Love Stage!! Volume 6
The cliffhanger set up in the previous volume, with Ryoma and Izumi trapped in the wilderness, isn’t played out as significantly as I hoped in Love Stage!! volume 6. However, the second half recalls a key part of Izumi’s personality that I’d almost forgotten about, one that puts the boys into a charming situation.
First, though, the boys are missing, and everyone’s worried. The couple gets a sex scene, but emotionally, we spend more time with the older Shogo (Izumi’s brother) and Rei (the family’s manager) as they reassure each other. Thankfully, the rescue and the resulting deep feelings are played for comedy, which is in keeping with the welcome silliness of the series by Eiki Eiki and Taishi Zaou.
The part I was referencing above, the element I liked about Izumi that we hadn’t heard about in a while, was his ridiculous desire to be a manga creator. He loves the idea so much, but he’s so immensely unqualified for it in every possible way. I know it’s easy for manga creators to make manga about making manga, but here, it fits into the entertainment world setting as yet another option.
Izumi’s artistic failure (as we’ve seen before) is brought home drastically when he gets an apprenticeship, but it also provides a charming opportunity for Ryoma to demonstrate the depth of his feelings for him, by working to share his boyfriend’s interests. It’s a hilarious combination of fame in different fields, making for this, my favorite panel:
Everyone thinks Ryoma is so cool, based on these events, including the reader. It’s a great capsule summary of why this boys’ love series is so much fun — the characters have entertaining personalities and abilities beyond their attraction for each other. Izumi even finds a way to wind up contributing in a situation that calls back to the first volume.
The three short backup stories show more activities between Shogo and Rei, all leading to them making out. (The publisher provided an advance digital review copy.)