Author/Artist: Hinako Takanaga
Publisher: Deux Press
Rating: M – 18 and up
Genre: Yaoi, Comedy, Romance, Sports
*** Review originally appeared at The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society at http://liheliso.org/. Check it out! ***
Kaoru Komatsuna is very sensitive. He has a feminine name and has soft feminine features. Everyone knows that this is a hot button issue with him and not to approach it. Well, all but one person. Junya Kubo happened to pick up Komatsuna's student notebook and made the mistake of commenting on his name. Next thing Kubo knows is that some adorable shrimp knocked him out, which is a shocking thing in and of itself. Why, you ask? Well Kubo is a boxer who is in training to become a pro.
Once Kubo has come to he decides that he needs to convince Komatsuna to train to become a boxer at his gym. Komatsuna thinks that boxing is the ultimate in manly sports and decides to take a whack at it. One thing that Kubo and Komatsuna didn't expect is for Kubo to fall in love. Will Kubo's determination be able to win over Komatsuna, who can only punch out Kubo every time Kubo makes a move?
Hinako Takanaga-sensei has a wonderful ability to write madcap comedy with the best of them. Love Round!! is definitely like a yaoi manga version of a Three Stooges episode. OK, bizarre comparison but I hope you get what I mean. Komatsuna consistently knocks Kubo out and Takanaga-sensei is kind enough to keep count for us (a total of 18 knockouts) just in case you weren't keeping track for yourself. Another thing about the knock out scenes is there are always girls in the background screaming, if it wasn't crazy enough that a kid half the size of the boxing champ is able to knock him out with just one punch. But that's Komatsuna for you.
Takanaga-sensei has an interesting art style and is rather popular here in the states. She has some very dedicated fans. You're able to recognize her work from a mile away. It's sketchy and sparse but adorable nonetheless. Not only is Takanaga-sensei capable of drawing adorable schoolboys but she's able to create some of the sexiest adult characters as well (but none of those appear in this title). Takanaga-sensei's art compliment her story lines perfectly. In the case of Love Round!! there's plenty of blushing and embarrassment to go around and makes for the perfect one-two punch (sorry for the pun, it's pretty lame, I know).
Kubo and Komatsuna make an interesting couple but it seems to work well. If you are looking for a fluffy fun romance with a different feel to it I suggest picking up a copy of Love Round!! I enjoyed it.
***Review Copy provided by Deux Press***
***Reposted with permission from The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society***