Otaku USA Magazine
Manga Review: One is Enough

Manga Review: Black Rose Alice vol. 1For Matsumoto, it’s love at first sight. Actually, it’s love at first bloody sight because he accidentally cuts his senpai, Mizushima. And in the midst of stopping the bleeding and getting the wound wrapped up, Matsumoto notices that Mizushima is pretty good-looking. (There’s some “But we’re both guys!” protesting that’s not convincing because… well, it’s yaoi. We all know better.) Almost at once he’s in love, but when it seems that Mizushima has a girlfriend, things look as if they could fall apart.

However, because it’s yaoi, it doesn’t end up being that simple. The two young men do become a couple, though each has a different idea about how much of a couple they are. One is infatuated and the other, it seems, just wants to get laid. Matsumoto’s friend Sora also gets involved briefly with Matsumoto as a lover, and while it appears these two would probably make the better pair, Matsumoto has his eyes on his bloody crush. The theme of blood continues to pop up in the book: it doesn’t get gory or anything, but the fact that Mizushima was first seen bleeding does end up having something to do with the story.

Mizushima turns out to be one of those “too cool for this world” semes and Matsumoto is a lovesick, obsessed uke. He really, truly believes he’s in love, something Mizushima finds dubious, considering how little they know about each other.

The main characters and storyline read like fairly basic yaoi. They’re in love and they’re both sexy, and there’s going to be plenty of high school angst and drama. While details of the story and characters are common in yaoi, the artwork stands out as the strongest point. The mangaka, who goes by the pen name “love,” is a lovely artist. The characters are all lusciously drawn and the use of shading brings real atmosphere and beauty to the images. At times the art seems more detailed than in other places, but it works.

There are some steamy scenes, but nothing too explicit. While the manga is unrated, it looks to be about what would usually earn a 16+ rating. It’s also worth noting that One is Enough is doujinshi, and it’s nice to see what sort of manga independent mangaka are able to make. This is a manga read more for the art than the story, and would be best for yaoi fans who want a light read with a bit of angst thrown in.

Story & Art: love
Publisher: GEN Manga