Manic Love

May 17, 2009

I picked up this book in a moment of robot-like weakness when I clicked the “buy” button after seeing it was a followup to something I had already read.  Fake Fur was a pretty decent title that didn’t break most of my personal taboos (no older/younger, no incest, no action in high school, no non-con) and wasn’t all that explicit.  It wasn’t really all that memorable a book though, so I have no idea why I decided to buy the sequel/related volume.  It’s been sitting on the floor of my bedroom for about 8 months, so I figured it was time to dust it off and read it.

UGH.  Now, the story here is potentially a very sweet and dramatic one.  A young teacher hooks up with one of his college students studying to be a teacher (or at least, I think that’s what was going on), but their relationship is based on nothing but sex, and the two part on somewhat painful terms.

Enter Maki.  One of the aforementioned teachers is in his high school, and he recommends a prep school to Maki where his former student teaches.  It’s clear that Maki isn’t looking for an education (he mentions going to the prep school to keep his parent’s attention from his other “extracurriculars”), and eventually he enters into a purely sexual relationship with the young teacher.  Maki claims not to have any feelings for him, but by the end of the book, admits to one of his friends that he liked both teachers equally.  His role is mostly to act as a go-between and make the two teachers realize that they both loved each other and that the relationship wasn’t all about the sex.  Though he accepts this role willingly, this is a horrible situation for Maki and I felt really bad for him the entire time.  Plus the sex scenes, while not that explicit, were frequent and made me feel uncomfortable because of the difference in age.  Again, ugh.

While I was busy being made uncomfortable by this, the characters actually do a fairly good job waxing poetic on the meanings of love and sex, and what it means to “like” and “love” somebody.  They also debate heavily over the mechanics of sex and how much love does or does not go into the act.  There’s often not much meaning behind their words, but it’s always nice to see a BL title take time to stop and consider something like that.  It gives it an air of respectability.  But then they’d have sex again, and I would forget all about it.

Manic Love: a potentially sweet love story that made me feel a little bad for reading it.  This and Chocolate Surprise made me realize I need to start being picky about my BL again.  I just don’t like stories like this, and I think this is how most of them are.

3 Responses to “Manic Love”

  1. jun Says:

    I just finished CUT, by Toko Kawai, and was completely impressed. Now, I grant, there is incest and a high school relationship, but these aren’t portrayed as sexy things, but rather as sad things.

    It’s the first DMP review copy I’ve given an A to, if that is any indication of how much better than most BL it is. :)

  2. Connie Says:

    Ooh, thanks for drawing my attention to that. It’s got kind of an unfortunate title, I think I would have passed over it for fear of it having something to do with the stress-relief activity.

    And honestly (and unfortunately), I think the only non-Yoshinaga titles I really liked from June were that novel I read not long ago and Where Has Love Gone. I’m desperate to improve my opinion of June any way I can. I’ll have to try CUT.

  3. […] The Assassin’s Road (4thletter) Lissa Pattillo on Manhattan Love Story (Kuriousity) Connie on Manic Love (Slightly Biased Manga) Connie on vol. 6 of Monkey High (Slightly Biased Manga) Dan Polley on vol. […]

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