A Love Song for the Miserable Vol. #01 - Mania.com

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  • Art Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Released By: Digital Manga Publishing
  • MSRP: 12.95
  • Pages: 200
  • ISBN: 978-1-56970-718-0
  • Size: A5
  • Orientation: Right to Left
  • Series: A Love Song for the Miserable

A Love Song for the Miserable Vol. #01

By Danielle Van Gorder     May 09, 2008
Release Date: May 27, 2008

A Love Song for the Miserable Vol.#01
© Digital Manga Publishing

Creative Talent
Translated by:Sachiko Sato
Adapted by:N/A

What They Say
Akida is truly miserable. After three years, he's been reunited with Nao, who has succeeded as a patisserie and is now a formidable rival at Akida's department store. In the past, Akida's cold anger turned into love. But Nao doesn't know that...

The Review
Love and hate can share the same face at times.


DMP has done an excellent job on this book overall. The print quality is excellent, with sharp, crisp line reproduction and dark blacks, the paper is a brighter white than some of their recent releases, and the blacks are dark and even. There's the usual color wraparound dustjacket, and several ads in the back for other new and forthcoming DMP titles.


While the cover art looks a little odd, especially in the skin tone, the art inside is excellent. Yukimura's strength is definitely black and white linework. Really, there's not much she doesn't do well - her page layouts are creative and varied, backgrounds are detailed and elaborate when called for, and the variety of different poses and angles she uses demonstrates her grasp of anatomy quite well. Simply put, this is a beautiful book.


All sound effects are translated, but unlike most of DMP's books, most of the original effects are replaced rather than being subtitled. The translation itself flowed very smoothly with only a few lines that felt rough or out of place, and did a good job of giving each character a distinctive voice.

Contents (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):

Denied even consideration for a transfer to the department of his dreams, Asada is at what feels like the lowest point in his life, until Nao drags him out of the hedge he had fallen in and asks for directions. As a thank you, Nao gives Asada directions in turn, to his family bakery. Nao isn't much of a baker yet, but he has definite potential, and Asada ends up putting his excellent sense of taste to work to help Nao get even better.

These days are the happiest of Asada's life, but they're not destined to last forever. When Nao declares that he's going to study in France for two years, the thought of losing him forces Asada to realize that he's actually in love with Nao. Reeling, he begs Nao to stay - and when Nao won't, Asada's pain causes him to lash out.

Three years later, Asada is finally in the planning department, working on a new exhibition. In the course of his work he crosses paths with Nao again, but nothing is the way it was before. The bitterness of their parting is something that Nao clearly hasn't forgotten, and Asada has to work hard to rebuilt their relationship. But the strain of being near the man he still loves is taking its toll on Asada as well, causing him to pull away even as he and Nao start to get close again.

A deep personal disappointment wounds Asada as deeply as he's ever been wounded in the past, and his love for Nao is conflicted by his personal jealousy of Nao's success. Despite his love, as Nao forces himself closer and closer to Asada, Asada's personal conflict causes him to push Nao away.

Asada's fundamentally contrary nature, continually doing the opposite of whatever it was he really wanted to do, felt both extremely believable and extremely compelling. His inability to be truly happy for another in the face of his personal disappointments is something that most people have experienced, and that, in the end, is what made this book work so well for me. It felt real, a love story with teeth, but without the high drama and abuse that so many BL titles resort to. This was just two people needing each other, with life getting in the way. Asada's misery was the kind of day to day unhappiness that resonates with anyone who's ever faced unexpected roadblocks in their path.

This is one of those compelling adult romances that I see myself pulling off the shelf again and again. I'd recommend it to most BL fans, especially those who like a change from the more usual high school romances.


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