Review: Haru wo Daiteita [Embracing Love]

This time is Haru wo Daiteita’s turn, thanks a lot to bouenkyou that helped a lot with the review and made the beautiful art for this Special Read.

Even though I wasn’t a Youka Nitta fan; I picked up this title out of boredom, after putting it off for a long time, and I was blown away. Haru wo daite Ita begins with two actors, Iwaki and Katou, that are trying to make it to the big screen. Iwaki is quiet and humble, a strong man who is deeply ashamed of his past as an adult film actor. Katou, on the other side, is an arrogant and proud young actor who thinks of Iwaki as a rival in the adult film industry.

It’s only natural that, when they try for the same part, their competitive personalities clash against each other, turning the audition into a decisive war. To their greatest surprise, the director has different plans for their future and they end up working together on a project really different from usual. How much are they willing to bet for the sake of their dreams? Will their careers finally explode to stardom like they both expect?

Focusing mainly on the characters’ inner growth, this piece is different from your usual “I love you, let’s have sex” story. It shows the lives of two men with strong personalities who work equally to feed and maintain their love, as they deal, sometimes together and others individually, with hardships, jealousy and trust issues through the years.

We can see the several obstacles that come with commitments, not only in their relationship, but also in their job as performers, shaping this story into a rich and complex masterpiece. There’s more that meets the eye here than just a tale about romance; in my opinion, this piece is an essay on long and successful relationships.

Now, when it comes down to reviewing the artistic side, this author’s work is original and appealing, but it’s not especially pretty. Being the first title I read from Youka Nitta, I have to admit that it was a little hard for me at first, but I ended up getting used to it quickly, finding it beautiful and very fitting with the story. So, don’t pay much attention to the covers; what’s inside is way better.

Besides Katou and Iwaki, this title features several couples in related and non-related one-shots. It also contains a special volume with the story Fuyu No Semi; a tragic but epic tale about two men in love having to face one another in the battlefield during war, while they hide and struggle with their feelings.

There are two anime adaptations for this series, one for the main story and the other for the extra one; the former doesn’t make justice to the manga, only contains up to the third volume and it’s not up to the mangaka’s art , so don’t hold high expectations for it. In the other hand Fuyu no Semi seems to be quite a good adaptation to the extra story, the animation is still the same, but the story has been well portrayed.

In the form of 14 volumes, Haru wo Daiteita is one of the most known and acclaimed works in the genre, proving that real men in real relationships are a better read than the over-dramatic or unrealistic cliche that the industry is often trying to sell us. If you haven’t read this, go do it, you won’t regret it at all.

Original art and story by Youka Nitta. Artwork by bouenkyou. Published by Libre Shuppan.

Buy the English volumes in Amazon (few available since Be Beautiful went out of business, hopefully a new license will come around)
Buy the Japanese volumes in Amazon
Buy Japanese volumes in beNippon

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One response to “Review: Haru wo Daiteita [Embracing Love]

  1. Pingback: 35 days of BL manga! – Day 05: A BL manga you would recommend to everyone. « 赤の女王

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