Title: Yakuza Lover Vol. 1
Author: Nozomi Mino
Release Date: June 1, 2021
Publisher: VIZ Media
So I don’t go around looking for shoujo manga to review, but here I am reading Yakuza Lover Vol. 1 from author Nozomi Mino. While the heat is kept on high, the overall romance fails when coupled with a lack of actual chemistry. I mean, the danger of dating the bad boy can only be used so many times before we require some natural substance.
Yakuza Lover Vol. 1 introduces a spunky girl at a party who is looking for a boyfriend. However, it seems there’s a particular boy she is looking for as she beats off any guys who ask her out. When leaving the party, she happens upon a room full of drugs where a group of men nearly force her to be an accomplice. That is until she beats them off with a chair.
Enter Yakuza boss Toshiomi Oya, who likes Yuri’s attitude and leaves a good impression because she can’t stop thinking about her. She’s allowed home but decides to return Oya’s coat, and then he tells her how much he’s attracted to her. She’s torn by the idea that he’s a dangerous man, but he’s also everything she could dream of when choosing a boyfriend.
Their relationship is pushed along only through infatuation, as they proclaim their love for each other after their third meeting. It’s so surface level in that regard as we are expected to believe in them, but all Oya wants to do is show his love through gifts and sex. Now that I think about it, I’m sure a lot of female readers would enjoy this. However, his attitude kills the romance as he comes off as extremely possessive. He never shows anger towards Yuri and protects her when he has to, but the relationship is missing something crucial.
They seem only to know each other on a surface level. He never asks questions about where she’s from, her family, or what she does in college. He doesn’t seem to care about that. On the other hand, all that’s on her mind is how dangerous his lifestyle is, but how sexy he is to her. It’s so flimsy that it seems they are both putting on an act and not really showing each other who they really are. It’s almost impossible to do that, though, because they know nothing about each other. Whenever Yuri tries to explain herself, Oya interrupts her, and I can’t help but want more chemistry here.
There is a lot of panels in this volume dedicated to sex scenes. It’s graphic in a vanilla sense, but the mood is perfect for anyone trying to feel the heat. Seriously, right when the story seems to be going somewhere, they start having sex. The relationship is built off this lust, and if it doesn’t land for the reader, then this volume will fall short on all other offerings.
Yakuza Lover Vol. 1 doesn’t quite deliver on the chemistry as much as it does sex scenes. If you’re dying for a dangerous romance, this has a few decent story beats. However, I couldn’t help but want the two to reveal more about themselves to see if their love has any actual standing. Currently, infatuation is all that’s here, which is a given considering Yuri is literally drunk off Oya’s hump.
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