Friday, June 05, 2009

Gravitation Collection, vols. 1 & 2

By Maki Murakami
Published in the US by TokyoPop

Slugline: Is love without meaning still love?

Shuichi wants to avoid school as much as possible and sing his songs but his life insists on throwing complications his way. After meeting Eiri and being insulted for his lack of song-making ability, Shuichi falls in love with the older man, despite the apparent disinterest. Shuichi's best friend wants to leave the band out of the desire to get a real life and stop disappointing his parents. Eiri has his own complicated life, with a sister who tries to manipulate him through Shuichi and a younger brother that is everything that their father wanted, never mind the betrothal that Eiri has been dodging. Through it all, Shuichi works harder to become a professional musician and keep Eiri's attention.

Is it too much to ask for romances, even the shonen-ai variety, to have some actual romancing going on? Shuichi sees Eiri and falls in love immediately and Eiri does little to return or even deserve it in this collection of the first two volumes. Yes, Gravitation is considered a classic of the genre, and quite frankly everything around Shuichi and Eiri's pairing is done well, but the actual relationship of the two is pretty unrealistic even by the loose standards of the genre. If you just skip a few pages, there is a half decent rock and roll story in here, but the romance at its center just seems unreal and more than a little creepy.

The sequel for this series, Gravitation EX, has been reviewed on Prospero's Manga here. Frankly, it sounds that it takes the silly aspects of this series and pushes further to be really funny.

Gravitation Collection, vols. 1 & 2 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.

- Ferdinand

No comments: