Manga-ka: Aoi Futaba/Kurenai Mistuba
Publisher: Kitty Media
Rating: Mature (18+)
Released: May 2005
Synopsis: “Loneliness and uncertainty no longer scare us… This is our first, true love, and we will make it last forever. The love story of Mizuki and Kazuomi starts today. Mizuki and Kazuomi were complete strangers, but their time together drew them close. Unfortunately there are those with petty jealousy that will try to break them apart. Mizuki and Kazuomi will have to work hard to make their relationship work. Can they beat the odds and find true love?”
The first chapter of volume two drops sets out to remind readers what kind of series they’ve gotten themselves into. A sex scene between Mizuki and Kazuomi stalls when Mizuki realizes his lover is going away on a business trip. Ten days later, Kazuomi returns and promptly rapes Mizuki. Following the vein of yaoi logic (which Level C often abuses), Kazuomi is promptly forgiven for his violent outbreak of lust and their ‘romance’ continues.
Like any manga that feels itself running on dry early in its run, a transfer student is introduced. Takanashi is a new student in Mizuki’s class and seems intent on ruining Mizuki’s life. What the naïve Mizuki fails to consider, even after having a kiss stolen by his would-be bully, is that Takanashi seems to have feelings for him. Kazuomi notices and vents his frustrations by again taking advantage of Mizuki and then again is forgiven.
The emotions in Level C are nearly impossible to take seriously, not to mention a relationship where rape is a constant okay fails to hold any sense of romance. The characters feel like vessels in a series merely dedicated to finding ways to string sex scenes together. The chapters do have a nice sense of pacing to them and Mizuki and Kazuomi constantly seem on the verge of developing into actual characters with interesting personalities, but unfortunately, it all falls short when push comes to shove.
Nothing much has changed about the art since the first volume. It still carries the same retro look and lacks a very polished finish. Mizuki in particular here seems to suffer from slightly changed facial structures and proportions, which go far in altering readers’ perception of his age and appearance. Couple in the unattractive font used by Kitty Media and you don’t have a very visually appealing book. On the upside (?), there are still lots and lots of uncensored sex scenes every few pages so fans who pick and choose their books based on this won’t have much to complain about.
Summed up, if you didn’t fall madly in love with the first volume of Level C, volume two doesn’t have anything that’ll change your mind. Sex, sex, sex and a little character drama carries the relationship of Mizuki and Kazuomi along, and despite it’s classic-yaoi status, Level C continues to be a hit or miss with fans.