Yaoi Recommendations (Part 4) – Young Romance Anime & Manga

YaoiRec

Each of my Yaoi recommendations are placed in groups of three in clusters that share similar themes or ratings. This fourth grouping all revolve around the theme of “young romance.”

Love Stage!! (Anime & Manga)

LoveStageI’ve been reviewing the anime on a weekly basis since the show first premiered and I managed to blow through the entire manga and all of the translated chapters of the offshoot light novels Back Stage in less than a week. I’m a little obsessed with this series, if you can’t tell. Izumi Sena is a young college student from a family of entertainers. His father is a singer, his mother is an actress, and his brother leads a popular band. Izumi, however, would prefer to read manga and has his heart set on being a mangaka, despite his seeming lack of talent in that area. The manga and anime follow the unexpected romance between Izumi and a popular singer and actor, Ryouma. Ryouma has loved Izumi since childhood when they starred in a commercial together. Only at that time Izumi was dressed as a girl. Ryouma quickly finds that he still loves Izumi even though he’s a man.

The manga is, as expected, much further along than the anime. So far it’s been a pretty faithful adaption. The manga goes down a rather odd path in the most recent books with a plot line involving hypnotism and memory loss. I’m not quite sure where they’re going with this story, but the beginning of the tale is so solid I’m willing to trust them wherever it takes me.  It’s definitely one of the few manga that I’ll be keeping track of religiously for updates.  It’s just that good.

Yes, my friends, the manga is still ongoing. Will we get a second season of Love Stage!!? God, I hope so. But more importantly, will the spin off light novel series Back Stage get some anime love? An OVA? A series? Anything? I’ll be reviewing that light novel at a later date, but wow, I love it more than Love Stage!!, so that’s really saying something.

O-Mamori Shimasu (Manga)

OMamoriShimasuThis is a quick read and very sweet. Akira moves to Tokyo from the countryside to work at a business that, sadly, closes before he even arrives. He’s desperate not to return home after coming so far to get to Tokyo. Thankfully, a childhood penpal of his comes to the rescue. Chihiro is an interesting character and considers Akira his best friend, despite the fact they’d only met one time before way back when they were 10 years old. He invites Akira to live with him so that he’s not forced to move back to the country.

Things are pretty normal until Chihiro almost gets kidnapped in front of Akira. Akira jumps in to defend him and subsequently gets pulled into a complicated aspect of Chihiro’s life that he was completely unaware about. From that day forward he serves as Chihiro’s bodyguard and their relationship blossoms into something incredibly heartwarming. It’s a bizarre set of circumstances, but Akira is willing to go along with it for Chihiro. Chihiro, on the other hand, is just happy to have Akira by his side.  It’s a relationship with an unusual start, but one that is charmingly perfect.

What struck me about this series was how sweet and innocent the entire story is. Their relationship flows naturally, even under occasionally ridiculous circumstances. Unfortunately, I feel like the story ends right when they’ve found a groove together and I really want to see more. As far as complaints go, that’s a pretty positive one to be honest. They do find a groove and get on the same page, but then the series abruptly ends. The story was about their relationship building, I suppose, and not the actual romantic part in and of itself. It was about two people falling in love under unusual circumstances and their life after that is left to our imaginations.

Rutta & Kodama (Manga)

RuttaandKodamaIf you like your pairings as different as night and day, this one is perfect for you. Rutta loves to fight with people whereas Kodama is generally a sweet kid who couldn’t hurt a fly. The two wind up as roommates and, to the surprise of Kodama, Rutta ends up falling in love with him. The series follows them as the forge a relationship and go through high school together. They both change each other in the best of ways and it just feels like they were meant to be. Kodama softens Rutta’s rough edges and Rutta in return protects Kodama and ultimately gives him a direction in life.

My only complaint is that this covers too much time in too few chapters. It essentially covers their entire high school career and then a bit past it, but you can blow through the entire series in a couple of hours. I wish that it’d have slowed down a bit so we would have gotten a more in depth view of this pairing that is so perfect in so many ways. There are dozens if not hundreds of untold stories that we never get to see because the series takes so many jumps forward. I’m grateful we got at least these glimpses of their romance and I’m happy I can at least fill in the gaps with my own imagination. Despite it going too fast, they are still very well fleshed out characters.

Author: Angel

Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. She earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. She’s contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. She’s written for Friends of Comic Con and has essays published in Fandom Frontlines.

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