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Future Lovers

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Future Lovers by Saika Kunieda, published by Deux Press / Aurora Publishing

Future Lovers

© 2005 Saika Kunieda / Biblos Publishing Co.

The Bottom Line

From its title, one might assume Future Lovers is a time-traveling romance, but what we have is a boys love story that's firmly rooted in a contemporary setting. But that's not all bad, as Kunieda gives this yaoi manga tale a dash of slice-of-life humor and some endearing characters who convey passion without being gratuitously pornographic.

This otherwise enjoyable one-shot ends on a disappointing note, by only including two chapters about Akira and Kento's relationship. The last third consists of Winter Rabbit, a sweet, but forgettable story that lacks the sizzle and good-natured humor of its predecessor.

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Pros

  • An enjoyable mix of slice-of-life humor, heartfelt drama and boys love romance
  • Charming and appealing characters who have believable chemistry and conflicts
  • Steamy scenes that radiate erotic heat, without being gratuitously pornographic
  • Very nicely drawn, contemporary artwork that carries the story simply and clearly

Cons

  • Future Lovers only includes two chapters about Kento and Akira's relationship
  • The second short story, Winter Rabbit features weak characters and a formulaic plot

Description

  • Original Title: Mirai no Kioku (Memories of the Future) (Japan)
  • Author & Artist: Saika Kunieda
  • Publishers:
  • ISBN: 978-1934496350
  • Cover Price: $12.95 US
  • Age Rating: M – Mature, Age 18+ for mature themes, explicit sexual content
    More about content ratings.
  • Manga Genres:
    • Yaoi (Boys Love) Manga
    • Adult Romance
    • Gay / Lesbian
  • US Publication Date: September 2008
    Japan Publication Date: October 2002
  • Book Description: 192 pages, black and white illustrations

Guide Review - Future Lovers

Kento is a straight-laced high school teacher who craves a 'normal' family life, with a wife and kids. But after his half-hearted proposal to his girlfriend is shot down, he drowns his sorrow at a bar. The next morning, Kento wakes up in a strange apartment, and finds out that he's just spent the night with Akira, an androgynous gay man. At first, Kento thinks he's made a terrible mistake, but almost immediately gets hot and bothered enough to repeat their night of passion that same morning.

Sound like a standard boys love set-up? It is, but the charming twist that Kunieda brings to Future Lovers is to have Akira show up at Kento's school as the new art teacher, and to let this unlikely relationship blossom with an unexpected dash of slice-of-life humor courtesy of Kento's grandparents and students.

When Kento staggers home after his first night with Akira, his grandfather teases him by saying, "Stayed out all night? You stud." This kind of playful banter between Kento and his family and with Akira adds some enjoyable slice-of-life humor to an otherwise typical boys love melodrama.

Kunieda's simple artwork lets her story unfold clearly, so readers can fall in love with her characters' quirks and growing affection for each other, instead of just waiting for them to get hot and heavy.

Future Lovers is torrid enough to earn its "M-Mature" rating, but refrains from gratuitously fixating on the "nuts and bolts" aspects of their lovemaking. Kunieda prefers to show passion instead of just porn for porn's sake.

The one disappointing aspect of Future Lovers is that only two-thirds of this one-shot is about Kento and Akira. The other third is taken up by Winter Rabbit, a short story about a forbidden love between two cousins. Compared to Future Lovers, Winter Rabbit is a lackluster effort that lacks the spark and sizzle of the preceding stories.

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