Loveless Is Now Available Digitally

Find all volumes of the groundbreadking series on your favorite ebook platform.

By Hope Donovan September 25, 2018

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A manga series launched in 2002 that was just as revolutionary to the western manga world as Naruto, Bleach or Fullmetal Alchemist, which also launched that year. That series was Loveless and it was remarkable because it was one of the first shonen ai (boys’ love) series to hit the mainstream. It did it unapologetically, with a kiss between the main characters in volume 1.

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Given Loveless’s importance and popularity, it’s incredible to think that Loveless was not author Yun Kouga's breakout hit. She was already an accomplished sci-fi, shojo and fantasy manga artist before Loveless. She may even be better known in Japan now for her character designs on Mobile Suit Gundam 00! And so, in Loveless, she brings decades of talent to bear on the art and story, and the quality and experience show in her masterful weaving of a mature story with confident, poetic art to match. 

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Given that Yun Kouga is an artist at the top of her game with many successes under her belt, she's taking time to complete Loveless in the manner she feels is best. That's why it's been an incredible three years since the last volume! VIZ releases the volumes just as soon as we can produce them after they've been released in Japan--we want to read the next installment too!

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At the end of Volume 13, Yun Kouga addresses the issue of what it takes for her to create manga, and I think it will give fans a little insight into why there might be so much time between volume releases. It's a cool addition with a lesson that I think we could all learn from as creators and people.

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Loveless has always been radical in other ways too. The series’ total willingness to offer a world of ambiguous sexualities, from the pseudo-BDSM sensibility that shapes the series through setting up pairs of a dominant Sacrifice and a submissive Fighter joined by a shared name etched on their bodies (for example., "Loveless"), and some lovely and suggestive artwork...

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…to fraught brotherly love…

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…obsessions and magical bonds…

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…and what was for a long time the one of the only healthy, positive lesbian relationships portrayed in manga -- Zero, a pair of two young women who achieve freedom and lasting partnership when their bond of love proves stronger than the artificial construct of the name they share...

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Loveless has always been about displaying a more nuanced approach to love in so many more ways than is possible to list here. Despite its title, Loveless is really a kaleidoscope of love, with every character experiencing love in a different and unique way.

Loveless is an ongoing series, and even though we're not at the end yet, Volume 13 delivers key backstory about the rich yet sinister world that the author's been so fabulous at building. We're lucky we have this series that's been going since 2002 and has evolved (I mean, just check out Ritsuka's hairstyle!) in real time in the ways that it needs to in order to stay current but also remains the same in the ways that matters--unapologetically offering a vision of love that is complicated and threatening, yet also exhilarating and healing. It's worth the wait. 

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Find Loveless by Yun Kouga on your preferred e-reader today!