NG Life: Vol. 1

Mizuho Kusanagi, Author . Tokyopop $10.99 (224p) ISBN 978-1-4278-1445-6

Fans of Kusanagi’s Mugen Spiral may be perplexed by this gender-bending love story that follows high school student Keidai through confusing love tribulations unlike any other love triangle: he shares a past life in Pompeii with love interest Yuuma and best friend Serizawa—unfortunately, their genders in the present switched: Yuuma is a boy, and Serizawa a girl. It’s problematic enough that his former drinking pal is now a beautiful girl, but when his beloved wife from the past turns up as a young boy, it’s almost too much for Keidai to handle. As Yuuma tries to win Serizawa’s affections, Keidai tries to cope with the realization that his long-lost love is now a man and he cannot shake his affection for the person. Though slightly clunky when working through the characters lives in Pompeii, the story is more engaging than other shojo series that rely too heavily on misdirected affections as a plot device. The art style is sweet and the characters are pretty, but without being overly romanticized. Kusanagi has created an interesting and compelling story, and the yaoi (boy love) undertones are thankfully lighthearted. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 04/06/2009
Release date: 03/01/2009
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