Please note that I do not call Love Gene Double X (恋愛遺伝子XX ) a Yuri Manga. That’s only because I’m not sure it is, yet. I’ll reserve my judgement for future volumes.
In the future, all men have died and women, able to procreate without them, have recreated a similar dual-gender society, splitting into ADAMs and EVEs, with an almost-expected propensity for dressing in Rose of Versailles-style clothing. The story begins when transfer student Koshiro Aoi enters “Kingdom,” one of the the most elite schools in society.
Aoi, an ADAM, is welcomed into the school with a typical mix of fascination and repulsion. She’s good at her studies, and is athletically inclined as well. But she carries around a dirty wooden sword, straps her breasts down with sarashi (instead of the protectors used by the other ADAMs) and has declared that she is there take over the top position.
She is befriended by Sakura, one of the “stars” of the school. And, as she blunders around, she finds she has other allies in the school elite, as well.
Aoi needs allies too, as she inadvertently offends the top EVE, Erika-sama. In the middle of the EVE and ADAM mixer ball, Aoi finds herself having to duel Erika’s fiancé, none other than Sakura…which is where the real trouble begins. It is absolutely forbidden for ADAMs to engage in relationships with other ADAMs and Aoi is starting to have some feelings for Sakura. Luckily, she’s not so bright about such things and one of her other allies, Matsuri is able to refocus those feelings…for the moment…into desire for friendship.
Matsuri is also our greek chorus in this series. She is the one who discovers Aoi’s secret and the source of her antagonism for the school elite. Aoi’s mother was an ADAM, who became an outcast when she took the taboo route of becoming an EVE in order to marry the ADAM she loved. Matsuri tells Aoi that she is not alone in wanting to take this restrictive system down and councils Aoi not to bash around Kingdom making threats, but to work subtly from the inside.
In the meantime, Aoi challenges Sakura to a “duel” in grades and while she loses, makes herself one of the top academic lights of the school. Sakura, Aoi, Matsuri and the last of the school stars, Mizuki, all become friends and comrades as the first volume main story comes to a close.
The extra chapter is a rather silly dream in which Aoi “learns” that the others are all really men, and she spends the next day checking their breasts to make sure they are really women.
To say that I have a lot of problems with this story is a vast understatement.
I’m super unhappy that the premise is that women, when left alone to create their own society, immediately force an extra-restrictive dual-gender society upon themselves. Same-gender role relationships are taboo, gender-role switching is even more taboo. This was really hard for me to take, but….
…on the other hand, Eiki and Zaou are immensely talented and I’m still trusting them to handle this scenario. We’ve got enough of a set-up that, given time, they *could* bring this to an amazing conclusion. But…will they be given that time? I’m not sure that Ichijinsha has given any creators more than 2 volumes so far. 5 or 6 more chapters is unlikely to bring this story to a satisfactory end.
I’m ambivalent about the potential for taboo fakey BL, the potential for a story half-assedly brought to conclusion, the potential for bad, bad lessons here and generally vexed at the whole thing. ^_^
Only the implication that the “real” story here is that Aoi and her friends might destroy these restrictions (given enough time and page count) is keeping me reading. And the fact that the story is being told with a good sense of humor helps, too.
Art – 8
Story – I’m totally bipolar about it. Sometimes I’m giving it an angry 5 and others a hopeful 8. Let’s be vague and call it 7
Characters – The saving graces, definitely – 8
Yuri – 2 One kiss by Erika to a henchchick so far
Service – 5 Breasts shots mostly
Overall – I’m going with a hesitant 8
Basically, Volume 2 is going to make or break this series for me, I think. If it goes to a Volume 2.
The picture and link above are for the deluxe edition, with Drama CD. There is also a regular manga-only edition available too, for those of you not as helpless before the siren call of Drama CDs as I am.