You may wonder why I’m reviewing Loveless so long after it aired on Japanese TV, and so long before it debuts as a DVD release here in America. Some of you may wonder why I’m reviewing it at all. The answer to the first is – I forgot about it. The answer to the second is – tune back in later this week.
Loveless is a mostly BL, mostly shota (the boy equivalent to lolicon, i.e., little boy suggestiveness and sexuality…something that squicks me even more than loli does, if that’s even possible) series that runs in Zero Sum magazine which is, incidentally, published by Ichijinsha, the same folks who put out Comic Yuri Hime. When I visited Ichijinsha’s office in April, they had gigantic Loveless cardboard cut-outs and posters. As they portrayed a shota catboy BL couple, I turned a blind eye and never paid it a bit of attention. Well hah on me! Because along with the BL catboys, there was a pair of Yuri girls…with cat ears, admittedly, but I can overlook that. (No, I do not think animal ears are cute. And I hate cats in any case. Bad lesbian! Bad!)
Animal ears notwithstanding, Kouya and Yamato make a strong arc for an otherwise okay series. The basic plot of Loveless as I understand it is that same-sex partners pair to engage in some kind of battle, in which one partner provides power and takes the hit and the other makes the attacks with the other’s power. Among one pair who were, I believe, lovers, the one who takes the hits died. His younger brother wants to know the truth about him, so he takes his dead brother’s place as the partner of an older bishounen who, needless to say, falls in love with his prepubescent catboy self. (The cat ears, btw, are an outward expression of virginity, as far as I can tell. They come off when the person loses the aforementioned. All very creepy and fetishy.)
Into this set-up comes a pair of women, Kouya and Yamato. They have been created(?) and trained to be each other’s partners. They are clearly in love, but terrified of the situation – and of their master. Their arc comprises about one volume’s worth of anime, about three or four episodes, but in those few episodes there’s plenty of soul-searching angst and yuri for any teen catgirl wannabee. And honestly, it’s a pretty decent coming-out/falling in love/starting a life together type story. Especially as their lesbian love is portrayed as what saves them from a miserable fate and sets them off on a free life of their own. A nice change from the more classic Yuri misery that we thought we’d never see the back of.
I’m not saying that this series is worth watching for this arc – but I do think this arc is worth watching for itself. Luckily I may be able to help with this. :-)
Ratings (for the Yuri arc only):
Art – 7
Story – 7
Characters – 7
Yuri – 9
Service – 7 (see above lingerie…and don’t forget the ears/virginity thing)
Overall – 7 and worth a look, at least.
For those interested in the manga version of this arc, the series has been licensed by Viz and is being put out in 2-in-1 volumes. Here’s a link to Volume 1.