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Review: Future Lovers (Vol. 01)

Manga-ka: Saika Kunieda
Publisher: Deux Press
Rating: Mature (18+)
Released: September 2008

Synopsis: “Kento Kumagaya wishes for the simple things in life: to have a happy family with the ideal housewife, loving kids, and kind grandparents all living together, happily ever after. Fate, however, has other plans. Enter Akira Kazuki, a smart, beautiful and unrestrained gay man who shatter’s Kento’s dream with a single night of wild and passionate homosexual sex. This is a romantic, sweet and funny story between two different people (in more ways than one) who unexpectedly find the same future together.”

Let me start by saying I found the two leads of this story to be really likeable and they make for a cute couple. The story begins with Kento Kumagaya seeking solace in the bottom of a glass after some rough waters with his girlfriend. What ends up comforting him however is Akira Kazuki, who after a few drinks, gets them both to his apartment for a passionate one-nighter.

Kento was believably freaked, having suddenly slept with a stranger and a man no less. His sincerity and mixed feelings while dealing with the situation felt refreshing after the far too many boys’ love stories I’ve read recently where automatic acceptance is practically an expected side effect of orgasm. His responses were humourous and entertainingly exaggerated and he dealt with Akira in a way that, though obviously awkward, was still kind.

Akira was, for me, a pleasant surprise in the story. When we first see him, he’s a beautiful, gay man looking for a good time. His whimsical expression and slight build lead me to momentarily assume that he was going to be another doey-eyed uke with little to say but that’s not the case. While he wears somewhat a face when he’s out on the town, Akira is no sit back and take it kind of guy. He’s expressive, emotive and frank to an enjoyable fault (for Kento atleast). The varying nature of his personality makes him feel rounded as a character and much more fun to read about than the more stereotypical one-personality-trait cookie cutter model.

The art style of Future Lovers was also a lot of fun. The characters are drawn with designs unique to one another, from Kento’s more simple, rounded features to Akira’s more detailed eyes, hair and feminine face. My favourite part about it would be the physical comedy, which is achieved through some nicely paced out panels and very physically emotive characters. From facial freak-outs to mild arm-flailing moments of unsurity, the characters popped off the page in a way that was both funny and, in a way, felt more true to life.

The whole book has a certain feel to it that’s unique from many other mangas and the humour has much to do with it. The timing and focus of certain scenes feels like it worked itself in a way a little different from the usual Japanese humour, and though I can’t really put my finger on it exactly, I really liked it. I picked up on that different kind of feeling from the short preview offered at Deux’s website and it was that which made me want to read this title in the first place.

Overall, Future Lovers is a book I’d definitely recommend for boys’ love readers. It’s a quaint, entertaining story with likeable characters, a sweet budding romance and a really appealing style. I had a lot of fun reading it and think that others would enjoy it just the same for its unique charm. While I think the book could’ve easily stopped with this first volume, I’m looking forward to the second for some of the same charm that I enjoyed here in the first.

Review written October 14, 2008 by Lissa Pattillo for Manga Village
Book provided by Deux Press for review purposes

About the Author:

Lissa Pattillo is the owner and editor of Kuriousity.ca. 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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4 Responses

  1. Kris says:

    This is one of my favorite titles that I have come across. Not only is the manga an awesome and funny tale but the thing that I found I really enjoyed were the thoughts by the author at the end. I seriously laughed so hard I nearly peed!

  2. […] Tiamat’s Disciple takes a look at vol. 1 of Bleach. At Kuriousity, Lissa Pattillo checks out vol. 1 of Future Lovers and vol. 1 of Togainu no Chi, Gizmo reads vol. 1 of Higurashi When They Cry, and Marsha Reid […]

  3. […] – the majority of which being boys’ love series including the critically well-recieved Future Lovers […]

  4. […] in her review]. Kuriosity’s Lissa Pattillo, writing for Comic Village, found the book “refreshing” and a “pleasant surprise” and especially liked the humor and pacing [and she does an excellent job of explaining what's great […]

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