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Ontology on the gone!

The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

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09/29/2007 Archived Entry: "Yaoi review: Manic Love"

Manic Love
Story by Satomi Yamagata
Art by Satomi Yamagata
Published by the Juné Imprint of Digital Manga, Inc.

Review by Ginger Mayerson

Manic Love is the very painful story of Maki, who, in his last year of high school, begins a passionate affair with his prep school tutor, Haruji, and falls in love with him. Too bad Maki is the only one in love. Turns out the tutor had a Maki-like experience himself when he was Maki’s age and is still in love with the guy. As the coincidences pile up, it turns out Haruji’s former lover is one of Maki’s high school teachers, Mizuguchi, and, yes, alas, Haruji and Mizuguchi get together and live happily ever after.

But what about Maki?

The poor kid ends up with a jerk named Reni and more this story is followed in another review of Fake Fur. One happy thought in Manic Love is that there might be a rescue in the works from one of Maki’s decent high school friends, but we don’t get to read about that in either book. And since this story is so heartbreaking, I’m just going to project my own little mental sequel that Maki finally finds required love with his high school friend and they live happily ever after. Yes, I know this is not how real life is, but this is my imaginary manga and that’s how it’s going to be.

Manic Love and Fake Fur, are extremely well written and well drawn. They are painful and beautiful stories. I’m not sure that makes them great art, but it does mean they’re going into the Mayerson permanent library. Growing up is hard, detaching from childhood is hard, falling in love often makes it even harder. Maki makes some bad choices—haven’t we all?—and it’s tough watching him punish himself for them. He confuses love with sex, which always ends in tears. In a way I’m glad the mangaka didn’t write his ending, happy or otherwise, so I can have it all to myself.

By the way, I like Satomi Yamagata’s afterword to Manic Love where she says: “It was just a challenge to see if I could write half of the book as nude scenes and if something is worth doing it’s worth doing right!” I admire that kind of thinking! This mangaka sounds, writes, and draws like a grown-up woman who knows the things that grown-up women know. I must repeat that the art in this book is as lovely as the writing. Add in that the mangaka’s aferrwords don’t annoy me and you’ve got an all-around winner here.

Highly recommended.

Replies: 1 Comment

Satomi Yamagata made an exceedingly moving story. I like it! ;)

Posted by milf @ 11/08/2007 05:17 AM PST

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