Saturday, October 25, 2008

Romantic Illusions by Reiichi Hiiro review

Romantic Illusions

Author/Artist: Reiichi Hiiro

Publisher: Juné

Rating: M – 18 and above

Genre: Yaoi, Comedy, Drama, Romance

Grade: A

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

It can be tough writing a comedic manga when you decide to use a mental illness like multiple personalities as the basis of the story. Does Romantic Illusions succeed? Read on to find out.

Yu Igarashi had to deal with emotional abuse when he was younger. Not only did his mother tell him that no one could ever love him, but she abandoned him leaving him with her sister. In order to deal with the fear of never being loved he created two additional personalities to love him. Kaname is a tough defense lawyer and Ryo is a tough playboy. But they both love Yu. Yu works part-time as a florist. It's here that he meets Sugo. Yu finds himself falling for Sugo, but feeling jealous, Kaname and Ryo try to get in the way. They also don't trust Sugo.

Not only is there the situation with Yu and Sugo, but depending on the time of day one of the personalities is in charge. In the afternoon it's Kaname's turn. He's a high powered lawyer. It's because of this job that keeps Yu/Kaname/Ryo living in comfort. Not only does he have the stress of a big time job but he also tries to keep Yu under control.

Nighttime is Ryo's time. He is a playboy and a tough guy. He comes out when ever Yu is in trouble. He cruises the nightlife picking up on any guy he can. Often times the guys that Ryo brings home, Yu wakes up to the next morning. Ryo also is responsible for the tattoos that decorate Yu's body.

Will romance be able to bloom between Sugo and Yu? And how will this relationship handle the ups and downs of multiple personalities?

Who knew that a manga about a character with multiple personality disorder could be so charming? The story was funny, but the mental illness aspect was treated with respect. Even Reiichi Hiiro-sensei made the comment that it was a touchy subject. But it came out to be an amazing, unique story! The romances in regards to the characters were so sweet. I found myself being charmed by each character, even the tough Ryo. The artwork was a little on the simple side, but it was beautiful none the less. I would love to see more from Hiiro-sensei. I must say that seeing a manga with this story line is a first for me. But it was well written and well illustrated.

This is a Juné release. It is beautiful both inside and out. This was a wise licensing choice and I hope we can look forward to more releases like this one.

I totally recommend this title. It puts the "fun" back into dysfunctional!

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