Manga Village

Voices of Love

January 30, 2010

This is a collection of five romantic, hot and sexy stories about modern women and the men they love.  All of the stories depict romantic and physical relationships with nothing held back.  The title story is about a relationship between young teacher Mika Tsukahara and Naokazu Kuga, an 18-year-old student at her school.  Some say forbidden fruit is the sweetest! They’re neighbors too, and can’t control their attraction to each other.  Love thy neighbor! From Luv Luv with love!

Voices of LoveBy Kanae Hazuki
Publisher: Aurora (LuvLuv)
Age Rating: 18+
Genre: Romance
Price: $10.95

Voices of Love is a collection of 5 different stories with very different leads but all with a happy ending for the women.  Even though these are ladies comics, not all of the stories are told from their perspective, adding to the variety.

The first story is also the title story, “Voices of Love”.  It’s about a young teacher and her next-door neighbor/student.  They seem complete opposites, as she the responsible type, and he is more reckless, especially with is relationships.  They have tentative relationship that is cemented when she is assaulted by a fellow teacher.  The story was told well enough, but I don’t care for the teacher/student/forbidden love stories, so this one came off as average to me.

“One Summer’s Day” is the second story.  Sana has been in love with Shigeru since the 5th grade, and has been waiting for him to recognize her feelings.  He treats her as a friend with benefits, and she endures it, despite knowing she just being used.  But her perseverance finally pays off.  I liked this story a little more than the first.  Even though Sana was being used by Shigeru, she fully realized what was happening, and it was completely her choice.  Some might say she was being stupid to let herself be used as she was, but it was a gamble that she took and won in the end.  That’s a happy ending to me.

The third story in this anthology is “Rainbow Smile.”  Nina meets a guy who seems nice, but once they move in together turns out to physically and emotionally abusive.  She doesn’t do anything about it, letting him use her as a punching bag whenever he feels like it.  She has a friend, Tauchi, who worries about her and that “she’ll snap”. With these words in mind, she catches her boyfriend cheating and does snap.  She hits him.  He hits her back of course, but she finally leaves him and goes to Tauchi, who loves her despite her bruises.  I really didn’t care for this story.  The relationship with her boyfriend moved to quickly and the abuse started as soon as they moved in together.  She should have dumped him then, instead of making the excuses most long time abuse victims make.  She didn’t seem low on self-esteem, especially since she found the strength to drop him after some words from Tauchi.  We can presume that wasn’t the first time they spoke about the abuse.  It shouldn’t have taken so long for her to end the lopsided relationship.

“Pictures of Us” is told from the guy’s perspective. Miza is a shy 36-year-old man who meets 18-year-old Fuya online.  He tries to distance himself from her because of their age difference, but she manages to break through his walls with her photography hobby.  He finally realizes he loves her and they become a couple.  I liked this one.  It’s a nice story of a shy person, a guy this time, coming out of his shell.  Both he and Fuya were lonely in their lives, and their finding each other was heartwarming.

“Teach Me Love” is the last story of the anthology.  Hiyako is being used by her “friend” to pay for things he wants.  Atsashi is one of these people “paid” in this way, but after meeting her, he decides he wants to be a real friend to Hiyako.  He shows her that being friends isn’t just about having sex.  Slowly he gets through to her, and she chooses to be with him and they become lovers as well as friends.  This story is also told from the guy’s perspective.  I liked how Atashi showed Hiyako the difference between sex and friendship, that one didn’t have to depend on the other.  He teaches her what love really is and it was nice to see her change under his care.  But that she could be so easily used, and that she would accept it did bother me some.

Overall, Voices of Love was an entertaining volume.  The relationships came off as realistic, which in some cases was sad but true.  The art was well done, with the guys all being more on the bishonen side, but not to the extreme, not were the ladies overly beautiful.  There was quite a few sex scenes, but not overly explicit or long.  Voices of Love is a good choice for stories that are quick and enjoyable, and more in-depth with relationships than the average shojo title.

About the author

Lori Henderson is the writer and reviewer for the manga blog, Manga Xanadu. She also keeps a personal blog at Fangirl Xanadu, and a writing blog at Muse of Xanadu. She contributes to the Good Comics for Kids blog at School Library Journal. As the mother of two teen daughters, she needs all the escape she can get, which reading and writing about manga gives her.

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