By Leroy Douresseaux
May 25, 2007 - 14:11
Ostensibly about the lead character, Norio Tsuburaya, Love Pistols is really about a series of complicated male relationships in which some of the young men feign interest in girls, but are really attracted to other young men. However, a story about young men in love with other young men is a romance, and with its “were-men,” Love Pistols is a romance and a fantasy.
Norio discovers a secret society living right along side mainstream society in which some humans are not entirely evolved from primates. Called “Zoomanity,” these people also have the DNA of animals, such as bears, cats, and snakes, among others. Perhaps, it is the onset of puberty, but suddenly Norio is giving off a signal that attracts zoomans, and they are picking on up it and are suddenly hitting on Norio. He becomes the object of desire two physically bigger men. One is Kumakashi-senpai, who is a bruin – meaning he has bear DNA. Kumakashi-senpai is a rather husky fellow whose gentleness belies his intense craving for Norio.
The other suitor is essentially one of Love Pistol’s other co-leads. He is the fit and athletic Kunimasa Madarame, who has both snake and dragon DNA. Nature has led Kunimasa to Norio because the younger boy is a perfect match for mating. Kunimasa wants to “plant his seed” in Norio so that they can bear a rare, genetically superior child. At first, Norio is reluctant, but he soon finds that the older boy’s scent drives him crazy. Still, with Kunimasa’s busy schedule and jealous girlfriend and Norio’s difficulty in adapting to his new life, the question is will they ever get around to baby making.
Love Pistols actually has at lead two other co-leads. It’s really an ensemble romantic comedy with the trappings of fantasy. Honestly, all the “Zoomanity” stuff is convoluted and not all that interesting, and Norio is an annoyance whenever he shows up. The strength of Love Pistols is the complex relationships and self-reflection of the other boys: Kunimasa, Kumakashi-senpai, Kunimasa’ brother, Yonekoni, and Yonekoni’s (very) close friend and student body president, Shiro Fujiwara, also know as The Chairman.
Norio’s journey into “Zoomanity” is mere slapstick, but the older boys’ interpersonal drama, doubt, and confusion makes for good reading. It’s not the best yaoi has to offer, but Love Pistols could be a text book on what to do right and what to leave out.