Cover Image: Yakuza Lover, Vol. 1

Yakuza Lover, Vol. 1

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Member Reviews

The art is nice but the character development and story are lacking. This is a pretty straightforward adult manga where story, theme, character building all take a back seat to the main draw which is the erotica type drawings. There isn't really a reason the main characters fall for each other with such dedication. The non-erotic parts of the novel do have some good comedy gags. I would recommend Yakuza Lover to the dedicated manga fans who are attracted to specialized sub-genres such as yakuza romance who are already aware of the tropes at play.
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A very fun manga with some really good characters, good pacing and having an interesting storyline. This is one I would definitely like to see adapted as an anime.
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I found this hard to get into. I’d much prefer a slow burn but the romance happened it felt like really fast. I had no time to get to know or like either of the characters so I didn’t really care how it turned out. I won’t be reading the next volume.
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The set-up of this book is pretty funny. I like the characters both individually and together. I guess I was just hoping to see more world-building in this volume. There was some development toward the end of the book to set up the next volume, but I would have liked to see more characters introduced earlier with some connection to the plot. We get plenty of nameless guys/friends around them, so there is no lack of people; they are all just very clearly side characters with little to no importance.

I'd like to see more information about the significance of the Oya name and his connection to that Russian gangster at the end.

So, while the book did leave me wanting to know more, I didn't walk away with a feeling that I had read very much. There could have been a bit more substance and a bit less cat-based honeymooning here.
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That Escalated Quickly - Yakuza Lover Vol. 1

	Mangaka: Nozomi Mino
	Publisher: VIZ Media
	Genre: Romance
	Published: June 2021

As they say, love has no boundaries. As long as one gets hit by Cupid’s arrow, that’s the end of it. Be prepared for a rollercoaster of an adventure. The cool thing about it is that it doesn’t exclude any kind of person out of the dating pool. Be it someone with the worst criminal record or a social recluse. Also, it’s quite cool seeing just how people get affected and changed with this emotion. However, we wonder. What if a cool, scary guy like a yakuza boss falls head over heels? Well, that’s what we’ve found out in Yakuza Lover.

Contains Spoilers

Discussion Time

As the title suggests, Yakuza Lover Vol. 1 tells the tale of how Oya, a yakuza underboss, meets and falls for Yuri, a headstrong college girl. Oya and Yuri meet at a party when Yuri finds herself in a tight position as some drug addicts try to make her an accomplice. Oya then appears and saves the day. Yuri learns of Oya’s background and initially wanted to turn her back on him. However, Oya’s appeal turns out too much for her to resist, and thus, the start of their steamy relationship.

Why You Should Read Yakuza Lover Vol. 1

A Dangerous Love Affair

With Oya’s dangerous lifestyle, their relationship is also always in constant danger. No, not the kind wherein a third party tries to get either one of them. At least, not in the first volume. The danger we’re talking about is the physical danger Oya gets himself into. It usually involves other members of the underworld, which usually includes hitmen and even foreign gangs. Yuri, on the other hand, is living a fairly typical lifestyle before she meets Oya. That being said, these dangers remind her of the kind of relationship she got herself into. 

 Passionate Mature Relationship

Perhaps due to his background, Oya doesn’t hold back. In fact, their relationship moves quite fast. During their second meeting, and it’s quite interesting to point out that they’ve only fleetingly met during the first time, they’ve already made love. The interesting thing is that the series doesn’t seem to include the sex scenes in detail. It gives us the impression that these love scenes are included since the author wants to include it in the story and not simply as a trap to gain more viewers.

Why You Should Skip Yakuza Lover Vol. 1

A Bit Shallow

With the passionate love scenes and the yakuza undertone, we expect the series to tackle deeper parts of the relationship. Perhaps something that questions Oya’s morality. As a yakuza underboss, it’s hard to believe that he’s as clean as a dove. In fact, the series has already shown that his syndicate is the one in charge of a hostess club. Even though the series does tackle the sensual parts of the relationship, Oya and Yuri’s relationship doesn’t delve in much deeper. Yes, Oya shows consideration for Yuri, while Yuri also gets slapped by reality every now and then, but that ends there. Yuri doesn’t seem to suffer much emotional turmoil about the fact that she has almost seen Oya die in front of her, or at least, the series does a poor job portraying it.

