plants in Love.' For those who may have forgotten, this was the story with Mizuno and Hiyama as they investigate their fathers' relationship together. In this part of their story, Mizuno gets very sick at school, and when Hiyama mentions it to his father he takes the opportunity to visit Mizuno and his father with his son. This, of course, is just an excuse for the older man to see his not-so-secret lover. The two men, it turns out, are actually still married to their wives with families, but seem to take any opportunity they can to see each other.
Can this please be made into a separate manga, please please please?
There is a bit more focus on the two fathers and a lot more awkward moments between Mizuno and Hiyama. My favorite has to be them looking at porn together, trying to not think anymore 'gay' thoughts thanks to their fathers being so close to each other. This, somehow, leads to the two of them touching each other -- pent up frustration because of the nude girls in the magazines, perhaps? Sure... whatever helps you boys sleep at night.
Honestly, the first time I read this I was surprised to see so much history put into Fei Long. I didn't think Fei Long would be treated as such an important character. I knew he would be an obstacle for Asami and Akihito, but I thought he'd be a one volume threat and never be seen again. Not only do we get his story, but we get an extremely valid reason for his desire to hurt anything close to Asami. He's more than just a quick -- and sexy -- method to push Asami and Akihito together, he's an important part of the story whose got his own reasons behind the things he does. And the back story is just plain good. What an enjoyable read with interesting characters and surprising twists. And how the heck does Ayano Yamane keep making these great side stories with characters who aren't part of the main plot at all?! I absolutely loved both 'Plants in Love' and 'DNA in Love.' Usually, I find myself not caring for multiple stories in boy's love manga, but so far I have enjoyed everything included in these books.
I rarely give a book a perfect grade, let alone a perfect grade plus, but I truly enjoyed everything in this volume. The characters were well thought out and you're pulled into their story, wanting to know what happened next and caring about the way things ended for them. The plot was interesting in all of the stories -- even Mizuno and Hiyama, the teenage boys in denial over their sexuality (at least Hiyama is, Mizuno is coming around). Normally, I don't care for the high school romance of 'I think I like him on god I can't like him he's a guy,' but for some reason I can't get enough of these two. How does a teenage boy deal with his father having a secret love affair with his friend's dad? And how does said teenage boy deal with his growing attraction to said best friend after seeing the subtle hints between their two fathers? It's an interesting scenario, one I hope to see more of along with more of the main story.
If you're not reading this manga yet, you definitely should be. Seriously, go. Read it. Now.