Lovefool 03.05.12 | Romance Roundup: Wedding Deathmatch

It’s a wild wedding wuxtravaganza as a yaoi manga about a wedding planner and his beau takes on a wedding in white, Harlequin style, in this latest Romance Roundup.



Nerdlings, the time has come for another round of your favorite and mine, Romance Roundup, where two manga go head to head. Two books enter…well, two books leave but we make fun of them a lot along the way. This week? Wedding madness!
About Love (June Manga)
Staff: Narise Konohara (story) and Tomo Otake (art).
Hero: Mr. Asaka, a workaholic wedding planner…well. That’s really kind of all we learn about him.
Hero: Mr. Sasagawa, a slightly nerdy dude who fakes his way through life pretending to be picture-perfect. Bit of a drinking problem, which is like saying he wears ties in this sort of book, he’s actually kind of sweet in a slightly psychotic way.
Stars A-crossing: Well, you’d think Mr. Sasagawa’s wife would be kind of an issue, yeah? EXCEPT TOTALLY NOT because she’s got a lady lovah that she’s actually hanging out with all the time and Mr. Sasagawa just married her so her parents would leave her alone. And Mr. Sasagawa spends a large part of the book lying about that, which is awkward. Charmingly, the first time they hung out, Mr. Asaka got totally wasted and Mr. Sasagawa had to drag him home and ended up sleeping against the wall of his living room. Shit, I felt 19 again just reading it… Mr. Sasagawa also ends up getting a girlfriend at some point in a fit of pique.
_____ Will Keep Us Together: Late nights with some sake and their sheer doofiness with a tablespoon of jealousy.
Frame or Fridge?: The art is quite typical for this type of thing. Nothing objectionable, nothing to write home about.
The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: We don’t learn a lot about Mr. Asaka. I’m not sure I even caught his name within the story. He does end up planning a wedding for a gay couple and it’s interesting to see how their wedding progresses as kind of a counterpoint to the main storyline. I like that the book doesn’t shy away from some of the difficulties that have to be faced with throwing a gay wedding – will family come? Can they get a church? Mr. Sasagawa is a complete trainwreck, too, but it’s…it’s kind of a real trainwreck, you know? That’s how some relationships go, all the love and hate and avoidance. I just realized that the reason this book cracked me up so much is because it is exactly like dating at 19, all drunk and crazy.
Hearts: <3 <3 <3. One for the sheer trainwreck this can be sometimes, one for the gay couple getting married and one for the fact that Mr. Asaka and Mr. Sasagawa manage to make love work, despite being a couple eggs short of a dozen.
The Wedding In White (Harlequin Manga)
Staff: Diana Palmer (story) and Marito Ai (art).
Heroine: Natalie Brock, a wisp of a girl (of course) taken out of the orphanage to wait hand and foot on her aunt, who handily dies around page 20. She’s a little feisty, which is kind of a relief, but it’s a pretty feistiness. Natalie’s in school to, you guessed it, become a teacher. She’s a nice girl, despite being jerked around by everyone her entire life. Grouchy aunt, jerkass boyfriend who managed to get himself killed, you know the drill…
Hero: Mackenzie Killain, a farmer (of course) raising his family in small town mid-America. Unless it’s Texas. It could be Texas. It probably is Texas, honestly. Anyway, he’s overcome his mother’s death and abusive father to basically support a small town and his three siblings. He also looks like a sexy pirate due to an accident with some bulls and swoops in to save the day and, yes, marries goofy Natalie.
Stars A-crossing: Mackenzie doesn’t have time for any of Natalie’s prissiness, thankyewverymuch. Her pesky desire to have a family and get married and whatever is totally harshing his sexy. His sister, Vivian, also lies about seeing her boyfriend and Natalie in bed and they end up closing ranks and poor Nat graduates alone. And then, tiring of being jerked around by the Killains, Natalie gets the hell out of dodge. Good for her. She ends up in Dallas (I wish I had bet someone on that, nerdlings) teaching a class full of little punks, one of whom stabs her when she tries to break up a schoolyard fight.
_____ Will Keep Us Together: Money and a goofy locket.
Frame or Fridge?: There’s a scene where Mackenzie and Natalie are having dinner and Mackenzie turns to Natalie to say something and he has three fries sticking out of his mouth that’s pretty excellent. Being able to do that scene so it’s funny without making it look stupid took some skill. Otherwise, it’s very Harlequin. Slightly delicate, lots of manga frills but sincere manga frills.
The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: This book was delightfully silly. At one point, Vivian Killain, Mackenzie’s sister, gives Natalie a crest necklace like this is Twilight or something and I laughed so hard I almost choked on a spoonful of yogurt. Then, later, it turns out to have contact information for the Killains in it, which is…what? I don’t even get that but okay. Prettier than LifeAlert, I guess. I’m always a little uncomfortable with the emphasis on virginity that sometimes shows up in these things. Ladies can have sex and not be COMPLETE HORRIBLE TROLLOPS, you know. Sure, Natalie ends up getting some after her wedding but be cool, Harlequin.
Hearts: <3 <3 <3. One for the art, one for the absurdity…well, no, two for the absurdity. And I guess one for spunky little Natalie, making her way in the world. And then they lost one for being all obsessed with virgins.
So, a tie. I don’t think we see those very often but nothing was horribly objectionable in the Harlequin this time and the yaoi was ridiculously silly. I enjoyed this match. I feel better having read these.
Except for the part where I almost choked to death on some yogurt. | Erin Jameson

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