Final Thoughts

Yakuza Lover includes mature relationship undertones, which may not sit well with some of its audience. For example, each chapter includes at least one sex scene. That means that if you’re not of the right age, you better put this series down. On the romantic part, it may also not be everybody’s cup of tea. For one, the relationship happened way too fast. The first moment, they meet, then the next, they’re already having sex. Another is that Oya, being a yakuza, is domineering, so there are times he forces Yuri to get his way. It’s a good thing to note, however, that everything is consensual, so there’s no rape scenes or the like.

By: Christian Markle
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This copy was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and the publisher for review: all opinions are my own.

I think were I struggled in truly enjoying this manga was the real insta love. Like INSTA love, and that isn't really a favorite trope of mine. This was my first steamy (I guess erotic manga? Idk how it is classifoed)  manga though so it might just be that its a common trope throught the genre in general, I'm not sure. Overall, I liked the story line, the character's personalities and the art style alot.
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I really liked this book although it’s not something I think my store would stock specifically. I personally love a gangster romance but I think this style of feisty damsel meets disarmingly charming bad boy is becoming more niche and more and more people see how rooted in patriarchal values it is. If you can view it baring that in mind it’s a good read.
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This was cute, I think yuri is a little too innocent for me, she gets better towards the end, so I’ll definitely read the next one. I also think he might be a little sketchy, but I can't put my finger on it.
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This has been my favorite of all of the comics I have read within the last few days. Though incredibly steamy - do not try to read while at work on your break- the story is still incredibly cute.

Follow Yuri - a head strong but lovely girl - as she attempts to find love in this modern day world full of wonders and disappointments alike. Just wanting a cute romance, she ends up falling into crush with a mafia boss - Toshiomi Oya. Though a dangerous mafia guy, she can't help but fall for his endearing and sweet side that he shows her every chance he gets. 

The two fall completely head over heels for each other as they try to overcome their differences and promise themselves fully to each other.

A cute story line within the sexy scenes and art. I find myself pleasantly surprised as I await the next volume.
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This was definitely not the manga for me. 
I couldn't help cringing at the cheesy lines that were meant to be romantic or cute and the little to no plot behind the romance/sex scenes was a real turn off. 
If pure smut is your thing, then go for it. But I definitely think if you're looking for a storyline or more of the mob theme you'll end up disappointed, unfortunately.
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Yuri is looking for a boyfriend who will love her for who she is. She gets caught up in a dangerous attraction to a Yakuza underboss, and she can't keep her hands off him despite the danger to her own life! This is a very steamy romance with lots of sex on page, but mostly arms and legs obscure any private parts from being seen. That doesn't stop the thoughts and the dialogue from containing descriptions of what's happening or what they want to have happen. This is a quick read for adults that would appeal to fans of romance novels.
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Yakuza Lover is a fresh breath of air in the crop of shojo romances when you have a taste for more Josei manga content. And it does NOT disappoint-- it is STEAMY, STEAMY, STEAMY smutty goodness! Outspoken and fiesty college student Yuri has a fateful meeting with striking Toshiomi Oya, the underboss of a yakuza syndicate once night when he saves her at a party. Their meeting that night by chance leads them to meet once more and a love affair starts! 

I think what grabs me the most is the handling of the tropes: bad boy meets girl” the mafia/yakuza man falls in love with an ordinary girl--certainly a hit or miss read for those who don’t care for those tropes or stories that employ them. What was refreshing was the push for consent in the narrative--Oya never pushes Yuri to do nothing she doesn't want to. It is refreshing to see her be assertive and take the reigns on what happens regarding their bedroom activities. There's a really superb scene near the end of the book between the two that is really illustrative of the mangaka's purposeful placing of Yuri on the page. Yuri's desires, her agency, the dynamic of being the only one who can see certain vulnerable faces and pieces of Oya and the power she gets from it. WHEW.  That scene alone connects some much of the narrative tissue and holds together a pretty winning first volume.

