Kanzaki Takashi “Slave x Slave”

Today, I just recently read the one-volume manga by Kanzaki Takashi titled “Salve x Slave.” It’s been my goal for what feels like forever at this point to finish reading all of AF’s current releases, but I’ve been slow getting to it. Anyway, even though her art style doesn’t really jive well with my personal preferences (she specializes in hard lines and boys with strong, manly bodies where I personally prefer soft, flowing lines and slightly effeminate boys) I tend to like Kanzaki’s works. They’re interesting in their own way.

The plot for this one wasn’t too out of the ordinary, especially not for Kanzaki. Cocky starlet Yumio transfers schools and meets Sanada, a senpai who doesn’t take his shit and puts him in his place from the very start. Of course, this peaks Yumio’s interest and before he knows it he’s constantly thinking of Sanada. Throw in Sanada’s brother complex, Yumio’s masochistic manager (whom he’s currently sleeping with), and a lot of male pride and you’ve got the plot pretty much down.

Visually, I’m still unsure if I particularly liked this manga. Like I said, Kanzaki’s art style generally isn’t the kind I go for. But she’s very good at what she does. The facial expressions were nice (and were constantly somewhat cocky, which worked well with the manga’s theme), especially during sex scenes. And good lord were there plenty of sex scenes. Especially in chapter three.

However, speaking of sex, one thing that really took this manga down a bit for me was the whole ‘sex without love’ and ‘sex as a replacement’ aspect. Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t enjoy reading sex scenes that are just for carnal pleasure. Like “you’re here, I’m here, let’s fuck!” I like there to be at least a little something of a connection before anyone’s pants are unfastened. Yumio was sleeping with his manager because it made him feel powerful, Sanada was sleeping with anyone and everyone so he could imagine they were his brother, and then they slept with each other just to keep their pride intact. Luckily near the end they had an actual connection, which made things much more interesting for me personally.

Overall, I’d give it probably a 7. I enjoyed reading it even with the small details here and there that bothered me. It was an interesting manga that held my attention all the way until the awkwardly funny extra chapter (in which Yumio’s manager finds a new person to punish him), the art wasn’t bad, and though the two main characters weren’t very likeable they were understandable and vaguely realistic and at least seemed to grow a bit as people by the time the manga was finished.

(scan credit for the cover image goes to the lovely ladies at AF!)

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