By Leroy Douresseaux
March 18, 2009 - 08:04
|Live for Love cover image is courtesy of Anime Castle Books.|
Drama/Romance; Rated “M” for “Mature Audiences 18+”
The yaoi manga, Live for Love, is the work of manga-ka Jun Mayama, from an original story by Itsuki Sato. This career-based romance tells the story of two young men who are suddenly confronted by the end of their partnership when one of them feels the call of family obligations.
Seven years ago, Yasuie Kiryuuin found Yoshiyuki Nomura sitting alone in the park. Yasuie might not have been a successful private detective, but he knew enough to deduce that this young man with the glum look on his face needed a home. So Yoshiyuki accepted Yasuie’s offer to join the Kiryuuin Detective Agency, and it’s been a seven year struggle ever since. With few clients and almost no money, they struggle just to pay rent, and Yoshiyuki always has to put up with the randy Yasuie making advances towards him.
But things are going to change. Yoshiyuki’s foster parents have asked him to move back in with them. They’ve even set up a marriage interview for Yoshiyuki, who must now choose between a more traditional lifestyle and a virtually penniless future with Yasuie. Even if Yasuie finally admits his true feelings, Yoshiyuki may not stay.
Live for Love is successful because Jun Mayama creates two worlds that will feel genuine to her readers. First, the world of the Kiryuuin Detective Agency, with Yasuie and Yoshiyuki’s bickering and their desperate jobs (cat grooming and care), is funny and a bit crazy, but it also comes across as genuine because it mimics the trials and tribulations of a family owned business. Yasuie and Yoshiyuki are, by the time the story begins, way more than just friends, and the way they interact with each other makes sense, so when Yoshiyuki is confronted with having to leave, that creates a genuine mood of conflict and drama. That he may leave Yasuie really matters.
Also, Yoshiyuki’s life with his parents and younger brother rings with domestic charm. The readers can certainly believe that Yoshiyuki struggles inside so much. He has a great setup at his parents, but would lose the one of who gave him a home when he had none. Mayama’s figure drawing features tall and gangly characters. The quirky way she draws heads and facial features gives the characters’ emotions a sharp resonance, and for Yoshiyuki’s family, an especially melodramatic touch. All in all, Live for Love is a pretty good read.