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Review: Loveless (Vol. 08)

Reviewer: Lissa Pattillo

Manga-ka: Yun Kouga
Publisher: Tokyopop
Rating: Older Teen (16+)
Released: September 2008

Synopsis: “Seimei is back. But his words aren’t filled with the happiness of a brotherly reunion. Spells blazing, it’s Beloved versus Beloved as Nisei and Soubi match up for the battle of a lifetime. Meanwhile, Soubi’s past with Ritsu sensei is finally revealed, and Ritsuka will have to decide once and for all where his loyalties lie–with a scarred sacrifice or his mysterious (and malevolent?) older brother…”

Everything starts coming full circle in volume eight of Loveless. Everyone’s on the hunt for Seimei, and Soubi’s past with him and Ritsu is revealed. Ritsuka and Seimei’s long-awaited brotherly meeting is finally coming about but as teams collide in battle, the cast needs to survive first.

I continue to read Loveless because I enjoy its linear plot. Trouble being, from volume one and right up to now, is that the plot is so heavily saturated in metaphorical speech and subdued innuendo that it’s often hard to follow the basics of what’s going on. I was glad that underneath these often over-the-top slatherings of dramatic film in this seventh volume, there still remained enough substantial plot for me to sink my eyes into.

Seimei and Soubi are both some messed up individuals, both in very different ways. It was a relief to finally have their first meeting, and a little of their life together, finally revealed for all its twisted glory. I almost forgive you for being as creepy as you are at times, Soubi. The sinister nature of Seimei is becoming more and more evident and continues to compel me into continuing with this series to see where things will go.

I find Ritsuka a pretty cute main character when he gets mouthy and shows a little spunk, but as a player in the story, he continues to feel like a tiny boat lost in an ocean of waves that crash against each other for his attention. An odd comparison, perhaps, but as pinnacle as the manga-ka plays him up to be, I just can’t see Ritsuka as being anything but a traumatized little boy swept up in this big ‘ol mess. Maybe that’s the point but it, like Seimei’s creepy factor, leave me wondering how this series will end. Already it’s left no character unscathed.

Yun Kouga’s art is pretty, but I tend to enjoy her illustration work more than the style in manga form. Pleasantly, however, each volume seems to strengthen her storytelling ability through the panels and I find it a little easier to keep track of whose doing and saying what the more I read.

So another Loveless volume in and it looks like things keep getting worse (for the characters)! For such a fluffy looking series, there are some nasty little secrets hidden underneath all those cat-ears and doey eyes. It’s those little unpredictable dark patches that’ll no doubt keep me reading until the end, and some long awaited focus on the beginning of Seimei and Soubi’s relationship made this one of the more compelling volumes.

Review written September 25, 2008 by Lissa Pattillo.
Book purchased in-store from Chapters

About the Author:

Lissa Pattillo is the owner and editor of Residing in Halifax, Nova Scotia she takes great joy in collecting all manners of manga genres, regretting that there's never enough time in the day to review or share them all. Along with reviews, Lissa is responsible for all the news postings to the website and works full time as a web and graphic designer.

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