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You Will Drown in Love


You Will Drown in Love


Jinnai, loyal employee of a kimono shop, is a bit disgruntled when his boss retires and hands over managerial reins to his son Reiichiro. Reiichiro is just out of college and has no relevant work experience. He is also painfully blunt; he immediately starts losing potential customers and alienating previously loyal ones. Although Jinnai is repulsed by the thought of having to train his new boss, he takes the task up anyway and is able, slowly but surely, to win Reiichiro’s trust.


Soon enough, he knows way more about Reiichiro than he ever dreamed possible—including the younger man’s problems with a previous romance. It soon becomes eminently clear to Jinnai that Reiichiro is just as naïve when it comes to matters of the heart as he once was when it came to matters of business. It makes him instantly appealing, and Jinnai is falling head over heels before he knows it. Will he be able to teach his boss about how love works and convince his boss to accept his own ardent declarations of love?


You Will Drown in Love is the sequel to You Will Fall in Love, also published by Blu. In her afterword, creator Hinako Takanaga worries that readers who read this manga without having read the prequel first will be confused. Fortunately, though, her concerns are for the greater part unfounded. Haru Mochizuki, the protagonist of You Will Fall in Love, appears here also, but he is a supporting character, and while you may appreciate some of the interpersonal dynamics going on between Haru, Reiichiro, and Reiichiro’s little brother more if you read both books, the story is entirely comprehensible—and entertaining—on the strength of its own merits.


This level of quality, appreciable especially in the context of the sea of mediocrity that is the boys love (BL) genre in Japan, is surely due in part to Takanaga’s status as a veteran of the field. She is widely published; her other works available in English include Little ButterflyChallengers, and Devil’s Secret, just to name three. Though she does not seem inclined to take tremendous creative risk, her storytelling and character development is always solid, and she knows how to put her own unique stamp upon otherwise tried-and-true genre codes. Jinnai’s employment at a kimono shop, for example, does not feel gimmicky, and discussions about how to and not to treat customers have considerable heft and believability to them. Likewise with Reiichiro’s archery skills.


And of course, all of the characters are lovingly drawn and almost inhumanely handsome. However, distant beauties her characters are definitely not, even when, in the context of the story, they start out emotionally remote in relation to each other. There is a distinctive warmth to her line work and screen tone choices that make the artwork feel easily accessible and unthreatening, despite the above-average quality. Well-constructed layouts also help to naturalize the reading experience. In short, You Will Drown in Love is easy on the eyes and the mind alike and recommended as a pleasant diversion that requires minimal commitment on the part of the reader.

Reviewed by Casey Brienza on April 7, 2009

You Will Drown in Love
by Hinako Takanaga

  • Publication Date: April 7, 2009
  • Genres: Graphic Novel
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Blu
  • ISBN-10: 1427814112
  • ISBN-13: 9781427814111