YAOI REVIEW: No One Loves Me ~ Yugi Yamada

No One Loves Me ~ Yugi Yamada
Juné Manga ~  306 Pages
Japanese Pub Date ~ ’07 / English Pub Date ~ 11/10
Book Size ~ 5 1/8 x 7 3/16
 
Quick Synopsis:
 
“Katsuhiro keeps to himself and doesn’t show much of an interest in others. In fact, he’s perfectly happy to spend each and every day buried in the stacks of his used bookstore! But when Masafumi – an old face from his college days – shows up with a translation job too good to ignore, will these two total opposites end up reconnecting and finding a common language… of the heart?
 
No One Loves Me takes a bookworm and a go-getter on a ride through the crazy ups and downs of a high-stakes publishing job… and a once-in-a-lifetime shot at love! Katsuhiro knows that he has to let down his guard if he ever hopes to show the energetic and domineering Masafumi how he truly feels. But can these two “friendly rivals” find a way to write a happy ending to their non-traditional romance?”
 
Plot/Readability:
 
The two main characters in this story are Katsuhiro Kusaka, a used bookstore owner, and Masafumi Iijima, a salesman from a publishing company. Although the book synopsis calls these two “friendly rivals”, I don’t really think that applies. Katsuhiro since childhood has always been quiet, a bit quirky and straight to the point and unfortunately those around him including his family misunderstand this as being aloof and cold. I think it’s this personality trait that ends up making him an unintentional ladies man and that’s really where the only rivalry between he and Masafumi exists (and it’s not a rivalry Katsuhiro even wanted to begin with). Katsuhiro knows how his personality is perceived and really struggles with how to fix this and even Masafumi has his own struggles with how to interact with Katsuhiro. It’s through these struggles that some of the best dialogue in this book shines through.
 
Katsuhiro:
 
“Do you have to say ‘yes’ when someone confesses to you? Do you have to hold them?”
 
“There are some things you can’t change even if you do know.”
 
Masafumi:
 
“Of course I thought about the fact that we’re both guys. The old me would have only focused on the fact that I’m attracted to Katsuhiro. But now, I think I may have been treating him like a woman this whole time. I may have been trying to feel secure by placing under my protective care a guy who’s probably more masculine that anyone I know.”
 
In addition to the great dialogue is a great story. It’s different and detailed, and I really enjoyed how much Yugi Yamada delved into the background. It’s not your typical ‘working at a publishing company’ type story. We see Katsuhiro’s love of books through the time spent with his grandfather and how he feels about his own books and bookstore. I really got into his translating of the Czech books and even felt like I would love to read one of them when he was through!
 
Character Development:
 
One thing I really enjoy about Yugi Yamada’s characters is how different they are from each other and the various quirks she gives them. Somehow they seem more real to me. Katsuhiro has a depth that doesn’t come from the same old sad stories we always hear, like parents dying when he was young and having to raise his siblings on his own. Katsuhiro has a family just like everyone else and his personality stems from having to grow up with them, flaws and all; no tragic past, just family that doesn’t always mesh. When his uncle was introduced into the story, what he does to Katsuhiro made my heart sink but you know what? That’s how families are sometimes and that was real to me.
 
Masafumi on the other hand is a bit of a hot head, but he’s got a soft spot for Katsuhiro. I really like that Yugi Yamada didn’t emphasize the ‘but we’re GUYS!’ element in this story. Masafumi falls for Katsuhiro and it really felt natural to me. I could believe in their love story and that was nice.
 
As a bonus, we also have an additional couple that is part of this story although a smaller part. Both couples interact with each other and the way they all come together is smooth and makes sense. I never felt that any particular part of the storyline was rushed, but at 306 pages there was certainly room enough to explore the storyline as well as the characters!
 
Sexual Content:
 
There’s a decent amount of sexual content and at times it is explicit although not incredibly detailed. The sex scenes were very sensual and natural. One benefit to this book is that it covers two different couples so we get sex scenes covering both. Here’s a glimpse of what you can expect:
 
Illustrations:
 
Although No One Loves Me is one of Yugi Yamada’s more recent works, having just reviewed three others I really don’t see much of a change in her illustrating style. I still like her ability to vary the characters’ looks enough that you don’t feel you’re getting the same characters over and over (although there are a few similarities from time to time). Yugi Yamada is good at illustrating humor however this title isn’t one of her better examples. Overall her illustrating is still rather simple, but I don’t find it overly detracts from the story. She still does an excellent job making sure the characters’ feelings come through in their facial expressions and that really makes a difference.
 
Final Thoughts:

No One Loves Me excels in two areas, excellent storytelling and overall length (306 pages!). This one is going down as one of my favorites of Yugi Yamada and I look forward to reading it again.
 
 
Plot/Readability: A
Character Development: A
Sexual Content: B+
Illustrations: B

Overall Grade: A-

Where to buy:
 
Book Depository does not have any copies. Rightstuf shows as a preorder item for some reason.

Other reviewed works by Yugi Yamada:
 
 

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