by Youka Nitta
Published in the U.S. by Be Beautiful Manga
Slugline: Two hot actors settle into a homosexual relationship. Caution: contains explicit gay porn.
So why is it that the most realistic relationship I've seen in manga in quite a while turns up in hardcore yaoi? These two guys talk -- and argue -- about their misunderstandings and their fears, rather than going through the over-wrought melodramas littering the shojo field. Kyosuke and Yoji have been together for a while, but in the third volume they begin to admit to themselves that they're going to be an item for a long time. Kyosuke also must go home to visit his family -- who are not happy with what he's become -- and Yoji follows to support him in the face of their disapproval.
The art is good, though everyone has a jawline you could break rocks on. The porn aspects are well handled and involve realistic emotions. There's some anxious sex and some happy sex and some blowing-off-steam sex, and it's great to see such a range of emotions. I've read hetero porn manga and gotten, quite frankly, bored and disgusted with the constant themes of rape, humiliation and control. If publishers can find any hetero manga that's as well written as Embracing Love, I'd be glad to read it.