- Mangaka : Nozomi Mino
- Publisher : VIZ Media
- Genre : Romance
- Published : June 2021
As they say, love has no boundaries. As long as one gets hit by Cupid’s arrow, that’s the end of it. Be prepared for a rollercoaster of an adventure. The cool thing about it is that it doesn’t exclude any kind of person out of the dating pool. Be it someone with the worst criminal record or a social recluse. Also, it’s quite cool seeing just how people get affected and changed with this emotion. However, we wonder. What if a cool, scary guy like a yakuza boss falls head over heels? Well, that’s what we’ve found out in Yakuza Lover.
As the title suggests, Yakuza Lover Vol. 1 tells the tale of how Oya, a yakuza underboss, meets and falls for Yuri, a headstrong college girl. Oya and Yuri meet at a party when Yuri finds herself in a tight position as some drug addicts try to make her an accomplice. Oya then appears and saves the day. Yuri learns of Oya’s background and initially wanted to turn her back on him. However, Oya’s appeal turns out too much for her to resist, and thus, the start of their steamy relationship.
1. A Dangerous Love Affair
With Oya’s dangerous lifestyle, their relationship is also always in constant danger. No, not the kind wherein a third party tries to get either one of them. At least, not in the first volume. The danger we’re talking about is the physical danger Oya gets himself into. It usually involves other members of the underworld, which usually includes hitmen and even foreign gangs. Yuri, on the other hand, is living a fairly typical lifestyle before she meets Oya. That being said, these dangers remind her of the kind of relationship she got herself into.
2. Passionate Mature Relationship
Perhaps due to his background, Oya doesn’t hold back. In fact, their relationship moves quite fast. During their second meeting, and it’s quite interesting to point out that they’ve only fleetingly met during the first time, they’ve already made love. The interesting thing is that the series doesn’t seem to include the sex scenes in detail. It gives us the impression that these love scenes are included since the author wants to include it in the story and not simply as a trap to gain more viewers.
1. A Bit Shallow
With the passionate love scenes and the yakuza undertone, we expect the series to tackle deeper parts of the relationship. Perhaps something that questions Oya’s morality. As a yakuza underboss, it’s hard to believe that he’s as clean as a dove. In fact, the series has already shown that his syndicate is the one in charge of a hostess club. Even though the series does tackle the sensual parts of the relationship, Oya and Yuri’s relationship doesn’t delve in much deeper. Yes, Oya shows consideration for Yuri, while Yuri also gets slapped by reality every now and then, but that ends there. Yuri doesn’t seem to suffer much emotional turmoil about the fact that she has almost seen Oya die in front of her, or at least, the series does a poor job portraying it.
Yakuza Lover includes mature relationship undertones, which may not sit well with some of its audience. For example, each chapter includes at least one sex scene. That means that if you’re not of the right age, you better put this series down. On the romantic part, it may also not be everybody’s cup of tea. For one, the relationship happened way too fast. The first moment, they meet, then the next, they’re already having sex. Another is that Oya, being a yakuza, is domineering, so there are times he forces Yuri to get his way. It’s a good thing to note, however, that everything is consensual, so there’s no rape scenes or the like.