Monday, August 16, 2010

Manga Monday: The Dawn of Love

The Dawn of Love
Kazuho Hirokawa

I'm not terribly impressed with much of the yaoi manga that I've read.  Perhaps it's because most yaoi is written by women for a female audience, that the male-male interactions just don't seem very authentic to me.  Being a gay man, maybe I just can't relate to what they're tapping into for their audience.  I read and enjoy plenty of shojo manga that's written for women, but perhaps it's something else that they're getting out of yaoi.  Either way, I really enjoyed the yaoi title The Dawn of Love from Digital Manga.  Right off the bat, I was a big fan of the artwork from Kazuho Hirokawa.  Great hair, expressive eyes, and just a nice overall look to the faces of the characters portrayed that's unique to this title.  The book follows Masahiro, a law student who's kind of goofy, but is great in bed and pretty hot.  He very quickly lusts over one of his fellow students, the beautiful Takane, who agrees to sleep with him very quickly, and within a few pages, they're having passionate sex.  Masahiro learns that Takane is pretty much a slut.  He's sleeping around with several guys at the same time, claiming that it's just how he is and that he doesn't want to be tied down to one person.  Masahiro tries to go along with it for awhile, but he soon finds himself unable to keep his feelings out of it, and gives Takane an ultimatum.  Since Masahiro is the best lover Takane has had, he needs to stop seeing the other men in his life, and see him exclusively, or he will call it quits.  Takane immediately puts up a counter offer, that if Masahiro is able to sleep with him for a week and satisfy him completely the entire time, he will be exclusive to him.  Good thing Masahiro is so good in bed.  As you can tell from the premise, there is a lot of sex in this book.  It's mostly generic shots of bodies intermingling, but it gets pretty steamy on occasion.  I just find it refreshing that the book is about men having sex, even promiscuously, and Masahiro is trying to implement his monogamy on Takane, who sees nothing wrong with his lifestyle.  While the men fall completely in love with each other in the end, as most of these yaoi manga go, sex is how the relationship begins for both of them, and that's all they initally want from one another.  It just progresses into something more.  It seems more realistic to have a yaoi manga so focused on the sexual side of things, and casual sex is a concern in the gay community, and I like that the two opposing viewpoints come to a head in this book.  There's also a bonus story included with this book called A Flower Awaits Summer, about a boy who's afraid to jump into a relationship with a guy he has a crush on because he was hurt in the last relationship he was in, which is more typical of the type of story you see in yaoi books.  But it's still a cute little story, and it's illustrated better than most.  Anyways, The Dawn of Love, I recommend to anyone looking for a good yaoi title.  It's easily one of the best that I've read.

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