By Leroy Douresseaux
Jan 15, 2008 - 10:24
A decade later, Sohei reunites with his friend Chikazawa “Chika” Osamu, who is secretly in love with Sohei. Chika, a handsome freelance writer who always encouraged Sohei’s boxing, is living with another high school classmate, Naoki. When Sohei walks back into Chika’s life, he finds Chika pushing him back into boxing, and Sohei has to wonder why. What are Chika’s feelings for him, and why does the burly writer sometime seem so dismissive of him? Chika has to ponder these questions and pound opponents if he is going to reclaim his boxing career, his life, and maybe love.
THE LOWDOWN: The treat of Laugh Under the Sun by yaoi manga legend, Yugi Yamada, is that this is boys’ love manga in a fresh setting. The boxing ring doesn’t seem like a place where boy/boy love can thrive, but it does and so does this narrative. Sohei is a bracing character – a determined fighter seemingly being out-punched by life, but taking it on a chin not made of glass. Chika is tall, dark, and handsome, and his brooding presence suggests mystery, which just makes you want to know him more. Naoki provides comic relief as a character sort of like “Jack” from the TV series “Will & Grace,” but with more wisdom and a bit of slyness.
POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: Laugh Under the Sun is an all-around tightly executed yaoi success, and will appeal to those looking for a little more masculinity in their yaoi leads.