Hello my dearlings today is day four of the big 15! Today I go after a manga with too short a run as an anime (12 episodes only covering the first 4 books). Loveless follows the life of a boy named Ritsuka in a version of Japan where virginity is symbolized by the possession of cat ears and a tail. I was drawn to this story once upon a Barnes and Noble during my angsty youth. When all of the emotions everyone else felt freely seemed safer just to keep inside until… One could not quite tell just who they were anymore. In a way this book struck a chord with me from multiple character angles the kind girl that everyone took advantage of (Yuiko), the weakling ( Yayaoi ), and the cold outcast that finds it safest to keep all away (Ritsuka). Now I’ll admit this manga has yaoi tendencies but honestly don’t let that deter you. Now let’s get going!
In this dark place he finds little solace with family after the death of his brother Seimei while living with their abusive mother. She sends her remaining son to therapy claiming he was no longer the son she knew… Life seemed hopeless and confusing until Agatsuma Soubi arrived. He only needed to say he was a friend of Seimei and Ritsuka took to him like a duck to water even while dealing with Soubi’s eccentric disposition. Ritsuka takes up Soubi as an ally to figure out the secrets behind Seimei’s death.
Ritsuka happens upon a world seeming quite separate from his own one his brother knew and wielded Soubi as blade and shield in while utilizing magic. While maturing their relationship Ritsuka learned to fight by commanding Soubi and learning his place as a sacrifice. Now before I go any further allow me to explain this. In this ‘world’ everyone is paired by names the names that paired Seimei and Soubi were Beloved. In this pairing Seimei served as sacrifice which is the unit that takes damage for the team which is represented by restraints. When the sacrifice of a team is completely bound that team has lost. The fighter unit is the other half of the team casting spells under the direction of his or her sacrifice unit with words strewn and tied together to create the spells. Each fighter unit is allowed only one sacrifice… usually.
In the book you meet Ritsuka and witness a young very chesty young lady try to make friends with the somber young boy… Meanwhile Ritsuka learns to make friends with more than just his therapist while fearing oblivion. Soubi overcomes everything he’s ever known while finding something dear to protect in Ritsuka while his reasons change for doing so. However… Surprise! Surprise! When its revealed that sometimes even Soubi doesn’t know as much as he thinks he does.
The art is edgy enough to attract although still maintains a touch of whimsy on each page utilizing effects. The characters prove to be of various dynamics and personalities. The battle system even seems to kick in a bit of favorable influence which at times proved a little interesting and even funny. Soubi being attacked by things resembling toy ducks and shielding a sacrifice with something resembling a jungle gym. Each paired units had their own styles of fighting and brought various effects to the fight.
I very much enjoyed this book and I have missed reading it since I kept it with my family during my time abroad. As far as the continuation of the book well. I’ll have to admit I’m not certain when Yun Kouga will release more books. The timings seem to be somewhat erratic in my opinion but definitely worth waiting for. Although this may not be a book for everyone I do give this manga my Hatter Seal of approval and with a good conscience. Also of note, I do not support abuse of any kind although I do support discipline. Being able to tell the two apart is a very easy distinction. If you have been abused or know someone who may be abused don’t be afraid to talk to that person and if they need and will accept help its not a bad thing to step up. You might be the only one that notices, cares, or is even willing to listen. Food for thought my dears because this Hatter is OUT!