Our Everlasting Vol. #01 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: C

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Info:

  • Art Rating: C-
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Released By: Digital Manga Publishing
  • MSRP: 12.95
  • Pages: 192
  • ISBN: 1-56970-927
  • Size: A5
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Our Everlasting Vol. #01

By Megan Meinhard     December 28, 2006
Release Date: October 20, 2005


Our Everlasting Vol.#01
© Digital Manga Publishing


Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Toko Kawai
Translated by:Shirley Kubo
Adapted by:

What They Say
Horyuu is a shining, good looking surfer idol. Shouin, who is enamored with him, is a calm, restrained and mature youngster. Though Horyuu is the polar opposite to the subdued Shouin, he cannot erase from his mind the secret confession which they shared...

The Review
There's nothing we haven't seen before in this tale of college students in love.

Packaging:
As with all DMP releases, this comes with a nice dust jacket. The cover has Horyuu hefting Shouin in a loving hug on a beach with red flowers surrounding them. Above the two of them is the title, overlaid on a surfboard--nice touch. The spine has the same picture as the front and the same lettering for the title. On the back, the title and author's name are once again repeated, with the same cover art beside them. Wasn't there something else they could use? Below that is the summary and rating information, over a sherbet-orange background.

Art:
This is definitely not one of the better series released in America, art-wise. While some of that can be attributed to the fact that it's Kawai's first work, it still doesn't make it any easier on the eyes. The backgrounds are amateurish and often overwhelm the foreground. The characters are badly proportioned and tend to look exactly the same, discounting the color of their hair. Flipping through it and just paying attention to the art, it's almost impossible to tell where the main story ends and where the separate two shots begin, that's how similar the characters look. Even the screentone isn't applied very well, as it highlights the artwork flaws instead of adding depth to the pictures.

Text/Translation:
The adaptation suffers from a little bit of the same stiffness that plagues these earlier DMP titles. Even with some of the slangy terms they use, the dialogue still is stilted and unnatural in places. Overall, though, it's not as bad as the first volume of "La Esperanca" was, and that was certainly readable. It's more of something that takes you out of the narrative for a split second rather than an issue that completely impedes reading.

Contents: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Horyuu is a ladies man. Or at least he was until a startling confession from a close friend, Shouin, when he thought Horyuu was asleep. Since then Horyuu has been trying to grow even closer to Shouin and express that the feelings between the two of them are mutual. His way of doing this leaves something to be desired, because instead of telling Shouin he cares, Horyuu opts to exuberantly express his feelings in a manner that leads Shouin to assume he's just joking around. Horyuu can't understand why Shouin won't take him seriously, and Shouin keeps on getting more and more hurt by what he sees as Horyuu constantly "pretending" to care.

Shouin is also held back by memories of an ex-boyfriend. This aspect really needed more depth put into it, as it's hard to believe someone could go from that in love with someone to "eww, you're disgusting" at the drop of a hat, but supposedly that's what happens here. The trauma from this experience makes Shouin seem cold and uncaring, as he has trouble expressing his feelings of affection unless he thinks Horyuu is asleep. Horyuu is a giving person, but even the most outgoing of people can't keep giving while getting nothing in return. But it's not that Shouin is completely uncaring, they just need to reach a middle ground and begin to understand how they both express their love.

At the end of this volume is Kawai's debut work. It's about a teacher named Momose, who has an unnamed heart condition that keeps him from being able to have sex, lest he die from overexertion. Despite knowing that her could keel over at any minute if his heart rate goes up too much, he and his boyfriend, Takehiko, still indulge in hanky-panky. (Blowjobs and hand jobs, basically) Until one day Takehiko comes out and shows that he just isn't satisfied with that, and wants actual intercourse. Then he tries to force the issue. Nice.

It's about as melodramatic as it sounds, with lots of angsting over whether getting an operation with a very high mortality rate is worth it to take their relationship to the next level. Because it doesn't count as intimacy or sex until you've had anal sex!

Comments
In a way, it was lucky that this was one of the earlier titles in DMP's line. As the market has grown more crowded recently, it's all too easy to imagine that an offering like this would get lost in the shuffle. But for people desperate for any BL to read, this was a godsend when it came out in 2005.

The issue with this volume isn't so much that it has an unoriginal premise, but that absolutely nothing stands out about it. Even a cliched series can add little touches or have memorable characters, but there is nothing of the sort here. As soon as you're finished reading it you've already forgotten who the characters were and what it was about. The best thing you can really point out is that Kawai has a sort of earnestness to her writing that a lot of starting mangaka have. Having read some of her later stuff, I know Kawai improves by leaps and bounds in both the art and storytelling department. If I hadn't completely forgotten this series after I read it, I'm not sure I would have ever tried her stuff again, though.

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