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Ontology on the gone!

The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

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07/21/2005 Archived Entry: "Yaoi review: Kizuna, Volume 1. The Bonds of Love"

Kizuna, Volume 1. The Bonds of Love
Story and art by Kazuma Kodaka
Published by Be Beautiful, a division of Central Park Media.

Review by Ginger Mayerson

This book starts with some very well drawn rough sex. At first it seems like a rape, but it turns out they just like it rough. Or the top, Kei (president of the tea ceremony club), has to subdue the bottom, Ranmaru (Ran [which means chaos, but probably not in this story], president of the kendo club), because... because... well, I don't know why, but that's how the book starts. The rest of their sex scenes are wonderfully sweet and tender. The ensuing calmer sex between them leads me to believe that a couple of nice dinners, some flowers, a weekend in the mountains or at the shore, foreplay, and suchlike, would have done the trick just as well. It would have taken longer to get to the first sex scene, but I guess I'm in the wrong genre for such thinking.

The antagonist in the story is Kei's younger half brother, Kai (these names annoyed me a little, but I got over it), who is in love with Ran and makes overtures to Ran in front of Kei. There's a lot of posturing and feather ruffling over this, but, except for Kai attacking Kei with a sword, there's no real violence between the half brothers in what is otherwise a fairly violent story.

Ran seems to be the unlucky one in this volume, as he is in peril several times over the course of the 196 page story. Interestingly (to me), in one instance, after Kai rescues Ran from being raped while drugged, Kai then rapes the still drugged Ran himself. Kei doesn't seem terribly upset about this, so who am I to object? I think these "happy rapes" in yaoi are wearing me down because they're no longer pissing me off as much (see the Passion vol 1., and Desire reviews in the Archives [I'm too lazy to link]). I can't tell if that's good or bad, but it does mean I'm enjoying these manga more than I used to.

(Meanwhile, children, here in reality, when you say NO, the other person(s) should and must STOP whatever is going on. I'm not kidding about this; please do not be confused. The old "your lips say no, but your eyes say yes" line is as much bullshit as it ever was. End of public service announcement.)

On a second or third reading, I discovered what a funny book this is. The humor is subtle in the text and the drawing, but the story is so dense, it took me the first or second reading to really know what was going on, and then a third and more reading to admire the willowy beefcake and be amused. And, you know, I know the sovereign nation of Japan has their own unique censorship laws, but I just can't get used to these blow jobs of, well, nothing. I realize this is probably some personal failing on my part, but there you have it.

At $16.00 USD a crack, these are expensive little books, too. But, if you like your yaoi to be YOW-WHEEE, these might be the books for you.

Note: Hot damn, there's an anime of this coming out sometime this year! So there IS something to look forward to!

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