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Review: Don’t Rush Love

Reviewer: Shannon Fay

Manga-ka: Mio Tennohji
Publisher: 801Media
Rating: Mature (18+)
Release Date: January 2009

Synopsis: “Morino is the new arrival at an all-boys university prep school, who finds himself rooming with over-achieving honors student, Kusama. Apparently, Kusama keeps a secret that has him sneaking out late at night, barely returning in time for morning roll call. Morino becomes convinced it has to do with Kusama’s feelings for their teacher, Kanzaki-sensei. Are the two carrying on an illicit affair under the cover of darkness? To make matters worse, Morino finds his own fascination for his new roommate growing day by day. A simple kiss leads to more, and soon, exactly what Kusama is doing when he should be sleeping turns into Morino’s obsession.”

For Morino it’s pretty much love at first sight when he sees his new roommate, Kusama. But things aren’t so straightforward for Kusama. He has a one-sided crush on their teacher, and sneaks out every night for meaningless sex. When Morino finds out about Kusama’s nocturnal activities, he convinces Kusama to stay in the dorm and use him instead of strangers. Morino knows that for Kusama their relationship is just based on sex, but he holds out hope that one day Kusama will come to love him in return.

This manga is more light-hearted than it sounds, and it’s not long before Kusama comes to return Morino’s feelings. After that they must deal with family issues, including the love life of Riichi, Kusama’s twin brother. Riichi has had a thing for their young uncle since he was a child, but now that uncle has agreed to a marriage interview with a woman. Can Morino and Kusama help sort things out, or will they just cause a bigger rift in the family?

I’m a sucker for semes with glasses, so Kusama has that going for him. There’s not too much more to him besides that though. His character seemed to change every chapter depending on what the story needed him to be: slutty tease, aggressive lover, sensitive boyfriend, caring brother. It’d be one thing if all these different elements were incorporated into his character, but instead it comes off as inconsistent.

Morino has a bit more of a personality. Unfortunately he’s kind of annoying in the early chapters. Morino’s utter devotion to Kusama seemed a bit much in the beginning, and his martyr-like attitude ticked me off. Once he and Kusama settle into an actual relationship he becomes a little more rounded and a little less annoying.

I thought Riichi and Seiji (Riichi and Kusama’s uncle) had the more interesting storyline. Riichi has been living with Seiji ever since his parent’s died, but he was in love with his uncle even before that. Seiji feels like he has to push his nephew away, even though he has also developed feelings for him. Incest doesn’t really bother me in yaoi manga, but if it’s not your thing then be aware that it is a sub-plot in this book. Personally I found that it added a needed bit of drama to the book.

Mio Tennohji’s characters are all very tall and long-limbed. Even their faces are long. Sometimes the sheer length of the character designs can be distracting, but for the most part the characters are really cute. The manga-ka also does a really good job with tones. The backgrounds aren’t overly detailed, but thanks to the use of tones I could always tell if the characters were inside or outside or if it were night or day.

This is around the third book I’ve read from 801 Media, and I’ve been impressed with the quality they produce. The book comes with a colour page, brief editor notes, and the lettering for both the dialogue and the sound effects are well done.

Don’t Rush Love is worth checking out if you like high school romances (and like a seme with glasses).

Review written June 22, 2009 by Shannon Fay
Book provided by Digital Manga for review purposes

Shannon Fay

About the Author:

Shannon Fay has been an anime and manga fan ever since junior high when a friend showed her a raw VHS tape of ‘Sailor Moon Stars.’ After watching it, she knew she didn’t want to live in a world that didn’t include magical transvestites and alien boy bands. Along with her reviews on Kuriousity, Shannon Fay has also written manga reviews for Manga Life and Anime Fringe. She is also a freelance manga adapter and is currently working with the manga licensor Seven Seas.

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