Fe’s Love of Kill began life as an online comic, before eventually being published as a print manga, and it’s one of the series that I’ve been most looking forward to reading in 2021. There aren’t a ton of action-focused shojo series being published in English, so I was excited to give this one a try.
Chateau Dankworth is a cold-hearted bounty hunter who’s used to the harsh realties of the job, but she may have bit off more then she can chew when she decided to go after Ryang-Ha Song, a skilled assassin and former member of the Hong Kong Triad, who went rogue and eliminated the top-brass of his organization. Chateau proves to be no match for Ryang-Ha, but instead of taking her life when he has her at his mercy, Ryang-Ha asks for her contact information. Turns out, in their line of work, there aren’t many opportunities for him to meet women! Chateau isn’t really interested in dating Ryang-Ha, but the assistance he offers with bringing in targets proves to be hard to pass up. But, with all of the enemies Ryang-Ha has acquired over the course of his career, will Chateau come to regret getting herself entangled with him?
I think I might have gone into this manga with too high expectations.
Or, to put it more accurately, with misplaced expectations. I thought this was going to be a more playful, cat-and-mouse style romance with some action thrown in. In reality, Love of Kill seems to be a thriller first and a romance second, and it was significantly darker than I anticipated.
Now, being bloody and suspenseful isn’t a bad thing, in and of itself, and it would be unfair for me to judge this work harshly for not being exactly what I thought it was going to be when I bought it, but even putting my initial disappointment aside, Love of Kill has some flaws.
The romance plotline between Ryang-Ha and Chateau lacks spark. Chateau is reticent, doesn’t show any emotion – besides frustration – and, since we aren’t given much insight into her thoughts, she feels empty as a character. It’s hard to see what about her has intrigued Ryang-Ha so much. For his part, Ryang-Ha appears to be a psychopath and is kind of a creep to boot. The interactions between the pair are always tense, with Ryang-Ha trying to act like they’re on dates and Chateau looking like she wishes she was just about anywhere else. There isn’t much charm to their dynamic and I’m having trouble imaging them as a real couple. Maybe, once we find out more about these characters, I’ll start to feel differently, but right now, I don’t see why Chateau isn’t doing everything she can to get away from this guy.
I will give Love of Kill this: some of the action sequences were quite exhilarating. There was one scene, where Chateau is attacked by an assailant on a motorcycle while she’s driving, that had me on the edge of my seat! The ending of this volume also left off on quite the cliff-hanger, and I’ll admit that I’m curious to find out what happens next.
While Love of Kill isn’t quite what I expected – and is off to a slower start then I was hoping – there’s enough interesting elements here that I think I’ll give it another volume or two, to see how things develop. If you’re on the lookout for a gritty action series, this might appeal to you, but those looking for a fun and light-hearted romance should probably look elsewhere.
Final Score: 6 out of 10
For more information on this manga, visit Yen Press’ website.
What did you think of this manga? Is anyone out there rooting for Chateau and Ryang-Ha to get together? Let me know in the comments.
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