Lovers and Souls by Kano Miyamoto: B-

Lovers and Souls is comprised of the 100-page title story, two additional shorter stories relating to it, and two stories about a different couple. “Lovers and Souls” was my favorite of the bunch. It’s the story of Shinomiya, a beautiful art student with a fondness for cash and an ambivalent attitude about what happens to his body, and Matsuoka, an openly gay photographer who offers Shinomiya money in exchange for sex. Finding the experience tolerable, Shinomiya begins selling himself regularly.

I typically don’t like stories involving prostitution, so I was surprised to enjoy “Lovers and Souls” as much as I did. I thought Shinomiya’s pragmatic attitude was interesting, and liked how he began to feel comfortable with Matsuoka, relishing the quiet, affectionate moments and eventually putting an end to the monetary aspect of their relationship. A plot twist made me like this story even more, and I found the subsequent reaction to it surprisingly touching.

Miyamoto’s art isn’t especially pretty or exceptional, but I did like Matsuoka’s looks a lot: he looked Asian, but this wasn’t achieved by any exaggeration of stereotypically Asian features. It was more of a subtle facial structure kind of thing.

The author’s note at the end of the book mentions that the “Lovers and Souls” story will be continued in a book called Rules, which Aurora Publishing doesn’t seem to have licensed yet. I liked this well enough to check it out if they ever do so.

Review copy provided by the publisher. Review originally published at Manga Recon.

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  1. This is my fav story by Miyamoto Kano. I think is poignant and touching. You should read Hydra (part 01) and Rules (part 02, Lovers and Souls is Ryles opening chapter), you would be surprised. It´s yaoi in best form but without clichés. I really like Miyamoto Kano´s mangas because of this quality.

  2. Oh, you didn´t know about Hydra? Hydra stories happens before Rules, so is better to read Hydra first. They are not published in english and there is no news if they will be publish so the only way to read these is through the scanlations. Liquid Eros does most of Myiamoto Kano scanlations.

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