Sunday, October 5, 2008

I Shall Never Return vol. 4 by Kazuna Uchida review

I Shall Never Return vol. 4

Author/Artist: Kazuna Uchida

Publisher: Deux Press

Rating: M – 18 and up

Genre: Yaoi, Drama, Romance

Grade: A-

*** Review originally appeared at The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society at http://liheliso.com/buzz/. Check it out! ***

I don’t really want to bore you with recapping the previous volumes, so feel free to read my reviews of the previous three volumes. Shall we jump on in to the synopsis and review?

Ken wants to become a better man for Ritsuro. The opportunity to travel to India with his stepfather J is the perfect chance. Ritsuro doesn’t seem to see it that way. He figures that Ken is happy with his new family and no longer needs him. To cope with the pain, Ritsuro finds solace in Kazuyoshi’s arms. Kazuyoshi tells Ritsuro that he loves him over and over, but Ritsuro’s emotions aren’t as clear.

Ken is leaving for India sooner rather than later and will be spending a few days with his mom and J in Singapore. Because of this, he hasn’t been able to spend time with Ritsuro (which there wouldn’t be much time anyway, Ritsuro’s been kicking it in the sack with Kazuyoshi). While at the train station Ken runs into Moeko. At first she’s super rude, but after listening to Ken’s plans to better himself for Ritsuro, Moeko finally comes around. When she finds out about Ritsuro and Kazuyoshi’s torrid affair, she blows her stack and tells Ritsuro that Ken is too good for him. That takes Ritsuro aback, and he becomes confused once again. He loves Ken, but he cares for Kazuyoshi as well. But Ken is leaving him and Kazuyoshi isn’t going anywhere. How will he deal with all this confusion? Will he dump Ken and stay with Kazuyoshi?

I think that December is too far away. That is when I Shall Never Return vol. 5 hits bookstore shelves. This has become a very addicting series. Not only is it very well written, but also the art has improved with each passing volume. I find the characters are so interesting and they have so much depth. That is the nice thing about longer series, you can fully develop the characters. You feel like you are experiencing these things along with them. When I first read the volume, I cried my eyes out. I know that’s pathetic, but you come to care for the characters. I would say the characters that impressed me the most this time around would be both Ritsuro and Moeko. Moeko isn’t the typical yaoi female character. At first I didn’t know what I thought of her, but she does play a pivotal role. In the world of yaoi women are usually cast as the villain. Moeko isn’t a villain and she seems to be the conscience of the story. Ritsuro impressed me because he’s learning to stand on his own two feet. The volume ends on quite the cliffhanger, so even though December isn’t really all that far away, it’s still too far away for me!

Deux Press never ceases to amaze me. They have made a very wise choice in licensing this series. Who cares that it’s from the early to mid-nineties! Good stories span the ages and I feel that I Shall Never Return is timeless. Thank you Deux Press for bringing this beautiful and touching series here to our shores!

***Review Copy provided by Publisher***
***Reposted with permission from The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society***

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