The Gentleman and the Lady by Kazumi Tohno: B+

Book description:
The six romantic, sensual shorts in The Gentleman and the Lady reveal that love is often surprising and always unavoidable. There may be more to a friendship than meets the eye, as true love is sometimes hidden where a girl least expects it.

This endearing collection by Kazumi Tohno opens with the title story, introducing the “chummy threesome”: Kotoko, Katsuto, and Komon. These close-knit friends get along very well… but even the best of friends are put to the test when they’re all stuck in a love triangle with each other!

Connie reviewed this title for Manga Recon and since it sounded like something I’d enjoy, I decided to check it out. Ultimately, I don’t think I liked it quite as much as she did, but I did have fun reading it.

This is an eclectic collection of stories, half focusing on romance and half not. First up in the romance division is “The Gentleman and the Lady,” which is about a trio of friends who’ve known each other since high school and the evolving relationships between them. “Angel Time” is about a woman who was discovered by an executive (who claimed to love her) and brought to Japan to star in some commercials for his company, only to learn that he has a wife and family. Lastly, “X” is about a guy who thinks the woman he loves is lying to him so he becomes deceitful himself, creating a fake persona (X) to try to find out the truth. Of these, I probably liked “X” the best, not because of its plot but because of the protagonist’s conflicted feelings.

On the non-romantic side, there’s “Santa Tour” and “Marine Blue,” both of which deal with kids who are too jaded to believe in Santa Claus. In the latter, Santa and Jesus are total BFFs, by the way. Also in this category is “Dr. Urashima’s Treasure Chest,” a short sci-fi story about a couple who invents a time machine and is then prevailed upon by their government to change the shape of history. This one was my favorite and I wish it could’ve been longer, even though the end is still quite nifty.

Each story is pretty mellow in feel, and Connie was dead-on when she described the emotion as understated. None of the stories ends with a neatly tied-up resolution, but each still manages to give closure in a way where one can imagine what came next. The art is retro by today’s standards, but the only time I felt it distracted from the story was in “The Gentleman and the Lady,” when two of the characters’ (horrible) matching outfits is a plot point.

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  1. I’m glad you enjoyed it! I think I liked it because it was such a weird mix. Thinking back, the title story and “Angel Time” were probably my least favorite, though I did like “X” quite a bit for the couple as well.

    The weird stories were really what won me over. I can’t think of the last time Santa appeared twice, let alone riding up with Jesus. And that time travel story was just awesome, I’m kind of sorry it was one of the shorter ones in the volume, too.

  2. I agree with all that you said. The Santa/Jesus BFF thing was very amusing. 🙂 And yeah, I seriously could’ve enjoyed a couple more chapters about the time travel, where they figure out all else that is different, etc. Or even just the ramifications of them trying to adjust.


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