Lovers in the Night Vol. #01 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B+

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Info:

  • Art Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Released By: Blu
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 232
  • ISBN: 978-1-4278-0052-7
  • Size: A5
  • Orientation: Right to Left
  • Series: Lovers in the Night

Lovers in the Night Vol. #01

By Danielle Van Gorder     September 25, 2007
Release Date: May 30, 2007


Lovers in the Night Vol.#01
© Blu


Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Fumi Yoshinaga
Translated by:
Adapted by:

What They Say
Hired as a servant by an aristocratic family, Claude works hard to care for the family that took him in. But when the master of the house and his wife eventually pass away, Claude must keep spoiled son Antoine in line and teach him to be a proper gentleman. As the two become closer, a forbidden love develops between them...

The Review
Fans of historical romance can't miss this one.

Packaging:

The cover is beautifully balanced and elegant, featuring Claude and Antoine in an intimate (but not too intimate) moment. The coloring on it is simple, but sets the piece and the historic costumes off well. The printing is not quite as sharp as it could be, but it still manages to look better than much of what shows up on these shores, and the blacks are deep.

Art:

Yoshinaga's distinctive art might be familiar from titles like Gerard & Jacques or Antique Bakery. The art and panel layout is overall very minimalist, with sparse backgrounds where they are included at all, and fairly simple screentones, but it's a style that is used to great effect. The real strength of her artwork is in the character's expressions, which can convey volumes without words. The costumes, while simple and rather spare of detail at times, are also worth a look.

Text/SFX:

Sound effects are sometimes replaced and sometimes left alone without even a subtitle, a decision that seems to be completely random. Still, I prefer partial translation to none at all, although some consistency would be nice. The adaptation flows smoothly and naturally, with no real rough spots.

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

Claude is a young French-Chinese boy working in a brothel when he's brought to the house of an aristocrat as a servant. He quickly learns his duties and surpasses expectations, despite the obvious dislike of the ill-tempered mistress of the house. As the years pass the master's fortune is eaten up by his affairs, the mistress sickens and dies, and the other servants leave one by one, but Claude stays loyal to his master. On his deathbed, the master asks Claude to look after Antoine, and admits that he's always loved Claude as a son. Claude's feelings are rather more complex.

Antoine grows up to be just as fond of dallying as his father was, but Antoine prefers men to women. When he hides his aristocratic status and goes to a masquerade in Paris, he manages to cross a dangerous man who vows to get back at Antoine - which he does, without wasting much time. A handsome masked stranger who might or might not be Claude rescues him, but back at home it appears that nothing has changed with their relationship.

When the French Revolution starts, Antoine leaves France to stay with a relative in the Rhine, while Claude stays behind to sell the house and belongings so they have enough money to live on. Claude, however, is months overdue when Antoine has a dream encounter with him. But is it really a dream?

Over a series of vignettes, Antoine and Claude's relationship develops into something more. Still master and servant on the surface, it's easy to tell who's really in control. Claude's calculated restraint is a nice contrast to Antoine's bored impetuosity, but it's even better when one of the two reveals something deeper.

Comments
While the noncon scene may turn some people away, it's a small part of a very well written story, and not as central to the story as similar scenes in Gerard & Jacques. This kind of character piece is what Yoshinaga does best, and why she has so many devoted fans. The historical angle isn't really explored as much as it could have been, seemingly more of an excuse for a master and servant relationship and elaborate costumes, but it doesn't feel tacked on. Even with all the BL titles out there now, and even all the Yoshinaga titles available, this is worth having on your shelf.

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