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Gravitation Volume 1: 12/09/09
From other reviews I've read on GoodReads, Gravitation was the series that either introduced or popularized shonen-ai manga here in the States. I first heard of the series from one of my favorite book blogs. I mentioned the series to my husband and he got me a copy of the reissued collection. The first book has volumes one and two.
The series centers on Shuichi and his band "Bad Luck." They are in a music high school and trying to graduate. Meanwhile, Shuichi's attention is drawn away by Yuki, a gorgeous and incredibly successful romance novel author. From the handful of romance authors I know, he's nothing like any of them with the exception perhaps of the late Sidney Sheldon. But this is manga and the set up to a new series seems to need about as much logic as a typical American sit-com.
To complicate things further, Yuki comes with baggage. He has ex-girlfriends. He's from a family of Monks. He's older than Shuichi and he's got a bad attitude. Now near the end of the first volume Yuki's age is revealed and frankly it's just not possible for him to be an established romance author. It would make more sense on that front for him to be at least ten years older but then there would be extra squicky details of a man dating a teen half his age.
The characters are fairly quick to fall into cliched roles that seem to crop up in fiction featuring gay or bi characters. Shuichi is overly emotional and fawns over Yuki like a star-crossed girl. Yuki is selfish, brooding and boorish sometimes. Sure, he's pretty to look at but he's basically a pig.
Despite all of the rampant cliches and over the top emotions, I enjoyed the first volume. I like all the asides about Techno and the music scenes. In that way, Gravitation reminds me of Nana but with a romance between the two main characters.