MAKE LOVE & PEACE • LuvLuv • Takane Yonetani • 18+
Ayame, an 18-year-old college freshman who lives with her grandparents, is dating Koichi, a young cop. They meet on the streets when she’s racing to catch a purse-snatcher (he beats her to him) and it’s love at first sight, with sex following soon after. Like Harlequin novels (or Harlequin manga for that matter), LuvLuv manga is a mixture of explicit sex and traditional-values romance. For the casual reader, Make Love & Peace is one of the best of the lot, a sex story in which the two characters have an almost normal relationship. (They’re always getting interrupted in bed by Koichi’s coworkers calling him asking about police work.) In chapter 2 things take a dark turn when Ayame is nearly raped by scumbags (lecturing the scumbags on why rape is bad seems a little naive on the part of Ayame, and the author), and in chapter 4 Ayame takes care of an abandoned baby, which triggers typically downer romance-novel thoughts on the future of the relationship (“Doesn’t Koichi want a baby? Doesn’t he want to marry me?”) On the upside, it’s an upbeat and reciprocal relationship with lots of sex scenes, but on the downside, it’s still very bland stuff. Followed by a sequel, Make More Love & Peace. (Review by Jason Thompson; originally printed in Otaku USA magazine.)
* 1/2 (one and a half stars)
Today’s winner is Geedy B. of Missouri. Congratulations, Geedy!