cover image Yakuza Lover

Yakuza Lover

Nozomi Mino. Viz, $9.99 trade paper (200p) ISBN 978-1-974720-55-2

A woman succumbs to the temptations of a handsome criminal in this spicy romance manga. Hot-tempered beauty Yuri walks in on a drug deal at a party and is introduced to Toshiomi Oya, a rising young yakuza in pinstripes and glasses. Though icily terrifying to his fellow gangsters, Oya melts around Yuri, plying her with designer shoes and flights on his private jet as he purrs lines like, “Let me have all of you, Yuri, and I’ll drive you wild.” Yuri knows getting involved is a bad idea, but Oya’s devotion and bedroom-eyed hotness get the better of her, even as she watches her beloved survive assassination attempts and run-ins with the Russian mafia. The art is sleek and sexy with a faintly retro look—Yuri has the wide, glittery eyes of a 1960s shojo heroine—that lightens the crime plot. Not that there’s much plot; once their pairing gets off the ground, Yuri and Oya spend nearly every chapter having sex, getting revved up to the act, or cooling down from it, all with copious sweating, blushing, and close-ups of transported expressions. The steamy fantasy mixed with underworld intrigue has the potential to win over romance fans who don’t normally pick up manga. (June)