Real Love

May 8, 2008

Man, I TRY to stay on schedule, and look what happens. My internet goes down. Well, we’ll just see how much I can get done before it cuts out again.

Even though I was kind of optimistic after reading the last LuvLuv title, I have to admit I was slightly disappointed with the first release from the imprint. This one fared much better though, at least for me. Instead of several short stories, this volume was composed of two main story lines. The first story was called “Real Love” and was broken down into three chapters, and the other two stories in the volume, “Baby” and “Love Star” involved the same set of characters.

While I liked the first story, “Real Love,” I’ll admit parts of it made me feel kind of uncomfortable. The main female character runs into a guy she broke up with several years ago, apparently for cheating on her. Despite the fact she hates his guts, she can’t help but be attracted to him, and the two enter into a casual sexual relationship that the girl seems to be rather torn on. Her inner conflict was so strong, in fact, that I wasn’t entirely comfortable with the sex scenes since they seemed at least slightly tainted with non-con. The main character also has a twin brother who hates the ex-boyfriend’s guts and says really hateful things to his sister throughout the course of the story that add to my discomfort. The brother also has a girlfriend who he treats rather poorly. The girl painfully lacks a will of her own throughout the entire story, but it’s partially redeemed in the end when she begins to stand up for herself, many things are revealed, and a couple characters turn out to be actually kind of nice.

“Baby” was my favorite because the female was a bit stronger and more free-spirited. She is a musician who performs on the sidewalk, and she begins to hang out with a guy she winds up in bed with one night. She gets really wrapped up in him and even begins writing a song, but his intentions turn out to be… not the purest. She breaks down a bit in the end, which is a little disappointing, but it’s still a pretty good story.

I liked the second story involving those two characters a lot less. The girl turns into a clingy hanger-on and the guy starts denying her nearly everything. It was a bummer to read, but it was pretty short and kind of a throwaway.

On another note, I kind of liked the art in this volume. The style somewhat resembles Ai Yazawa, but I may just say that because one of the characters wears a very Parakiss-looking hat.

So yes. Still flawed, but I liked it much, much better than the previous LuvLuv volume, Voices of Love. This one reads somehow more shoujo-y than the last one though.