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Ontology on the gone!

The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

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08/15/2008 Archived Entry: "Yaoi review: Hate to Love You"

Hate to Love You
Story and art by Makoto Tateno
Published by Deux Press
ISBN-10: 1934496014
ISBN-13: 978-1934496015

Review by I-hsiu Lin

Three estates lie side by side, only separated by a thin river. However, the tension between them separates the rival families more then the waters themselves. A ‘Romeo and Juliet’ story with a boys love twist.

Yuma Kazuki and Masaya Konoe were childhood friends though their families were rivals in the real estate business world that both are expected to inherit. The roles that they play are made even more prominent at their elite school, casting them as competitors in grades and rank. Although Yuma and Masaya are always at odds with each other, Masaya still sees them as friends along with Akiko Tojoin whose estate lies to the north of their own. Masaya began to question his friendship with Yuma when he learns of Yuma and Akiko’s engagement. But Yuma’s only comment to Masaya is a simple, “I hate you.”

Tateno Makoto's story is mixed with humor and drama…but mostly humor. She introduces a female side character who is actually likable in the presence of a boys love story which is pretty rare. Especially since the female Akiko ends up engaged with Yuma. However, her influence in the story fades after the first chapter. But then, the subsequent chapters take us through the stages of their relationship.

Although it’s more of a ‘Romeo and Juliet’ story, the emphasis is not on the rivalry of the two houses, but more of the opposition between each other. Yuma and Masaya create their own problems like the moments with Yuma being with other girls, Masaya being courted by other men and even misunderstandings by both of them not telling the other everything. However, the problems are not as angsty as other stories by Tateno and they readily resolve themselves by the end of the chapter.

However, the story questions the meanings in words lovers would say to each other…’I love you’ or maybe even ‘I hate you.’

Bonus story, ‘You Can’t Call It Love’ is a standalone story about Kyoichi. His beautiful face lets people admire him from afar but no one bothers to get to know him. He grew tired of the superficial relationships with his classmates and long to learn more about another man. A man who looks like his cousin but lives a carefree lifestyle with many women. The unique premise of this story is Kyoichi’s action that is basically him stalking another man. However, one thing leads to another and the story ends before seeing if the relationship really grows into anything serious. But fans can imagine what happens next.

Tateno’s artwork and storytelling is unique. It’s interesting to know that ‘Hate to Love You’ was her first BL story. Definitely a must have for Tateno fans.

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