Yakuza Lover Volume Two introduces a new character to the series, as well as focuses on the interactions between Yuri and Toshiomi.
Yakuza Lover Volume Two
Written by: Nozomi Mino
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: September 7, 2021
Even though I hadn’t been terribly impressed with Yakuza Lover Volume One, I decided to give Volume Two a try because I wanted to give the series a chance to potentially improve. One of the big issues I had with the first volume was that it felt like Mino didn’t quite know which demographic the series was being aimed at, because at times it felt more like a shojo manga instead of a title being aimed at an older female audience. However, with Volume Two, Mino makes it clear very early on with the sex scenes that this is a title aimed at the older female demographic. It probably helped that we only see Yuri with Toshiomi in the yakuza world in this volume. In Volume One, it seemed like the series felt most like a shojo was when Yuri was in her regular world of school and being around her friends.
As I mentioned in the teaser at the top, Yakuza Lover Volume Two introduces a new character: Semilio, the leader of another yakuza gang. He has his subordinates kidnap Yuri and bring her to their headquarters. While I had issues with Toshiomi in the first volume, I actually gained a better appreciation for him after being introduced to Semilio. While it’s established here that the Oya Syndicate goes easy on women because they don’t want to hurt them, Semilio is portrayed as being cruel and not having any hesitations like that. We especially see this cruelness in his interactions with Yuri. He only views Yuri as a pawn, and he makes it clear through his words and actions that he doesn’t see Yuri as a person. I was glad to see Yuri’s feisty nature rear its head during this scene with him, because after seeing it early on in Volume One, Yuri basically quit showing that side of herself and acted like a simpering and lovesick schoolgirl. Even though Yuri knew what she was doing could cause her to be hurt by Semilio, she decided to go ahead with this action anyway.
Fortunately, Toshiomi shows up in the nick of time and is able to save Yuri from Semilio. However, he makes her leave so he can deal with Semilio without any distractions. Toshiomi’s men have to keep a frantic Yuri locked up in the villa, because she would rush back to where Toshiomi and Semilio are and potentially put herself in danger. While it was cruel of Toshiomi’s men to lock her up, they were trying to follow their boss’s order to keep her safe at the villa. Unfortunately, Yuri is tormented because she’s wondering what happened to Toshiomi. And when he doesn’t come back in the morning like he promised, she is at first understandably upset. However, when she accepts the idea that Toshiomi might be dead, she calms down and she asks to be let out. At this point, Yuri’s demeanor completely changes, and she’s obviously putting on a brave face. When Toshiomi returns unharmed, she’s actually angry at him for what he put her through. She starts chewing him out, but he whisks her away from his men because he can’t allow her to make him look bad in front of them. Yuri’s anger doesn’t last long, but it was, again, nice to see Yuri’s feisty side come out. I hope we see this out of her more often in future volumes of the series.
While I have to admit that I liked Yakuza Lover Volume Two better than Volume One, I still wouldn’t necessarily consider it to be a great manga series. I’m still willing to continue the series, though, and to try to see it through to the end. However, if you read the first volume of Yakuza Lover and enjoyed it, then you should have an appreciation for Volume Two.
The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media
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