Saturday, November 29, 2008

Two of Hearts by Kano Miyamoto review

Two of Hearts

Author/Artist: Kano Miyamoto

Publisher: Deux Press

Rating: M – 18 and up

Genre: Yaoi, Drama, Romance

Grade: A

I'm going to quote from the back:

Haruya, a frustrated writer for a magazine, is constantly puzzling his editors with his lack of motivation. His quiet, solitary life is spent in a house away from the city. However his outlook changes drastically when he sees a shy, troubled young man undressing on the beach. Their lives become intertwined in unforeseen ways. A passionate and unusual relationship develops that will ultimately be beneficial for the both of them.

I mentioned in my review for Lovers and Souls that I did like Two of Hearts by Kano Miyamoto-sensei. I quickly pulled out my copy to reread it just to familiarize myself with the story and it reminded me how great of a story this is. Haruya is an isolated author living in the countryside. He's currently dating his editor with who he was a pal with in college. After some sex Haruya heads for the beach and spots a young man undressing on the beach. This chance encounter changes the lives of these men forever.

One thing that I've noticed about Miyamoto-sensei's work is that her characters seem human. Her artwork isn't super clean or ultra detailed, but it works with the storytelling. Unlike other manga-ka that choose to create men who are so handsome that they don't exist in reality Miyamoto-sensei's have an everyman look to them. In Two of Hearts you can't help but get drawn into the story from the get-go. Haruya is lonely, but enjoys his life in the countryside. Maki (the young man from the beach) is in a truly heartbreaking situation. Not only does he have an alcoholic mother that he has to take care of, but also suffers from OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) and he's also neglected by his mother. I really appreciate when manga-ka aren't afraid to approach subjects like mental illness and use it within their stories. Miyamoto-sensei handled it very well and your heart can't help but want to ache for Maki and his life situation. It is a truly moving work and no matter how many times I've read it I find that I love it that much more. Miyamoto-sensei's covers look like oil paintings and that they belong on the wall of an art gallery. Whether sensei actually uses oil paint or scans her art into her computer and makes it look like an oil painting, I don't care; it's stunning none the less. Deux Press seems to be the only publisher presenting Miyamoto-sensei's work and I hope they continue with the manga that come after this one. There are several that are linked to this story through Haruya's editor Yagisawa.

For a story that is heartwarming, touching and emotional be sure to pick up Two of Hearts. You won't be disappointed.

***Review Copy purchased through***