Sunday, May 11, 2008

Hate to Love You by Makoto Tateno review

Hate to Love You

Author/Artist: Makoto Tateno

Publisher: Deux Press

Rating: M - Ages 18 and above

Genre: Yaoi, Drama, Romance

Grade: A

I was introduced to Makoto Tateno-sama through reading Yellow, another of her series. Initially I didn't know whether or not I liked her art style. It was different from what I was used to. Once I finished the first volume of Yellow I fell in love. Hate to Love You was the second work of hers that I read. I was intrigued because on the back it said that it is a yaoi version of Romeo and Juliet (Romeo and Romeo?). Since I love Shakespeare I couldn't pass on it.

Masaya Konoe and Yuma Kazuki are the sons of two rival real estate company presidents. They were raised to hate one another, since they are eventually going to take over their fathers companies. Even though they act as though they hate each other, there seems to be something more to their relationship. They used to play with another child in an adjoining estate: Akiko Tojoin. It seems that Konoe might have a little bit of a crush on Akiko. It is expected that Konoe and Kazuki are supposed to compete in every aspect of life and for some reason Kazuki is always the one ahead.

Kazuki is a bit of a womanizer, but that doesn't stop him becoming engaged to Akiko. Konoe is beside himself. As he runs away from Kazuki he drops a small, broken, charm. This seems to fascinate Kazuki. He holds this charm hostage and tells Konoe that if he wants it back they are to meet at a certain spot. Konoe shows up and the sparks soon fly. They realize that they have mutual feelings for each other and proceed to get it on out in the open and in the middle of winter (wouldn't that be kind of on the cold side?). Will the back and forth continue? Will their relationship last or will the family rivalries tear them apart?

This is a pretty good story. But I don't see the Romeo and Juliet aspect of it. The only thing that the two have in common is that they come from two opposing houses. The art is gorgeous and clean. Konoe is kind of a crybaby and Kazuki seems to be on the sadistic side. Akiko is a breath of fresh air. Often time in yaoi stories women don't show up too often and are generally portrayed as jealous shrews or angry bimbos. Tateno-sama, however, portrays Akiko as a strong, amazingly beautiful character that grounds our two main male characters. She also shares words of wisdom and is not your usual yaoi female. I recommend this book. My only complaint the book is a little stiff. I really don't want to develop carpal tunnel while I try to wrestle to keep the book open. Deux Press has improved it's printing (at least my copy of Yakuza in Love by Shiuko Kano is easier to hold). Whether it lasts I don't know, I only have three of their books and only one of them is easy to hold. The paper is super high quality though.

***Review Copy purchased by Reviewer***

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