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Ontology on the gone!

The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

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11/03/2008 Entry: "Yaoi Review: Lover's Pledge"

Lover's Pledge
Story and Art by Kae Maruya
Published by Juné Imprint of Digital Manga, Inc.
ISBN-10: 1-56970-580-1
ISBN-13: 978-1-56970-580-3

Review by I-hsiu Lin

After one night of drunkedness, Kazuto Haruna finds himself in bed with Akihiko Takasugi. Naked. Although he didn't remember anything of the previous night, Akihiko reminds him, "I've bought one month of your time for 1,000,000 yen." One would think in a boys love manga, the one month would be filled with hot, steamy guy on guy action....but you’ll be surprised what actually goes on. Kazuto himself was unsure of this arrangement, but soon, their time together drew certain feelings from his heart.

Student Body Vice President, Mutsuki Yuasa and popular lady-killer, Gaku Togo have always been close friends since they were kids. They even shared a 'magic charm' between them to cheer each other up: sweet kisses. Since middle school though, Mutsuki discovers his feelings for Gaku during one of their cheering up sessions and pushes Gaku away. Their friendship remains unchanged but Mutsuki's feelings grow steadily that even President Shigeyoshi noticed. "I'm in love with you...I know you've only got eyes for him, Yuasa." Even surprised with a confession from the president, all Mutsuki could recall are Gaku's kisses.

Fumiya Sugino has been living with his cousin Eiji since his parents passed away. Being a year older, Eiji has always taken care of Fumiya amidst constant teasing. However, being a year older also allows Eiji to teach him things. Since Fumiya decided to start dating, Eiji took it upon himself to teach him the fine arts of kissing....

Kae Maruya's Lover's Pledge consists of three main couples. The first couple takes on the titled story, 'Lover's Pledge' with an agreement made between a young student and a rich businessman. The premise of the story is typical, but their relationship takes an interesting turn. Instead of having the Kazuto and Akihiko fall into each other’s arms immediately, Maruya actually has them ‘date’ each other for a month…before getting to any action.

The other two stories are light with the sex, but high in the sweetness. The theme is all about kissing. Though the subject of kissing seemed overused, the plots are well done. It is interesting watching Mutsuki try to figure out the truth behind those moments with Gaku…whether the kiss was all part of the ‘magic charm’ or if there was more. The tension between them is light, but it carries enough weight to push the story along. The same applies to Fumiya and Eiji, though it seems overdone that Fumiya only begins to think of the older male after they kissed. Still, the stories are enjoyable and the artwork is filled with pretty boys with flowing hair and long bangs. However, my favorite is Maruya’s businessman look for Akihiko.

A bit of extra info, Lover’s Pledge features Maruya’s first ever sex scene. Prompted by her editor, she gave drawing a graphic scene a try and it turned out wonderfully. (Info featured at the end of the book.)

Another great review by Khris here.

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