The only downside to Yun Kouga's work is the sheer impossibility of stopping after you've read the first book. Its a dark, sometimes violent and yet charmingly romantic manga series.
I loved Ritsuka, the main character, and identified with him because all the world wants to believe he's a child, but like many real teenagers, he knows all too well that he's dealing with VERY adult issues.
The world he lives in is familiar, like ours, but with a twist. The characters are all born with cat ears and cat tails. These cute kitten parts symbolize innocence, and upon losing their virginity, characters will also lose their ears.
This creates a situation both surreal and too real! I think we all know how it feels when we get that sense other THINK they know so much about us. Simply because we are too young or because our skin is a certain color. In the world of LOVELESS, not only is one's supposed innocence is literally out there for all the world to see and judge, but the characters are even given names whether or not they agree with them. We too are given names. Poor Ritsuka is "Loveless." Are you "Unlovable"? "Lonely"? "Undervalued"? Even "Ugly"? See, we don't choose our names. Others force them on us. Ritsuka knows how this feels.
In this series you'll find elements such as Psychology, mystery, violence and a forbidden love which I at first didn't even realize was forbidden! Ritsuka's feelings for Soubi unearth what may be the only side of him that is truly naive. He too seems not to realize that Soubi is older and much more experienced. In a sense, letting Soubi into his heart is both Ritsuka's greatest strength and at the same time his weakness.
Anyway, I digress, but I think anyone can now see that this isn't your average boy's love, filled with dimwitted yet loveable cat girls.
This is deep, complex and hauntingly beautiful. Heartbreaking at times and yet giggle inducing at others. Kouga weaves in this tale, something wholly enchanting yet mystifying. When you stop to consider what you've just read it will blow your mind!