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* * * * *   September 8, 2008
Reviewer: Kavita

Love Control is a one-shot book and I mourn for that fact alone. This book came about as the author, Hasukawa Ai, paired up two side characters in a previous story and brought them together in this graphic novel (bless her for this!). Love Control is about successful interior designer, Yamashiro Kei, and his partner, equally successful F&B owner/businessman, Okumura Takashi. The two first meet when Okumura commissions Yamashiro’s consultancy firm to redesign his Italian restaurant. It was a clash of two personalities from page 2 of the book onwards – Yamashiro’s pride and confidence versus Okumura’s charm and ego, qualities which both men possess in abundance and quite used to getting their own way. I bought this book purely because of the cover. To quote one reviewer who recommended this book: “Gorgeous men with floppy hair in business suits? Hell yeah!” *grins* I feel the same way too *LOL* I would put Love Control on par with Jazz, not just because of the artwork alone. What fascinated me was how adult and mature the characters handled themselves (quite unlike a few other mangas where suddenly there is a chibi version of the adult character with a large sweat drop or some other childish act or a very dramatic dialogue with extra large font and triple exclamation marks and etc). The intensity and chemistry between Okumura and Yamashiro is palpable even as they address each other rationally, and sometimes with a strong will and pride or defiance added in for measure before settling to a compromise both are happy with. The impression I get from this title – as with Jazz – that here, there is no “seme” or “uke” feel from the two male leads; both lovers have an equal say and power in their relationship. Okumura and Yamashiro are able to retain their identity without losing their manliness in a same-sex relationship. The author has managed to draw a tightly woven romance without using the typical yaoi stereotype ie the “seme” or “uke” – which is quite common. For this alone, I give my hats off to Hasukawa-sensei. I am definitely lucky to have this book in my library! *grins*

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