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The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

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09/19/2008 Archived Entry: "Yaoi Review: Future Lovers vol. 1"

Future Lovers vol. 1
Story and Art: Saika Kunieda
Published by the Deux Press Imprint of Aurora Publishing, Inc.
ISBN-10: 1934496359
ISBN-13: 978-1934496350

Review by Kris

Kento Kumagaya has always wanted a caring wife and loving kids. You know, the ideal kind of life. Life, however, dealt him a different hand. After having his proposal rejected by his girlfriend, a handsome guy at the bar let him cry on his shoulder. The two of them had quite a bit to drink, and ended up having a hot, sweaty night of sex. Kento is a science teacher in a high school and his girlfriend is the school nurse. After his night of hot loviní he was in for a surprise at work. It turns out his one night stand is the new art teacher Akira Kazuki. That night Kazuki got a little drunk at his own welcoming party and Kento was given the pleasure to take him home. Once they got to Kazukiís place, another night of hot, passionate sex ensued. It turns out that Kento might not be as straight as he thought. Of course, Akira is a self-assured gay man.

Kento has fallen in love with Akira, but Akira seems to only want the sex (or so he says). After Kento gets into an auto accident Akira relents and the two start dating. In Future Lovers we follow Kento and Akiraís relationship ups and downs. Kentoís grandparents are not at all pleased that heís dating another man, they have to keep their relationship a secret from both co-workers and students (Yukie, Kentoís ex-girlfriend does know of their relationship), and various other relationship hurdles.

There is a second story in this volume called ďWinter Rabbit.Ē Itís the tale of Shu and Minoru. Minoru was abandoned as a child and Shuís parents took him in. Shu adored his little brother Minoru, but those feelings seemed to run a little deeper and more disturbing. To deal with those emotions Shu moved to Tokyo to attend college. After he left Minoru seemed to change. Worried for the younger son, their mother called Shu to express her concern and also to convince him to come home for a visit.

Future Lovers vol. 1 is a very enjoyable manga. The premise of coworkers dating one another is not new in the world of yaoi, but Saika Kunieda-senseiís story is a refreshing read due to its humor. It really is quite funny. I found myself giggling through the whole manga. Kento is just a big, dumb ox. Yet heís very sincere and tries to show Akira that he cares for him in his own way. Akira, on the other hand, is wily like a fox and enjoys teasing not only Kento, but Kentoís grandfather as well. They have a very wild relationship both in the sack as well as out on the streets of town. Akira is a fascinating character. Heís constantly wearing wild shirts and seems to have several different personalities. I guess thatís what you get in dealing with artistic types. I found this title to be a breath of fresh air that I really needed, with all the angst-ridden manga that Iíve been reading lately. With ďWinter Rabbit,Ē it is a much more serious and angsty story. Iíve always struggled with brother falling for brother stories, yes, even when they arenít blood related. However, the story is well told and because I loved the rest of the manga, I was able to get over my hesitation. Plus, at the very end Kunieda-sensei included a section called "Assorted Ramblings" which made me laugh so hard, I nearly wet myself.

The art is quite simple, but in this case it isnít a hindrance to the story. Because it is a comedy the simple art works well. The style reminds me a little of Yugi Yamada-senseiís work. The use of chibi figures is also really well done. Even though the art may be simple, the character faces are so expressive. With these two elements (chibi use and expressive faces), it helps deliver a great comedic punch.

This is another quality release by Deux Press. With their no-frills approach to manga publishing they let the manga do all the talking. Now when I say no-frills, I donít mean shoddy publishing. They always print on a higher quality of paper, printing is always clean, and this time around I didnít catch any missteps in clean up or editing. Good job Deux Press, keep up the great work!

This is one manga that you donít want to miss. It is a very funny and clever manga. I guarantee that you will fall in love with these characters and will anxiously await the next volume (but I have no clue when that will be coming out). I know Iím impatiently waiting for the next volume (which I assume there will be one since itís entitled Future Lovers vol. 1), but while I wait I can tell you that Iíll read this one many more times

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