Loveholic vol. 2
Author/Artist: Toko Kawai
Rating: YA – 16 and above
Genre: Yaoi, Drama, Comedy, Romance
*** Review originally appeared at The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society at http://liheliso.org/. Check it out! ***
The road of love is never smooth and now that Kentaro Nishioka (a photographer) and Daisuke Matsukawa (an ad man) have kicked their relationship up a notch they are going to find that out very quickly. Nishioka and a kohai (someone who is a junior in school or work) have the opportunity to pitch an ad campaign to a well-known jewelry company. But Nishioka and Fujii (the kohai) are in for a surprise when Daisuke is at a meeting representing his company. The gloves are off and Dai-chan (that's what Nishioka calls Daisuke) is ready to do all he can to get the job. He's jealous of Fujii. It seems that Dai-chan wants to be the only one to work so closely with Nishioka and no one else.
After this situation and its aftermath blow over another mountain comes into view. The higher-ups at Dai-chan's company have high hopes for him and want him to accept a promotion and move overseas and head the Foreign Affairs department. On the other side Nishioka is dealing with being the "in" photographer but the companies who hire him only want his name attached to the project and not necessarily take his advice. Both men are in a funk and don't know how to approach each other with the things that bother them. Stir in a trip that Nishioka has to make to Osaka to visit his father who has been hospitalized, and you have the makings of the story's climax.
If you are interested here is a link of the review I wrote for Loveholic vol. 1. There is something about Toko Kawai that draws you into the story and it won't let you go until the end. I don't know what it is because when you read any of her works she has a style that she goes with and many of her characters all look alike. That said, I still enjoy her art. I love how Kawai-sensei weaves humor into her stories without making it look like it's trying too hard to please readers. The intensity of the story is dialed up in this volume. I feel that this bit of angst is necessary to move the story to a successful and pleasing end. Another thing I noticed is the lack of the "rape = love" scenario that you see in so many titles released. It's a really nice change to see these two men get together because they do actually love each other. Nishioka is a bit shy in bed and with public displays of affection but he does love his man and loves being with his man.
Loveholic is a great series to start off with if you are interested in checking out the BL genre or if you want to check out some of Kawai-sensei's work. It isn't as explicit when it comes to sex and it focuses more on the relationship that these two men have outside of the bedroom. I definitely recommend it!
***Review Copy provided by Juné***
***Reposted with permission from The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society***