Yaoi review: Live for Love

Live for Love
Story by Itsuki Sato
Art by Jun Mayama
Published by Juné Manga
ISBN-13: 978-1-56970-035-8

Review by April Kimm

Jun Mayama is the mangaka of “Love Pheromone,” “Kono Akuma Me!,” “Furueru Hana,” “Kuchibiru Kara Knife,” “Karei ni Shite Rifujin,” “Sexy Effect 96,” “Love Sexual,” and “Stop! In the Name of Love.” “Live for Love” is a yaoi manga with five chapters of the one continuous story.

The two main characters are Yasuie Kiryuuin, who runs his own detective agency, and his assistant Yoshiyuki Nomura, who started working for him on a whim seven years ago. At the time, Yocchin had left his position in the Ministry of Finance after graduating from Tokyo University, and his girlfriend had broken up with him. When he was staring at the coin lockers where he was abandoned as a baby, Yasu offered him employment. The Nomuras had adopted Yocchin when he was 12 for his good grades, but he felt alienated after they had their own son when he was 16. For the first time, he felt that Yasu offered him a place where he belonged.

Unfortunately for their livelihood, Yasu accepts too many cases pro bono and even pays the fees, so they are constantly broke, he can’t even pay Yocchin on time, and he is delinquent on his rent and utilities. The only paying jobs Yasu accepts are menial ones like pet retrieval and pet washing. One day, Yocchin gets a call from his mother, who informed him that his father collapsed. When he visited him in the hospital, they wanted him to go to an omai with the daughter of a co-worker of his father’s latest client and take a position at his father’s firm. Although his father was discharged in a week, he wanted Yocchin to come back home to take care of his mother and his little brother Ruuichi, who is still in junior high school. At the office, the landlady threatens to evict Yasu if he doesn’t pay his back rent, and it turns out that the yakusa are cracking down on the landlords during the tough economy. Knowing how much the detective agency means to him, Yocchin decides to accept his father’s request in exchange for a donation to Yasu’s detective agency.

While browsing the internet for part-time jobs to pay for Yasu’s salary, Yasu accidentally finds Yocchin’s omai photos in a file on his desk. When he asks Yocchin about it, Yocchin tells him that it’s none of his business, which makes him snap. Yasu ends up forcing Yocchin and confessing his love, which makes Yocchin angry and confused. Yasu regrets his actions and calls him to apologize, but his signal is rejected. When he goes back home, Yocchin feels uncomfortable around his family and remembers his time with Yasu. When Yocchin sees someone who looks like him from behind, he rushes to him but has mistaken someone else for Yasu. Meanwhile, Yocchin finds out from the landlady that Yocchin paid his delinquent rent as well as six months in advance. When he checks, it turns out that Yocchin’s father deposited money into his bank account as well. During their time apart, Yocchin realizes his feelings for Yasu. Although he isn’t gay, he isn’t upset that Yasu forced him; rather, he’s upset that Yasu didn’t tell him how he felt beforehand. Worried that he sold himself for the money, Yasu interrupts Yocchin’s omai and pleads for him to come back. Under the pretext that he’s upset about the embarrassing scene, Yocchin rejects the omai and goes back to the detective agency with Yasu. A smut scene ensues, and Yocchin finally admits his feelings to him.

“Live for Love” is the first time that the mangaka illustrated someone else’s story. As far as the mangaka’s own works, “Love Pheromone” is much better, but she also has others that are not as good as this manga. Although some of you may be uncomfortable with non-consensual scenes, the first scene isn’t your usual non-con scene with the uke rationalizing his lust afterwards. During it, Yasu pleads with Yocchin to stay with him and is careful to hurt him as little as possible, as Yocchin has no experience with men. Before and afterwards, Yocchin has flashbacks of his lonely childhood compared to his past seven years with Yasu and grapples with his feelings for him against the duty to his adoptive parents. Yocchin is an intellectual and serious uke who has feelings of insecurity and unease in a society and family where he feels his only use is in his performance either at school or later at work and isn’t very honest with his feelings. Yasu, on the other hand, is a laid back seme who is very open about his feelings and lives how he wants to fulfill his own dream. Their interaction is at times serious and at times comedic, but at all times, they show a level of comfort for each other that can only be had when you truly care about the other person.

0 Replies to “Yaoi review: Live for Love”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *