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Review: The Dawn of Love

Manga-ka: Kazuho Hirokawa
Publisher: DMP
Rating: Mature (18+)
Released: November 2008

Synopsis: “When law student Masahiro Matsunaga has his eye caught by the beautiful, seductive Takane, it’s lust at first sight. No matter what, Masahiro simply must bed his gorgeous classmate, even if it amounts to a one-night fling. After discovering his goal was easier to achieve than he’d realized, Masahiro finds he’s in another dilemma – once is not enough! It becomes all Takane all the time as far as Masahiro is concerned, but the object of his obsession has no lack of other “sex friends”. For Takane, committing to one lover is a ridiculous proposition, one he’d never consider, unless Masahiro can make the case for monogamy. Is it possible for animal lust to grow into true love?”

The Dawn of Love had a few things in its favour as far as I was concerned the moment I got mid-way through chapter one. Most of all, the two leads are already gay. They’ve come out, had their share of lovers and have no regrets as to the matter, eliminationg the need for the most-often required acceptance that two boys in a yaoi will fall in love with eachother with little thought to their sexuality or consequences. Our two college students are quite comfortable being gay and a not a moment is spent questioning otherwise, leaving time for the big question that rules the majority of the book: ‘Can monogamy work between two men?’

Takane currently has six lovers, counting Masahiro. He has no interest in staying with just one person and enjoys the freedom of being loved by whomever he chooses. When Masahiro’s invite for a night of sex with Takane garners him a positive response, the two engage in a passionate night together. Takane may’ve accepted Masahiro into his little harem, but Masahiro wants more! He wants Takane all to himself and is bound and determined to see to it that he gets him.

Thanks to Masahiro, this book can also be categorized as a comedy and I had more than a few laughs along the way. His personality is very open, honest and charged with ridiculous amounts of energy which he throws 120% into everything he does (which in this case in Takane). He only gets more exuberant as the story progresses and never ceased to surprise me. Interestingly, he’s not all one big comic-show however and has his serious moments, some of which stand out as some of the most surprising reads I’ve had in a boy’s love story of any kind in a while.

Masahiro and Takane both put eachother through numerous trials as the story progresses, showing a level of equality and freedom between the two that’s refreshing. Be it Masahiro telling Takane he should go for it and sleep with one of his old lovers just to “show him what he’ll never have again”, or Takane’s ruling that Masahiro must satisfy him with regular sex for a full week to prove that as a man he can be satisfied with one lover. The story focuses around their growing relationship but never weighed down in the more stereptyocical, sickeningly sweet, over-the-top I love yous or be-with-you-forever-and-ever-and-evers.

Admittedly, I wasn’t terribbly impressed by Kazuho Hirokawa’s art when I first flipped through it but if there’s one thing I’ve learned through DMP’s books inparticular, is that you can never judge a book’s story by its art. In fact, I told myself going in that I’d probably love the story purely based on my apprehensive nature of the art. This isn’t a ruling that always works of course, but in this case it seems my intuition was right on. The thin-lined style, strong character designs and hilarious nature of some of the facial expressions really won me over to the art which has a very loose, lively feel to it. The colourful cover should certainly garner it some attention from store shelves as well.

Overall, The Dawn of Love is a really entertaining story about a man taming a sex-addict and achieving fluffy, sex-filled love! On that note, what’s a story about a sex addict without lots of sex? So certainly expect a fair amount with this one. Masahiro stole centerstage with his over-zealous personality and Takane kept the story balanced with his more level-headed attitude and fluttery-eyelashes. Together the pair made for a really interesting yaoi, and as a nicely contained one-shot, I certainly recommend it to boys’ love fans for a read that’s lots of fun.

Review written December 9, 2008 by Lissa Pattillo.
Book provided by DMP for review purposes

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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  1. […] Cry, vol. 16 of Skip Beat! and vol. 1 of Basilisk at the Manga Maniac Cafe. Lissa Pattillo reads The Dawn of Love at […]

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