I Shall Never Return Vol. #02 - Mania.com

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  • Art Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Released By: Aurora Publishing, Inc.
  • MSRP: 12.95
  • Pages: 192
  • ISBN: 978-1934496107
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left
  • Series: I Shall Never Return

I Shall Never Return Vol. #02

By Patricia Beard     July 30, 2008
Release Date: February 28, 2008

I Shall Never Return Vol. #2
© Aurora Publishing

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Kazuna Uchida
Translated by:Adrienne Webber
Adapted by:Adrienne Webber

What They Say
Trapped in a whirlwind of conflicting emotions, Ritsuro and Ken continue to struggle to come to terms with their growing desire for each other. When Ken finally manages to overcome his regret over the sordid lifestyle he has lead and tries to start afresh, his past refuses to release him and comes back with a vengeance. Will the young lovers' feelings blossom, or will their attraction be crushed by relentless obstacles as Ken's dark past comes to light?

The Review
In spite of the overwritten back cover blurb, this volume delivers in surprises and emotional impact.

Ken's recognition of his need for Ritsuro brings him to confess a dark secret - that he was responsible for a younger friend's death, the result of suicide attempt brought on by the shame and disillusionment that occurred after Ken unfeelingly raped him during a night of drug fueled partying. Ken resolves to give up his lifestyle and takes on a job as a pizza deliveryman. However, his past catches up with him and on a delivery he meets up with some former customers who gang rape Ken. Uchida doesn't pull any punches with either of these episodes, they're presented for full emotional, not sensual, impact.

Just as Ken's life is so turbulent, Ritsuro's is so normal. But even during the school trip to Okinawa, Ritsuro can't forget about Ken.  At one point he makes a call to Ken, who tells Ritsuro that he is just about to masturbate, and Uchida makes it very clear that what prompts this activity is a letter from Ken's mother asking him to come live with her again. In spite of Ken's protestations of needing Ritsuro, this really brings up the question of what Ritsuro really means to Ken. At the end of the volume, Ken prepares to leave for Singapore with his mother, albeit for two weeks, leaving a confused and heartbroken Ritsuro.

There's lots of storyline here.  There's the whole issue of Ken's attractiveness to others - his almost half brother Iwasaki and the unfortunate Yu. Nobody can just quit Ken.  And what about Moeko?  Her part is smaller here, but she does make a splash with her new guy. This is a series that just doesn't let up.  Recommended.


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