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I Shall Never Return Volume 1 (I Shall Never Return) [Paperback]

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Item description for I Shall Never Return Volume 1 (I Shall Never Return) by Kazuna Uchida...

Upbeat Ritsuro and downbeat Ken have been longtime friends. Although Ken leads a dark life of prostitution after dropping out of high school, Ritsuro still cares about him. When Ritsuro realizes that what Ken wants is something more than friendship he vacillates between Ken and his girlfriend Moeko, setting the stage for a bizarre love triangle. This is a true masterpiece of early Yaoi!

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Item Specifications...

Pages   183
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.5" Width: 4.75" Height: 7.5"
Weight:   0.64 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 29, 2007
Publisher   Deux
ISBN  1934496057  
ISBN13  9781934496053  

Availability  0 units.

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Reviews - What do customers think about I Shall Never Return Volume 1 (I Shall Never Return)?

Story Review For Fellow Yaoi Fans  Jun 20, 2008
The art style is pretty unique in compare to modern styles since it is an early 90s work. However, the plot is intense on some levels being a drama genre and the relationship between the main characters is sweet and realistic (as in it's doesn't feel baseless, incomplete, and superficial as in most other yaoi works out there that may as well be plotless shojo comics....). Anyways, I thought that it was worth buying since I usually enjoy reading dramatic and angsty stories. And I would definitely recommend this series for anyone that enjoys drama that never gets old.
A Classic Masterpiece  Feb 23, 2008
As most manga-lovers know, I Shall Never Return is a classic from the maga-ka Kazuna Uchida. This is a great series, even better than a lot of the titles that are being released today. While some of the artwork shows from its period, it is still very well done. I really enjoyed the fact that the main character's ex-girlfriend stayed in through the story. This very unusual for a yaoi, because usually there is no estrogen throughout most of the yaoi, let alone dialogue for the characters. However, in this series, Moeko takes a vital role in the development of the relationship between these two friends. An excellent read, I hope that Deux Press continues to release such good manga in the future.
AWESOME  Jan 11, 2008
When I am in the bookstore, if i see a rated m yaoi book, i buy no matter what. I have seen the dvd for this in store but never got until christmas as a gift from mom. I am so happy i bought the book. The dvd is horrible. But the manga is AWESOME!!!! if i had go the dvd first, i doubt i would have read the manga. so do read this great series
Good read.  Dec 20, 2007
I did like this manga. There was some clumsiness as the story progresses but the story was understandable even with this. There are some intimate scenes but no explicit body parts. I also liked the actual construction of the manga though at a few places some of the text was very close to the binding. The pages were very crisp and had a good feel.
An early genre title worth reading...  Dec 1, 2007
I happened to stumble upon the anime version of this manga in a Best Buy some months back and remember thinking it was okay, if not unfair that as an early BL genre title it would be unlikely that we would see the manga released in English. To my surprise and enjoyment Deux Press decided to license the five volume series and is releasing it already. The translation seems pretty standard thus far, so no complaints there.

The premise of the story is kind of cliche in that two best friends fall for each other with the added element of a love triangle with one of their girlfriends coming between them. The anime covered the details of Ken's seduction of Ritsuro's girlfriend, Moeko, in order to get back at Ritsuro for being with someone other than him, and the subsequent consummation of Ken and Risturo's relationship with one another. This only covers the content of the first chapter of the manga, the first volume of the manga contains two additional chapters of the story.

In these chapters new characters are introduced including Ritsuro and Moeko's new homeroom teacher (who seems to have the hots for Moeko) and a mysterious new character to come between Ritsuro and Ken, who seems to know Ken somehow. There is a lot of high drama, tension, romance, passion and detail contained within just this first volume.

The reason my review is four stars, however, is because of the art and layout. This series was drawn in the days before computers taking over the job of a lot of the coloring of manga, so the detail in clothing and profiles is often surprisingly well-done, however there is a lack of consistency in quality. Sometimes characters' faces are slightly distorted or proportions don't match up with previous panels. It looks like a sloppy first volume, perhaps rushed because of deadline restrictions, and hopefully we will see an improvement in future volumes.

The layout issues occur mostly early in the manga. It is difficult, particularly in the scenes that are apparently flashbacks, to tell the chronological order of events. It is traditional for flashbacks to be set on black backgrounds, but they aren't in this volume (perhaps because that convention was not established at the time of the manga's original publication?). There is also no clear indication of scene breaks. Most of the time in a manga, we get some sort of environmental image used as a segue from one location and/or time to another. These are things like the outside of a building or something showing a different time of day (being light or dark outside when previously it was not). Some of the scenes in this volume run right into each other, and a few of them do so on the same page. The only time I have seen a "non-stop" style used effectively was in Banana Fish (a 1980s shojo manga) which was an action series. It doesn't really work as well in the BL high school romance genre, or at least not in this book. The anime seems to have resolved this issue to a certain degree, and actually I think that first chapter was clearer in the anime than it was in the manga.

As for the love scenes, this is early BL (early 90s), so there isn't anything too graphic. We only get glimpses of love scenes, they are tastefully censored and contain no sweat, fluids or cliche lines of dialogue. I'm actually rather surprised that there are just so many of these scenes in the manga, though, as well as it seems the characters switch (take turns on top) almost equally. This last point is the most surprising since the BL genre has since been taken over by the cliche of one taller, older and more aggressive seme and one shorter, younger and passive uke. Perhaps this is due to the greater degree of freedom awarded to those who entered the genre earlier.

The character of Moeko in a more recent BL title would have been instantly villainized. Here she behaves like the romantic rival in a shojo comic, but she is never really a "bad guy" who is easily dismissed for the sake of the main couple's happiness. She continues to be present in the story and even though her issues continue to come between the two men, she is anything but a two-dimensional plot device. It is refreshing to see.

In all, I would recommend this title to anyone interested in BL or yaoi. It is a tastefully presented genre title with good character interaction and early developments suggest we have a lot more angst, romance and drama to come.

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