Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Everlasting Love by Ryoko Chiba review

Everlasting Love

Author/Artist: Ryoko Chiba

Publisher: Juné

Rating: M - 18 and above

Genre: Yaoi, Comedy, Drama, Romance, Anthology

Grade: A+

Everlasting Love is a manga full of one-shots. Sometimes I get a bit tired of reading one-shots but this manga is truly enjoyable. When I first read it, I wasn't sure if I liked it or not, but upon my second reading I discovered the joy of Everlasting Love.

The first story is Everlasting Love. Youji has loved Noboru since childhood. Obviously Noboru doesn't share those same feelings. In this love affair spanning 20 years Youji has done just about everything to try to catch Noboru's eye. To keep women from taking Noboru away, Youji takes them on a date and then sleeps with them. He got a high paying job so he can take care of Noboru. Youji would do anything for Noboru!

The second story is called Never Give Up Love. Hayato Ichimonji is in love with his classmate Atsushi Sakura. Ichimonji confessed his love only to be rejected, big time. Ichimonji, however, is very determined. He's worked very hard at everything he does to get what he wants and is determined to not give up on making Sakura his.

My Sweet Home is about Katsuki and Riku. Riku's parents died in an accident when he was only eight. Katsuki decides to take him in and raise him. But what happens is completely unexpected. Riku is applying to different colleges (yes, by this point he's older) but can't seem to make up his mind. He's also behaving strangely. Katsuki is trying to deal with the emotion of loss knowing that Riku will be leaving him. That's when Katsuki realizes that he's in love. Not love like a parent/guardian to a child, but romantic love. The story of Katsuki and Riku is continued at the end of the book with a one-shot, My Sweet Room.

The next one-shot I Found a Twinkling Star is the tale of Keita. Keita always wanted to be a kindergarten teacher. He finally got his dream job, and he has fallen for Tomoya, a fellow teacher. Keita is a bit clumsy and acts like a big kid. Tomoya is quiet but gets along well with all the kids. Keita wants to confess to Tomoya, but doesn't know if Tomoya feels the same way.

The one-shot of Naive Love Triangle deals with Nishiwaki, Kitahara, and Higashiyama. Nishiwaki has a major fear of dogs and once Kitahara came to his rescue. Because of that Nishiwaki has fallen for Kitahara. Kitahara decides to help Nishiwaki out by taking Nishiwaki over to his house to play with his dog (Kitahara's dog). The next day Higashiyama threatens Nishiwaki because Higashiyama has been crushing on Kitahara as well. Nishiwaki doesn't have any self confidence so he steps aside. Who will Kitahara choose?

A Town in the Evening is about how Chisato has always loved Yasuhiro. Unable to deal with these feelings, he's developed an angry personality. Yasuhiro spends a lot of time around Chisato making it even harder on him. Does Yasuhiro feel the same way about Chisato?

This was a fantastic choice for Juné. Each story is unique. Ryoko Chiba-sensei's art style is refreshing. Usually when dealing with bishonen-types (beautiful men, generally androgynous) they all look alike, and usually have super pointy chins. In Everlasting Love Chiba-sensei makes her characters look different, and not by changing up the hairstyle. They also have the everyday man look to them, of course they're still uber-hot. My favorite tale out of these one shots is I Found a Twinkling Star. I think the reason why I like this story so much is that regardless of my age it's still fun to act like a big kid. A Town in the Evening is written (or at least translated) to sound like it was written with a Kansai-ben accent (I assume). Of course the quality is second to none. I actually had a problem with the printing with my first copy (some of the dialogue bubbles were missing text and some of the pages were heavily inked) so I had to exchange it with one that was printed better (luckily they had one in stock). It is the larger trim size and has a matte finish dust cover. I much prefer the matte dust jackets. One more thing, when you take the dust jacket off, there is a bonus comic. Kudos to Chiba-sensei, I look forward to more of her work!

***Review Copy purchased by Reviewer***

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