Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Love Code by Sakurako Hanafubuki review

Love Code

Author/Artist: Sakurako Hanafubuki

Publisher: Juné

Rating: M

Genre: Yaoi, Drama, Romance

Grade: C+

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

Koji Mizuhara, the hottest thing in Japan right now, and Kyo Ayukawa, a rising star, have been dating for a while now. The two are hot and heavy but most still don't know about their relationship. Mizuhara seems to have a dark past that not many know about and one of Ayukawa's co-workers seems to know more than most. But this co-worker has a chip on his shoulder and seems to be harboring some jealousy toward Mizuhara. Plus there is a history with Saiki (the co-worker) and Mizuhara.

Not only does Ayukawa have to deal with his career and dealing with Mizuhara, but he has a decision to make. Does he always want to walk in Mizuhara's shadow, or does he want to surpass Mizuhara fame-wise? Things seem to be going well for both Ayukawa and Mizuhara and Mizuhara wants to take their relationship public. When Ayukawa finds out about Mizuhara's sordid past through a jealous former lover he realizes how hard Mizuhara has had to work to reach the level that he is at. But Ayukawa seems to want more.

Love Code is a continuation of a story featured in Junior Escort. When I first found out that Junior Escort even had a sequel I was a tad bit worried because I didn't know how many of the stories were going to be continued and I was rather disappointed with many of the stories. I breathed a huge sigh of relief when I found out that it was only Junior Escort and Paparazzi Channel that were going to be continued. They were two of the three decent stories. The couple is definitely interesting. Ayukawa is still in high school and of course Mizuhara is the most famous man in Japan and several years older than Ayukawa. Luckily Ayukawa has a good friend he can turn to if he needs to, Tokisada Kujo (the two started working around the same time). I've read through this volume many times and I'm still trying to figure out some things toward the end. I'm hoping that when Crazy Star (the next in the series) comes out it might clear up some of my confusion.

Even though I did like Love Code more than Junior Escort, because this dealt with only one set of characters instead of being an anthology, I'm finding that I'm not a huge fan of Hanafubuki-sensei's art style. There isn't much expression found in the character's eyes and their chins are so pointy I wonder if they can cut diamonds with them. The clothes, even though they're stylish, seem to be baggy. At least hairstyles are varied and the clothes to seem to rotate through more outfits. The sex is present but not graphic and it seems to be more hinted at than shown, which if you are looking for lots of sex you aren't going to find it here. There is a little bit of humor found and some of sensei's chibis are rather funny.

You'll want to read Love Code after reading Junior Escort (at least read the two stories that kick the series off) because jumping right in at this book will probably be a little confusing. Do I recommend reading this title? Well this is just going to have to be up to you because I don't really know quite yet!

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

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