Yaoi Review: The Dawn of Love

The Dawn of Love
Story and Art by Kazuho Hirokawa
Published by the Juné Imprint of Digital Manga, Inc.
ISBN-10: 1-56970-583-6
ISBN-13: 978-1-56970-583-4

Review by Linda Yau

Masahiro Matsunaga is a confident law student who is openly gay, and one day he is suddenly attracted by his classmate Takane Takekawa. Masahiro vows to sleep with him once, but upon finding out that Takane was a very willing partner, and they sleep together. Masahiro discovers that once was not enough, and becomes obsessed to committing with Takane in a monogamous relationship. The problem with Takane is the fact that he is willing to treat Masahiro as a sex friend, but it would take more to convince him to let go of his five other relationships. Even more importantly Takane’s one older lover, who he is reluctant to end with. Now how will Mashairo deal with his fickle lover?

Takane seeing Mashiro’s desires agrees to consider having a relationship with Masahiro on one condition. Satisfy and take him to heave consecutively for seven straight days. So guess what this means straight monkey sex – with as much fluid and positions as possible. Now this is really strange to see it drawn the way Juné has it. You can’t exactly call it explicit, being that there’s no male organ draw on the paper – but there are lots of sweaty scenes, backs, faces, as well as legs in the air – so then yes! This book is surely for those yaoi fangirls, of which I am happily a supporter of.

Because the bulk of the book is taken by The Dawn of Love, there is one short one shot in the end of the book titled A Flower Awaits Summer, not as hot and steamy as the title story – it is still a very sweet story, with a graphic designer realizing his love for a delivery boy.

Okay, has my summarizing of the story whet your appetite for some more? I hope so, this review would probably echo some points from Kris’s earlier review, but I hope to bring a new perspective to the book itself, since I really enjoyed it, for all the smut that there was.

When I got the book, I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did. One turn off was the cover’s color – a florid pink that initially made me quite startled to pick it up. I was quite tempted to cover up the book itself, as I did for another book I reviewed. But then I noticed Masahiro’s earrings, and I was hesitant. Sounds quite superficial, but lately been looking at guys with earrings, and this is a trend that is not always apparent with manga characters, so I was a bit more intrigued. Then I read into the book, and was pleasantly surprised to see there was a male character who was openly gay. I read quite a few graphic novel with Yaoi themes, now identifying your sexual orientation is usually inferred by the reader – I always appreciate stories where there is a confident man, assured of his desires.

I have never read any of Hirokawa-sensei’s other works, but when I read her author’s note, that really brought a smile to my face. I thought of Freudian Slip in a more raunchier way when she mentioned her thoughts about the title page’s image. Now I have always read author’s notes with a touch of salt – since it is possibly written for Japanese fans of the book earlier, but at moments of it being translated for American readers I really appreciate that there is some characteristics that is shared by readers of different cultures. I really can’t give the books any more compliments than it already is, now readers you may love or hate the book – but this is a book to definitely read among the many titles out in the bl-market now.

This is a book for adults, so if you’re a teen reader – then it is not a book to pick up. If it is not shrink wrapped in the book store like the many other Black Lagoon titles, then I wonder where is the book clerks in that bookstore, and are they going to be held responsible for the barrage of the parents wondering what their teenagers are reading, if they catch them with such a title as this in their hands?

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