Manga-ka: Tomoko Noguchi
Publisher: Luv Luv Press
Rating: Mature (18+)
Released: December 2008
“All those lines from all those guys sound like, “I just want to sleep with you.” I actually don’t care if they just want to sleep with me. If they would just be honest about it. How will I ever find true love like this?”
Object of Desires is the first book I’ve had the chance to read from Aurora Publishing’s Luv Luv and seems a good indication of the imprint’s material, aimed at older woman. This one-shot book is a collection of short stories that follow several young woman in exploring their own sexuality and how they relate with the men in their lives. It was a refreshing change of pace reading stories that so strongly emphasis woman’s sexuality and their natural, but often overly downplayed in fiction, desire for sex.
My favourite shorts in the book were the first and later the two-part story further ahead. The opening story dealt with a girl who was comfortable with having sex with men but was really looking for someone who’d be upfront and honest about their desires instead of fronting as boyfriends when sex is really all they want. The two-part story a little further in treats readers to a strong, tomboyish girls whose independance and introverted attitude make her a respected figure, but a bit of a cold girlfriend, to the story’s interested party. Both stories really seemed to strike a chord with me in that they felt natural and dealt truthfully with believable issues. Both are handled with amusingly bare honesty and have some of the more endearing characters in the book.
The artwork was decent and functional, with basic linework that lacks much detail or screentone and is pretty similar to what fans of josei would expect. I wasn’t overly impressed with it but at the sametime didn’t have any real issues. It suited the story and carried it well so I suppose I’ve no specific complaints, though I’d certainly recommend the book for story over visuals.
While not an exceptionally memorable book (the low-key feeling of the book ultimately failed to really pull me in), the nice change-of pace-feel of the subject matter made it an entertaining read that dealt with mature issues in a way that was generally light-hearted, down to earth and believable. I’m certainly curious, at the very least, to see what other titles the Luv Luv imprint has to offer and look forward to more older-audience titles like these in the future.