Live for Love Vol. #01 - Mania.com



Anime/Manga

Mania Grade: C

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Info:

  • Art Rating: B-
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Text/Translation Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 18 and Up
  • Released By: Digital Manga Publishing
  • MSRP: 12.95
  • Pages: 200
  • ISBN: 978-1569700358
  • Size: A5
  • Orientation: Right to Left
  • Series: Live for Love

Live for Love Vol. #01

By Patricia Beard     June 18, 2009
Release Date: March 11, 2009


Live for Love Vol. #01
© Digital Manga Publishing

When light and silly is what you want.

Creative Staff
Writer/Artist: Jun Mayama
Translation: Leona Wong
Adaptation: Leona Wong

What They Say
Yasuie and Yoshiyuki run a detective agency in Tokyo's gay neighborhood of Shinjuku Nichome. They have no money and no work, though they live an easy life, scraping by one day at a time. But one day something sets Yoshiyuki off - and he's going to quit!

The Review!
Packaging:
A recent release sans the DMP slipcover, Live For Love presents a very attractive cover depicting main characters Kiryuuin and Nomura. This title has significant use of tone and the print quality supports it with no muddiness or moire.  As with all DMP titles, there is a brief author afterword and the usual advertisements.   

Artwork:
The most striking feature of Jun Mayama's artwork is the nod to Kazuya Minekura in the character designs, especially the droopy-eyed Kiryuuin.  All art is based on past art, so this isn't a case of derivation, think of it as homage. And Mayama brings her own talent for charming and funny comedic deformations to the story. Where Mayama falls down is in the all too common error of head to neck placement, where a slight misposition causes the elements to lose connectivity and the components visually pop.  But when Mayama can chose her pose and her placement, the effect is whole and balanced.  Rest assured, the sex scenes have no such problems; nothing pops out that one wouldn't have expected.  

Text/Translation:
The text reads easily with no observable grammatical or spelling errors. Sfx are subbed or replaced. 

Contents (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Yasuie Kiryuuin and Yoshiyuki Nomura are owner and employee of the Kiryuuin Detective Agency operating out of Shinjuku Nichome in Tokyo. In a flashback to their first meeting, we learn that Nomura, graduate of Tokyo University, has quit his job with the Ministry of Finance, where he was a top employee.  His baggage is a deep feeling of alienation stemming from his origins as a locker foundling and the sense of not belonging when his adoptive parents have their own biological son.  Kiryuuin assures Nomura that he has a place at the agency and Nomura signs on. Kiryuuin would like Nomura to sign on for something a lot more intimate and Nomura spends a lot of his working and non-working time fending off Kiryuuin's advances.

The agency is not very successful.  What legitimate detective jobs they get, Kiryuuin either doesn't charge or loses money on. Their days seemed to be filled with finding the local working girls cats and shampooing them. (Soap girls can't wash their own pets?) This level of activity does catch up with them and the agency is seriously in  arrears in its rent and the landlady is pressured by the local yakuza to boot the non-payers.

In the seven years that Nomura has been with he agency, he's resolved none of the issues that drove him from his family and his profession, so that in answering the call from his mother to come to the hospital bedside of his ailing father, his desire for acceptance leads him to agree to join the family again as an assistant to his father in business, and as a big brother to his junior high school age brother. He also agrees to a marriage interview. This is bad news for Kiryuuin and his behavior on hearing this news makes Nomura feel that his leaving is justified.

Of course, neither Nomura and Kiryuuin adjust to their new separateness and, although Kiryuuin has been constant in his affections for Nomura, he needs to find a way to get Nomura to be honest with his.

Comments:
Live for Love is a detective story in circumstance only; this no Fake.  Do not expect a crime solving duo here. The guys find cats and clean them.

This is a piece that's essentially a comedy, a silly and superficial one, in spite of the seriousness in Nomura's backstory. There are a few occasions where the reader would expect some action based on it, but it's never acted on or it is played off as a joke. I'm still not sure what to think of Kiryuuin bowing to a row of coin lockers and asking permission to take care of their son.  I laughed, but I did have to ask myself if that was the way a man in love should handle a matter so at the core of his would-be lover's problem.

Characterization also derails Live for Love. It's very hard to believe that these guys have worked together for seven years and that the issue of attraction is only coming up now.  The interactions read as if the acquaintance is recent, certainly no longer than a couple of years.

The sex scenes are adequate, they let the reader in on the action. While the art is attractive and the panels are well-placed and well-paced, the scenes seem  light on energy and passion. There is non-con here, but if the reader isn't informed of it, the events of chapter three are not much different from the "con" that closes out the volume.

If you can gloss over the improbabilities presented, Live For Love provides a decent, humorous read.

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