Welcome back to another round of manga reviewing! I know this is getting to be a bad habit, this posting slowly becoming a fortnightly thing but I’m doing my best to take time off to write a good review with good material that I actually feel motivated to write about. This week, I was scrolling through my homepage on Instagram (@wocscenecatch) and came across a feature on this manga. The art was beautiful and eye-catching so immediately, I bookmarked it and decided to read it when I had finished reading whatever manga I was on in that point in time.
So yesterday being a Saturday and a day of relaxation, I took out my tablet and decided to read True Love. Once I had started reading it, I couldn’t put it down, so this is a manga that you definitely must read too.
At first glance, you’d think that True Love is a sweet, romance story between a boy and a girl but when you read its description as well as its first chapter, you’d maybe find yourself a little conflicted and confused on where this is going unless its the usual, cliched plot that we expect it to be. You see, the story is about siblings – an older brother and his younger sister who have been very close to each other since they were young. Ai, the sister, simply adores and loves her onii-chan with all her heart as he has always protected her and been there for her. Likewise, her onii-chan, Yuzuru loves his little sister just as much and doesn’t hesitate to fly to her defense at any time.
When they were kids, Ai and Yuzuru only had each other to count on, with their parents constantly quarreling and fighting over disagreements. This grew fear in them of the possibility that their family could break up and it culminated in that eventually, with their parents divorcing each other when Ai was six and Yuzuru, seven. Soon after that, Ai was taken by their mother to live with her parents (their maternal grandparents) and their father took Yuzuru to live with him. The siblings never saw each other again in the following nine years after that.
One day, as Ai heads to school, she sees a handsome young guy standing at the school gate. When their eyes meet, he smiles and pulls Ai towards him in an embrace. Ai realises that it is her beloved onii-chan and begins to sob tears of joy. The two begin to reconnect with each other and Ai gets to finding out more about her onii-chan; what is his phone number? What school does he go to? Is he popular with the girls? Does he have a girlfriend? The siblings’ first reunion in nine years goes really well and they end off their day with Yuzuru giving Ai his number and taking a picture together.
Following her promise to go to the same school as her onii-chan to follow him and be with him always, Ai studies hard for the entrance exam to Yuzuru’s school, which is one of the top schools in the country. With Yuzuru’s encouragement and determination, Ai makes it into Kaimei High School and coincidentally at that point in time, the siblings’ parents make the announcement that they are getting remarried to work things out. Ai is overjoyed at this news and the thought that her family would all be together again.
As the story goes on, Ai enters high school and is taken care of by Yuzuru, who eats with her at lunch, joined by his friend, Asahina Shuuji who takes an immediate liking to Ai and Nanayo, a friend of Ai’s. Nanayo is in love with Yuzuru and Shuuji begins to make many clear signs of liking Ai. In an attempt to suppress his feelings for Ai, Yuzuru decides to keep his distance from his little sister and remain as her brother, and so takes advantage of Nanayo’s feelings for him and agrees to date her. When Ai begins to discover her painful feelings towards her onii-chan, she realises that she loves him. It is especially hard for her to accept it because she knows that such a thing is unforgivable and she contemplates really hard about it. Eventually, she comes to the conclusion that she cannot forget her feelings and believes that so long as Yuzuru forgives her, she doesn’t need anyone else to do so.
What will happen to Ai and Yuzuru? Will Ai confess her feelings towards her onii-chan? Will their relationship be ruined? Is this a forbidden love like what we think it is, or is it…? Read this manga to find out.
This story is very similar to another manga I’ve read before, titled Kiken Junai D.N.A., which is also about a pair of siblings falling in love with each other. The catch is, they are not actually related because the brother was adopted into the family, so no incest there. I really enjoyed that story, but it was mostly because of the close brother-sister relationship the siblings had, before the truth was out about the brother being adopted. He was mighty protective of his sister and I love stories with close brother-sister relationships. Another great story with a close brother-sister relationship would be Vampire Knight, where Kaname constantly watched over Yuki and though they didn’t get married, they were considered a couple. Their relationship wasn’t considered incest either, because Kaname turned out to be the Kurans’ ancestor and not Yuki’s biological brother. So you see, I have this weird taste of liking these things. I can’t stand real incest manga stories though, I tried to read one once, I dropped it almost immediately.
There’s not much to say about Ai and Yuzuru after typing out that long paragraph above haha. I think you can get a pretty good idea what their personalities are like:
Yuzuru is sweet, protective, cool (these first three only to his beloved Ai), handsome and smart while Ai is cheerful, sweet, cute and adoring (only to her onii-chan). The other characters are okay so far, but I foresee trouble brewing in the near future chapters. I find it strange how Shuuji readily decides to support Ai in her feelings towards Yuzuru, because doesn’t this guy like her? Shouldn’t he be the rational one telling her that it’s nonsense and unthinkable to fall in love with her brother? I guess things are way less complicated in a manga than in real life hahaha good for them. Nanayo is a promising character that has the potential to turn around and turn on Ai and Yuzuru, should she allow her feelings to overrule her, though it would really be nice if she doesn’t let that happen *prays really hard*
Overall, this is a great manga, with a somewhat predictable story line. I have read some forums online and readers speculate that Ai and Yuzuru aren’t related because one of them is adopted. I really hope that is the case too because it would really be such a pity if these two can’t be together 😦
I’ve already grown too attached to the two of them within 20 chapters to see their hearts eventually shattered in future chapters. But then again, looking again at the title of this manga, would true love really be love between real siblings or not?
Story line: 8/10 (Predictable, but I still like it. For some reason, it makes you want to read on to find out if the siblings are really related or not)
Chapter length: 7/10 (Within a range of 20 to 34)