By Leroy Douresseaux
January 3, 2010 - 21:04
|Boys Love cover is courtesy of Anime Castle Books|
Drama/Romance; Rated “16+ Young Adult”
Boys Love, from creator Kaim Tachibana, is a boys’ love manga that is as much about the complications of love and wanting as it is about romantic love between two male characters.
Taishin Mamiya works as a magazine editor for Oubu Publishing, and he’s just landed his first high-profile feature. Mamiya is set to interview and write a feature article about Noeru Kisaragi, hot teen model and high school student, for “Splash” magazine. Mamiya is surprised to learn that Noeru is not only a pretty face, but also a creative talent. Noeru, on the other hand, is sullen when he is not talking and sarcastic when he does decide to speak to anyone.
Then, Mamiya and Noeru unexpectedly form a bond over a precious memento, and Mamiya becomes something of a mentor to Noeru. Mamiya plays the older, wiser man to the confused and troubled Noeru. However, Noeru’s childhood friend and quasi-roomate, Chidori Furumura, starts telling secrets that take center stage in the burgeoning Mamiya-Noeru relationship.
THE LOWDOWN: Love stories do not always work out the way we think they will, and that is also true for boys’ love and yaoi manga. Kaim Tachibana’s manga, Boys Love, is about deep friendship, grief, broken promises, trust, and the story goes surprising places in terms of what a love story is supposed to be and how it is supposed to end. I think one of best things about Boys Love is that it allows the reader to question this romance and even question whether romantic love is involved at all and to what extent.
Tachibana’s art is beautiful, and the figure drawing is exceptional. So much of the storytelling is told through the characters’ large, expressive eyes that readers should be forgiven if they don’t spend much time marveling at how pretty those same eyes are. Another good thing about Boys Love is that it is different and the surprises that it offers make sense rather than seeming exploitive or over the top.
POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: Readers who like boys’ love manga that challenges rather than delivering the usual pleasures will certainly want the manga, Boys Love.