Real Love Vol. #01 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: B-

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  • Art Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A-
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Released By: Aurora Publishing, Inc.
  • MSRP: 10.95
  • Pages: 192
  • ISBN: 978-1934496145
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left
  • Series: Real Love

Real Love Vol. #01

By Danielle Van Gorder     August 12, 2008
Release Date: April 30, 2008

Real Love Vol. #1
© Aurora Publishing

When Shu is reunited with her ex, will she find true love, or just empty sex?

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Mitsuki Oda
Translated by:Ari Werry
Adapted by:AJ Glasser

What They Say
Twins Shun and Shu have no luck in love. However, a chance encounter reunites former lovers Shu and Naomichi after their breakup of three years ago. While the two had a budding relationship in the past, things fell apart and they parted ways. Now, fate brings them back together once again. Could it be that the relationship they shared in the past was what they have been looking for all along? Can they both figure out the meaning of true love that they never knew back then?

Also includes the stories "Baby" and "Love Star" about an aspiring female pop star.

The Review

Aurora has put together another nice looking book here.  The paper is a nice, bright white, and the printing is crisp, with dark blacks and clean lines.  If there were color pages, this would be just about a perfect release.  The cover design is fairly simple overall, but the deep purple background is certainly eyecatching.


It seems to be a requirement that josei titles will have minimalist artwork, and this is no exception.  What you see on the cover is pretty much what you get inside, too.  What stood out the most about the art to me were the eyes, which looked like targets more often than not.  Overall, the art is simple yet fairly well executed, but it's not the sort of thing that's going to win points for technical excellence.  Hands seem to be a challenge for her, and she seems to go out of her way to avoid depicting them except where absolutely necessary. 


The translation felt very natural, with no noticeable rough points.  All sound effects are translated on the page with the English equivalent subtitled under the original effect.  Where word bubbles contained Japanese asides, the Japanese is retained and a translation included near it, which was a somewhat unusual choice.  In some panels this left the page looking a little cluttered.

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

Shu has no luck with men, something that seems to be confirmed when she runs into her ex, Naomichi, right after her current boyfriend dumped her.  Naomichi used to be a fairly popular actor, but he started sleeping around and dumped Shu three years earlier.  His career pretty much self-destructed after that, but the whole situation clearly left its mark on Shu, who has a trail of broken romances to show for the three years they were apart.

They're drawn back together, even though Shu fights her obvious attraction, but the largest obstacle is actually her twin brother Shun.  He's dead set against her getting back together with Naomichi, but he has problems of his own with his girlfriend Miki.  When he has Shu dress up like him to dump Miki in his place, the whole situation gets even more complicated.  They all have personal demons to come to terms with before they're going to be able to find satisfaction in any kind of relationship (although sexual satisfaction might be a different story).

In "Baby," Hikari doesn't believe in love.  A runaway without any kind of education, she spends her days busking to make ends meet, but when a compelling (and extremely talented) stranger comes up to her and tells her that her songs lack love, her world is thrown upside down.  She's drawn to Kin, despite her brash assurances that she doesn't need anybody or anything.  He's willing to perform with her, laugh with her, and even defend her (even though his skills aren't necessarily up to the challenge).  Will Hikari let down her walls and let love in, or will Kin's secrets destroy any hope the two have of building a relationship together?


It seems really odd to me that a book aimed towards an older female audience would have so much graphic female nudity.  There's romance, yes, but at times this book really seems to be all about the sex - public or otherwise.  The "Real Love" half of the book was very odd, with a creepy dynamic that seemed to keep veering in the direction of twincest, although events played out much differently than that.  It was like the author assumed she had given the reader more backstory to work with than we actually had, which made some of the "surprise revelations" at the end really feel like they came out of left field. 

"Baby" and "Love Star" were much better, and worth the price of admission.  Hikari is almost fatally cute, and the chemistry between her and Kin was much more believable than the relationship between Shu and Naomichi.  I felt that the way they had to balance a working relationship with their personal relationship really added some depth and believability to the characters and the unusual situation they were in.

Readers looking for more literary minded stories should stay away - this isn't what you're looking for, but fans of Sex in the City or shoujo fans looking for something much more mature - in the graphic sense - are likely to enjoy this one.


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