Viz Media has released a preview of the steamy Shoujo Beat romance manga Yakuza Lover by Nozomi Mino. "Shojo" means "young girls" in Japanese, and Shojo Beat is the premier Japanese manga anthology for young female readers. The creators and artists are female, creating manga for a female audience.
This is a new series that gets just as steamy as Fifty Shades of Grey and doesn't hold back with its manga illustrations in Yakuza Lover that releases on June 1st. As the official synopsis goes, "A feisty college student Yuri is saved by Toshiomi Oya, the underboss of a yakuza syndicate. Despite her obvious attraction to him, she convinces herself that she's not in the market for a bad boy type. But when they meet again, she finds herself irresistibly drawn to him—kicking off an erotic and dangerous love affair that threatens to consume her, body and soul."
The beauty of Shojo romance manga is its ability to take what the West might normally take Harlequin Romances or Mills & Boon romance stories and funnel them through the lens of manga. Shojo romances actually take the high concept pitches of romantic fiction much further than anyone in the West ever will. Vampire romances. Ninja romances. Science Fiction and Fantasy romances. Medieval romances. And, of course, Yakuza romances.
Yakuza Lover is pretty much a no-brainer for a shojo manga romance. The Yakuza have always had a certain mystique in Japanese culture. They've been endlessly mythologized in movies and pop culture for decades since the 1960s. The myth of honourable, chivalrous gangsters has endured in Japan even though the reality has been very far from what was sold in movies and fiction. There are even magazines in Japan dedicated to Yakuza.
As you can see in these preview pages, creator Nozomi Mino translates the Yakuza into a sultry, slime Bad Boy of manga fiction and the ordinary heroine who falls in love with him. The arc of the story will involve the heroine melting the heart of the stoical hot gangster and the trials they will go through before they can finally be together. It's a tried-and-true genre, and if this is your cup of tea, it's a rich one to sip from.
Yakuza Lover Vol. 1 will be out on June 1st.