Yuri isn’t a plain jane type of girl who is a timid wall flower. Oya isn’t a muscled brute of a man who deals in illegal backroom activities who doesn’t have much emotional intelligence. It is too early to truly say that they step out of their roles that we see them in now as they are still developing as characters but I can say first volume in: it is headed in a good direction.

The art is gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! I really became captivated by some of the scenes like the two lovers in a hotel in each other arms near a window with fireworks (not so subtly) signifying the climax of their passion. I loved all the chibi Yuri illustrations of her raging out throughout the book.

You want a delicious romance yakuza flavored for the manga reading grownups in the room? You may want to pick this one up. This first volume isn’t perfect, there’s a handful of pages with pieces of dialogue that tickled me as corny and made me laugh unintentionally. Some readers may think that the relationship has progressed two far too soon (towards the middle, Yuri mentions that she’s seen him once in two months due to his busy schedule)--yet I have to say that this first volume is a fast paced, heart pounding smutty volume of Josei genred manga that I loved reading. How often do we get Josei manga licensed and printed? This was a good move on Viz’s end (through the shojo beat imprint) who seem to be better known for their shonen titles.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Viz Media for an ARC!

This manga follows Yuki who is a very fiery college student and is determined to find a boyfriend as she is now 20.   In walks in Toshiomi Oya. Her knight in shining armour happens to be a Yakuza boss (If you haven't already guessed by the title...) 

I would like to point out that this is definitely a josei manga, although it has the teenage dramatic scenes. It is incredibly graphic and raunchy! It was a fun read and I pre ordered volume two!
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very very spicy book, probably not the best in healthy relationship stories but definitely would still be popular and read.  This is an adult book, there is sex, violence but it's also cute.  Yakuza boss meets young(of age) girl... and they fall in love.
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This is a fun erotic josei manga that skips pesky things like plot, backstory, and character development and jumps right into what women want - boning with a crime lord. It's a fun romp, but it really doesn't have any depth or plot aside from how hot this yakuza is. I personally enjoyed it, it gave me what I wanted, but I don't think the patrons at my library would enjoy this as much as they would the milder Kaikan Phrase because that at least attempts to have a narrative outside of sex. I think this is something that a larger library system on par with Seattle or NYC would benefit from, but smaller libraries might want to look at other series like Sweat & Soap.
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I usually read Shoujo manga rated "T". This is rated "M" for a reason... it's really steamy. I do read romance, but it took me a bit to get used to the explicit visuals. Enjoyable for someone who likes mafia romances with side of cute. I plan to continue reading this series.
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This book was steamy and gave me Mafia au fanfiction flashbacks that I didn't mind at all.
While I enjoyed this manga book, I found it hard to believe that they could fall in love that fast, and while I know the real plot is coming, this volume held nothing but daydreaming and steamy situations.

Looking forward to future volumes!
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Stunning artwork and a killer good character design for Oya, our protagonist's love interest, make this an easy story to slip into. I can't wait to read future editions! Recommended for readers who want a sweet story with some spice and a real dose of danger in their romance. Nudity levels (obscured genitalia, but lots of sex scenes feature our main girl topless) may make this a pass for many libraries, but individuals shouldn't worry.
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For lovers of the "girl falls for bad boy" trope. This is only volume 1 but the action ramps up quickly as Yuri's chance encounter with yakuza Oya leads to a relationship. It's not long before Oya's philosophy of living every day like it may be his last is adopted by Yuri, who pledges her lifelong devotion to her new man. Surprisingly for a title coming from the Shojo Beat imprint of VIZ, there are quite a few scenes with erotic illustrations, so keep that in mind if that's not your shoujo manga cup of tea.
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I was not a fan. The characters had crazy instalove and there was absolutely no build up. There wasn’t much character or plot development either and was all over the place with scenes suddenly changing in a confusing way. I was also pretty put off with the kissing? It was a whole lot of tip of the tongue touching. I was really excited about the premise, but the book fell flat.
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