Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Lover's Pledge by Kae Maruya review

Lover's Pledge

Author/Artist: Kae Maruya

Publisher: Juné

Rating: M – 18 and above

Genre: Yaoi, Drama, Romance, Anthology

Grade: B-

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

Lover's Pledge is another one-shot collection released by Juné. This time around it only contains three different stories.
In Lover's Pledge and Happily Ever After we meet Kazuto. He is known to be quite the party animal, when he gets drunk that is. Not remembering what happened the night before, he woke up in a strange bed next to a strange man, and neither one of them was wearing anything. It turns out that this handsome young man bought Kazuto's time for one month for the amount one million yen. Kazuto is somewhat nervous about this arrangement seeing how he was naked in this guy's bed. When Kazuto finds the one million yen in his bag he intends to return it to Takasugi. After Kazuto and Takasugi meet up, they end up having a good time at the batting cages. But more surprises await Kazuto.

Prescription for a Kiss and Aftereffect of a Kiss is the story of two neighbors Mutsuki and Gaku. While growing up Gaku was kind of a crybaby. So to cheer him up Mutsuki gave him a kiss and said it was a charm to help him cheer up. Now that they’re in high school Gaku has become quite the ladies man, but they are still good friends. After Mutsuki receives a confession from a member of the student council, both Mutsuki and Gaku are confused by their feelings they have for one another.

The final story Too Close for Love is a typical yaoi rendering of the cousins who fall for each other. Fumiya came to live with his cousin Eiji after his parents were killed in a car accident. While they were younger the two got along well and Eiji wanted to protect his cousin and help him toughen up. But it seems that there is more emotion flowing between these two cousins.

Lover's Pledge is one of the better one-shot collections that I've read in this last cycle of manga to review. The last two stories Prescription for a Kiss and Too Close for Love fall under the category of typical yaoi story line. Lover's Pledge on the other had I thoroughly enjoyed. It was a fresh story. But what sets this manga apart is Kae Maruya-sensei's artwork. It is truly breathtaking. The detail is amazing. It is a stunning work of art. I think that is what makes it a better one-shot collection. If it weren't for the beautiful art I don't think I would have enjoyed this manga. I think I'm just a little burned out on one-shot collections (I've only got one more to review, at least this time around).

For the phenomenal manga artists out there Juné is the ideal publisher. They have the larger trim size to show off the amazing art. They are also very flexible to hold and flipping through the pages is a breeze. When dealing with amazing artists you also want to have a book that is beautiful to sit on a shelf. Juné books have beautiful dust jackets and they look great sitting on the bookshelf.

I recommend this volume strictly for the art, and for the first story Lover's Pledge. I hope that we might be able to enjoy more of Maruya-sensei's work in the future.

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

No comments: