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Voices of Love

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Voices of Love by Kanae Hazuki, published by Luv Luv / Aurora Publishing

Voices of Love

© Kanae Hazuki

The Bottom Line

The first release from Aurora's LuvLuv josei manga imprint, Voices of Love is a collection of sexy short manga stories that are more grounded in reality and "grown-up" in its approach to relationships than most idealized shojo manga romances. It's more sensitive to female sensibilities about sex, and it's more romantic than most porn, but it's also very explicit, so it's not for younger readers.

The love stories are unexpectedly sweet and the characters have surprising depth and complex personalities. The girls all look alike, but it's a nice introduction to sexy "chick lit" josei manga.

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Pros

  • Sexy short stories with romances that are relatively grounded in reality
  • Sweet, simple and likeable artwork that tells the stories effectively
  • Touching tales of unconventional, unexpected romance
  • More sensitive and romantic than porn, it tells sexy stories that women can relate to and enjoy
  • Both male and female protagonists have interesting flaws and complex personalities

Cons

  • Includes numerous sexually explicit scenes, so it's absolutely not for younger readers
  • Features a few scenes of violent, abusive relationships may disturb sensitive readers
  • The girl characters look the same from story to story

Description

  • Original Title: Ai no Koi (Japan)
  • Author & Artist: Kanae Hazuki
  • Publishers: Aurora Publishing (US)
    Ohzora Publishing (Japan)
  • ISBN: 978-1934496084
  • Cover Price: $10.95 US
  • Age Rating: M – Mature, Age 18+ for nudity, explicit sexual content
    More about content ratings.
  • Manga Genres:
  • US Publication Date: January 2008
    Japan Publication Date: 2006
  • Book Description: 192 pages, black and white illustrations

Guide Review - Voices of Love

When you've outgrown the shy schoolgirl romances of most shojo manga and are turned off by the machismo of most seinen (men's) manga, your best bet is to check out the world of josei (ladies') manga. While there isn't a whole lot of it available yet in the States, that's about to change with the arrival of Aurora Publishing's new LuvLuv Press line of "passionate manga for women."

First out of the gate is Kanae Hazuki's Voices of Love, a series of short but sweet love stories about twenty-something men and women falling in love and getting it on shortly after they do. You won't find magical girls or flying ninjas here – Each story is about contemporary twenty- and thirty-somethings living in Japan and dealing with heartaches that should be familiar to any reader of chick lit: The forbidden affair between an older woman and a younger man. The abusive relationship that's difficult to escape. A girl doesn't understand the difference between "friends with benefits" and real love meets a boy who tries to teach her. What makes it surprising is that both the men and women here are grown-ups with interesting imperfections, and their attraction to each other seems real and plausible.

The artwork is pretty and contemporary, and tells the stories effectively. Yes, the sex scenes are explicit, but only a few exceptions, they're tender, sweet and sensual. There are a few scenes of violence that might disturb more sensitive readers, but for the most part, the stories are fairly female-friendly.

The downsides here are that the girl protagonists are mostly passive flowers playing victim roles, and they're drawn quite similarly from story to story. But for the most part, Voices of Love is a pleasant introduction to the sexier side of josei manga.

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