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Review: Love Recipe (Vol. 02)

Manga-ka: Kirico Higashizato
Publisher: DMP/June
Rating: Mature (18+)
Released: July 2008

Synopsis: “Young manga editor Tomonori Ozawa slaves over the steamy scripts that makes boys love the hottest magazine on the rack. But one-shot stories and office gossip aren’t the only things on Ozawa’s mind. When the talented yaoi creator Sakurako Kakyoin steps up the pressure both at work and after hours, Ozawa must decide whether to keep their relationship professional or punch the clock for overtime! And will a mysterious new artist only spell trouble for these secret lovers?”

Love Recipe volume two takes readers back to the story’s lead: the young but enthusiastic Tomonori Ozawa, who has his dream job as Editor at a large publishing firm. What he didn’t expect when it all began was to be put to work at a boys’ love magazine. Since then he’s gotten involved with the magazine’s number one artist, Sakurako Kakyoin, who is secretly a man, and made his sole editor. In this volume, deadlines are tight, making it hard for the two secret lovers to find time for each other. On top of that, it’s the busiest time of the year for the boys’ love magazine and Tomonori is pulled in every direction by work, Kakyoin and a new artist whose trying to find his place in the magazine with Tomonori’s guidance.

This second volume was just as entertaining as the first, if not more so. While the relationship between Kakyoin and Tomonori is cute, what really makes me enjoy the story is the manga magazine backdrop. I keep learning lots of new things about the industry; from the way editors handle artists, to the work of assistants and what kind of page work those at the magazine do before publication. There’s also a lot of focus in this volume of what makes boys’ love popular with women and how it differs from porn that a guy would appreciate. It was fun reading the comparisons and goals of these people in such a spirited and energized way. There’s lots of similar humour throughout the book, making it both interesting and funny.

A big new addition to the story here is Inukai, a new artist looking to get a spot in the magazine. Tomonori is assigned to him and through the book the editor constantly makes suggestions to the rookie about how to better shape his story and art. Not only are Tomonori’s words more education for readers, but the unintended end result of his coaching is amusing as well.

Kirico Higashizato continues to have wonderfully charming artwork. It’s so unbelievably cute and really well drawn. Little bunny-eared chibis are scattered across the pages for added adorable, then move aside for some nicely rendered sex scenes. One part that’s odd visually is seeing Inukai’s artwork, and having characters say how great it is, though it’s much less attractive and polished than the art of the actual story it’s drawn into. A minor quip is also that Tomonori seems to be getting cuter and cuter, to the point where he looks rather undeniably underage. While it’s the style, it’s still something that some readers may find a little offputting.

And after another volume done, I’m still really enjoying this series. It’s informative, energetic and overall, lots of fun! It’s boys’ love with substance that goes past just the lead couple and I highly recommend boys’ love readers give it a go.

Review written June 29, 2008 by Lissa Pattillo for MangaJouhou
Book provided by Digital Manga 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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