Manga-ka: Tatsumi Kaiya
Rating: Mature (18+)
Released: February 2008
Synopsis: “Koji’s mother just married up in the world and now this average boy is finding it hard to adjust to a school where nearly all of his peers have grown up wealthy. Meanwhile, Taiki is a playboy who insists that he doesn’t want to go steady… until he meets the adorable rent-a-boy, Makoto! And how will the charming Romeo – the French-Japanese Kotaro – keep his innocent little Juliet away from rival suitors? Some boys will find true love in Sakurajo School while others won’t.”
Love Training is a story that takes place in your classic prestigious all-boys school. From character to couple, it follows several students as they get used to life at the facility and learn to get along with each other, among other things. While one is a love between stepbrothers, another follows a game of lovers gone further.
Unfortunately, stereotypical is what Love Training ultimately is. An all boys’ school? Rich people everywhere? Several poor, lucky-to-be-here students? Love at first sight as the “school’s pretty much brimming with gays?” There wasn’t much here that felt unique. Overall I found the pacing to be chunky and few of the interactions between characters felt very believable. I liked the change of pace at the end, one that gave readers a glimpse of some teachers instead of students, but I think it was more because the idea of more student stories made me cringe.
Tatsumi Kaiya’s artwork also left much to be desired. While I enjoyed how sparse and spaced everything was, the unfocused eyes and oddly drawn faces I found unattractive. Profiles were also drawn weakly and kept giving me the impression that these people had just squished their heads into walls.
The one upside of this book was DMP’s work on it, which was a little depressing since it seemed waste on a book that I really didn’t enjoy. The cover design was well laid out and the slip was printed on really nice paper. I like how squared the spine of the book was, though it did cause the lettering to overlap onto the front and back. Admittedly though that would’ve been difficult to avoid completely with the cover having a full wrap around image. The interior work was neat and tidy as usual.
All in all, Love Training was a stereotypical and generally unappealing tale of boys’ love that lacked any unique features that make it worth recommending. As far as yaois go, I’d give this one a definite pass by.