cover image Loveholic Volume 1

Loveholic Volume 1

Toko Kawai, . . Digital Manga, $12.95 (222pp) ISBN 978-1-56970-847-7

Nishioka is an immature photographer; Matsukawa is an advertising executive who books him for photo shoots. Instead of fighting crime, they fall in love, because this is yaoi. When the two men work together, the result is successful projects, although they fight all the time. Just as boy/girl sparring is TV code for attraction, so is the arguing here. During their business dinner together, Nishioka finds himself ignoring Matsukawa's statements in favor of staring at his hands. It takes the photographer's assistant pointing out how considerate Matsukawa is to get Nishioka thinking about changing his own behavior. Author Kawai succeeds above genre standards in delineating the characters. Her men are three dimensional in motivation and attitude, and they're drawn with distinction. Matsukawa is more traditionally handsome to Western eyes, while Nishioka resembles a cute boy. The men have background, interests and work conflicts outside of their feelings for each other, which makes this seem more like a story, less like killing time until they get together. The result is a very enjoyable romance, as two people obviously meant for each other figure that out. The backup story is a flashback to one of Matsukawa's earlier love affairs. (Mar.)