Yakuza Lover, by Nozomi Mino, is a shojo manga that feels like it should be a josei series. This steamy romance stars a college student who gets caught up in a relationship with a member the yakuza, and it’s much more sexually charged than what you’d typically find in your average shojo manga.
I can’t say that yakuza stories are things that I tend to seek out, but I was curious to see just how hot this title was going to get.
So, let’s dive right in, shall we?
Yuri wants a boyfriend, but it seems like the only guys who ever approach her are total creeps who’re only after her smokin’ hot bod. After failing to find any decent prospects at a party, Yuri and her friend try to leave early, only to accidently stumble onto some illegal activity going on in their host’s house. When the ruffians try to make the girls accomplices by forcing them to take drugs, Yuri steps up to try and protect her friend and starts swinging a chair around.
That’s when Toshiomi Oya shows up. Sauvé, handsome and gentlemanly, Oya rescues Yuri and her friend and sends them home. Yuri is smitten, and he seems impressed by her too, but there’s a catch – Oya is an underboss in the yakuza! Yuri knows that Oya is bad news and that she should stay away from him, but she feels so drawn to him, despite all of this. Yuri just can’t resist seeing him again, and it isn’t long before her feelings have become completely entangled with this dangerous, but alluring, older man.
Well, I can’t say that Yakuza Lover doesn’t deliver the goods, this is one spicy manga!
Yuri and Oya are fiercely attracted to each other from day one and their romance is a whirlwind affair, with the couple not wasting much time before they start getting it on! These bedroom scenes are quite passionate, even more so than the sex scenes I’ve seen in some josei titles. If I were to put this manga on a Smexiness Scale, it’d fall somewhere in between Fire in His Fingertips and An Incurable Case of Love, being not as explicit as the former, but more intense than the later.
After their initial meeting, and some minor angsting over Oya’s perilous career, Yuri and Oya are pretty much instantly devoted to each other, despite their very short acquaintance and the fact that they don’t know anything about each other. It’s a silly setup, but this isn’t a story that’s taking itself very seriously, so it’s best to let yourself get caught up in Yuri and Oya’s perfect storm of mutual lust and adoration and just enjoy the ride.
Feisty Yuri is a fun heroine, and I found her and Oya to be surprisingly cute as a couple. When they aren’t getting busy, Oya is more than happy to go out and do cutesy couple stuff Yuri. He may be a bad-boy, but Oya is sweet to Yuri, giving her plenty of public displays of affection and pampering her at every opportunity. If it wasn’t for all of the random shootings and thugs popping up to cause trouble, he might be the perfect boyfriend.
You don’t need to worry about the story becoming gritty, however; the yakuza elements of Yazuka Lover seem to mostly just be window dressing, there to add a bit of colour and excitement to the narrative, without getting in the way of all of the smooching. There are some action scenes, and some tension surrounding a rival criminal organization which might end up causing some drama for our leads down the road, but this manga doesn’t feel like it’s in any danger of becoming too dark or serious. This is just a ridiculous story of an idiot couple who are head-over-heels for each other and eager to show it at every opportunity.
All in all, this manga is a pretty good time. The story doesn’t have much depth too it, and Yuri and Oya aren’t super fleshed out as characters, but if you’re just in the mood for something sexy and amusing, I’d recommend giving this series a try.
Final Score: 7 out of 10
For more information on this manga, visit Viz Media’s website.
What did you think of this manga? Let me know in the comments.
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