Title: A Love Song for the Miserable
Genre: Drama/Romance (Boys’ Love)
Publisher: Digitial Manga, Inc. (Juné Imprint)
ISBN: (Volume 1) 978-1-56970-718-0
Where to Buy: Wherever books are sold
(Volume 1) Amazon
I like to think I’ve read most of the manga on my shelf at least a few times, but I’m sure for most of them, I’ve only read them once or twice at the most. However, there are definitely certain manga I keep coming back to, rereading them when I need a certain fix or just because I remember the story and would like to revisit it.
The oddly titled A Love Song for the Miserable by Yukimura is one of those titles.
Asada is upset his proposal was dismissed and got drunk. He fell in a bush when Nao came across him, asking for directions. Nao decides to thank him by giving Asada directions to his shop. Asada visits and becomes Nao’s taste tester and critic. Asada starts to fall for Nao and when Nao decides to go off to France to study, Asada asks him not to go, which is taken the wrong way, and the two of them leave off on a bad note.
The two meet again 3 years later when Asada is finally in the event planning department he’s always wanted to be in and he’s assigned to recruit Nao! There’s still bad tension in the air between them and Asada works to befriend Nao again.
I recall really enjoying this manga on in all aspects – the story, the artwork, the characters. I’m pretty sure too that I wondered if Yukimura had more manga the first few times I read this particular story; if I really like a manga by a particular artist, I go and search out more by them. To my disappointment, there are no more of her manga licensed in English.
Each time I’ve reread this manga, it brought a smile to my face and the characters and the story stuck with me.
I was pretty happy to find that this was the third manga I was reading. It’s easily one of my favourites (based off reread value), not just for BL, but for manga in general. It’s at the top of my list for rereading.
A Love Song for the Miserable is the kind of boys love manga I like. It has the right balance of comedy and drama, as well as rightly timed. It opens up with the arguably hilarious scene of a drunk Asada complaining to a co-worker before falling into a bush, to giving directions to Nao in a more serious manner. I love too that Nao and Asada are well-natured nice guys. Neither one of them are like erotic kings sitting upon thrones, but just like to relatively normal nice guys. This makes them easy to connect with and care for them.
While I do like the nature of some of the more exotic and erotic BL titles, A Love Song for the Miserable reminds me that the slightly more “slice of life” titles hit home the most and have the strongest appeal to me. Okay, so, this manga isn’t actually slice-of-life, but it feels a lot closer to it in comparison to series like A Gentleman’s Kiss .
I really like the art in this manga too! It’s one of the more unique styles in BL (though, to be honest, BL has a lot of unique styles when I compare it against regular old shoujo and shounen titles) and easy on the eyes. The anatomical issues often seen in BL manga don’t stand out as much. It’s overall a pleasant visual experience.
I probably should have remembered from last time, but I couldn’t remember if I owned anymore manga by Yukimura. I checked my book list and was pretty disappointed I didn’t and quickly went to search for more titles by her. According to her page on Manga Updates (possibly my favourite site to check up on manga artists), she was published in J-BOY by Biblos, but that’s about it. I don’t think her shoujo titles made it into English either…
In short, I still love the story, the characters, the artwork, and I wish more of Yukimura’s manga was published in English.
Next up, After I Win by Kaname Itsuki…