Words of Devotion Vol. #01 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B+

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Info:

  • Art Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Released By: Digital Manga Publishing
  • MSRP: 12.95
  • Pages: 200
  • ISBN: 978-1569708118
  • Size: A5
  • Orientation: Right to Left
  • Series: Words of Devotion

Words of Devotion Vol. #01

By Danielle Van Gorder     November 01, 2007
Release Date: August 15, 2007


Words of Devotion Vol.#01
© Digital Manga Publishing


Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Keiko Konno
Translated by:P.C.
Adapted by:

What They Say
After graduating from high school, Tachibana and Otani have finally confessed their love for each other and are living together. However, their co-habitation is totally ruined when they run into an old high school buddy, Yuki. Otani has always been suspicious of the friendship between Tachibana and Yuki. And honestly, his suspicions may not be that far off...


The Review
Can a relationship between two men really last?

Packaging:

The cover has a shot of Otani and Tachibana on a tiled floor. The overall composition is visually interesting, especially the details in the background, but the coloring of the piece really emphasizes the characters lips and draws more attention to them than is probably intended. The logo fits well with the overall layout of the cover. A dustjacket is included, as is standard for June Media releases, and the print quality is high, with dark blacks and good screentone reproduction.

Art:

Konno's art is unusual - almost simplistic, with sparse detailing and almost nonexistant backgrounds. She tends to save the detail for the faces of the major characters, which is where her art is shown at its best.

Text/SFX:

All sound effects are subtitled on the page in a font similar to the original. The translation flows smoothly without any rough spots.

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

Tachibana and Otani have been friends and more since high school, so it was natural for them to move in together once they graduated. But when Tachibana runs into Yuki, and old friend from high school, and the two start hanging out together, Otani finds himself feeling extremely jealous.

Unable to get a handle on their relationship, Otani continues to invite himself along when the two hang out, and drags Tachibana off whenever things start to feel too cozy between Tachibana and Yuki. He's riddled with doubts, unwilling to let go of Tachibana, even though he's been convinced since the beginning that their relationship is doomed. When Tachibana brings up moving to separate apartments, things between them get even more tense.

In To The Ends of the Earth, Hiro is a soccer player who realizes that he's in love with the team captain, Shinji. So he turns to his best friends for advice - Sawako, the team manager and Shinji's ex-girlfriend. The dynamic between the three of them isn't exactly a love triangle, but it isn't just simple friendship either, and has a realism to it that is executed extremely well.

Waiting for Spring is possibly the strangest story in the book. Miyata is extremely wealthy, but lonely, and has no idea what real friendship is. When he tries to buy Ryuji an expensive gift, Ryuji insists that he can't accept it - at least, not until they become friends. Miyata's interpretation of how, exactly, people become friends is slightly twisted, to say the least.

The final story in the volume, Sho-kun, is also the shortest. It follows an old classmate of Otani's, Sho, who's been maintaining a long-distance relationship with his lover in America. It's short, but well realized, as you really get a feel for how devoted the pair is to each other.

Comments
One of the more interesting things about this book is how it deals with the way a relationship involves and influences more than just the two people in it. Too many romance stories neglect to explore any of those dynamics, treating relationships as if they existed in a vacuum. There's also some nice exploration on perception, not only how each person in a relationship perceives the other, but how others perceive the relationship between them. The characterizations are suprisingly good as well, making this one of the better written BL titles I've seen recently. Recommended.

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