Manga: Love Mode
Love Mode is a 11-volume Boys Love manga series created by Shimizu Yuki. It centers around the Aoe Family, primarily Aoe Reiji, who runs, among other things, a dating club for men. There is also an audio drama series of seven volumes, loosely covering the middle of the manga series. The storyline features many different couples.
This work contains examples of:
- Art Evolution: And how. Just compare Reiji and Naoya in the second volume to the oneshot sequel.
- Bank Robbery: In Volume 6, Naoya, Haruomi, and Kichi become unfortunate victims during a robbery of a jewelry store. Naoya and Kichi are kidnapped during the getaway.
- Battle Butler: Kashinma Haruomi, who is the housekeeper for the Aoi estate, but can kick much ass as well.
- Barbie Doll Anatomy: Although the lovemaking scenes are drawn, they mostly show a cones of light for a penis.
- Surprisingly common in sexually explicit Boys Love manga and anime, to the point that "glowing cones of light" has become a running joke in the Western BL fandom. In Love Mode, it's possible to pinpoint the exact moment when the censorship law was relaxed, as the sex scenes shift from Barbie Doll Anatomy to... definitely and distinctly not. It's actually kind of jarring.
- Bi the Way: Aoi Reiji
- Cast Full of Gay: Only one male character is admittedly heterosexual, and he is a subordinate at that.
- Cast Full of Pretty Boys: The entire cast, with a few supporting characters, is either tall, handsome and successful, or smaller, wide-eyed and cute.
- Deus Angst Machina: Naoya loses his entire family in a motor vehicle accident, loses his job, has his apartment burn down, and has to leave school due to a lack of funds. He just misses becoming The Woobie.
- Disappeared Grandpa: In volume 5 Naoya finds out he has a maternal grandfather who only takes an interest in him because of his own ailing health. Considering Naoya had been living in horrendous poverty before meeting Reiji, he's not in the least bit pleased about this news.
- Furo Scene: The Jungle Bath at the Aoi estate.
- Hot Pursuit: During a Hostage Situation where Naoya and Kichi are kidnapped by Chinese crooks, Haroumi's twin brother Tien Lee chases the bad guys, while his partner shoots the car with a slingshot!
- If It's You, It's Okay: Shakashita Izumi is a victim of forced sex due to the similarity in names with a host of the Blue Boy club. Ultimately he decides he really is in love with Takamiya, but only him.
- Littlest Cancer Patient: Tomoki has an inoperable brain tumor, has essentially a few months left to live, and all he wants is for somebody to love him. So he hires Seiichi of the Blue Boy, whom he had fallen in love with after meeting him by chance at a hospital, to be his lover for two weeks. Seiichi ends up falling in love with him for real and quits his job at the Blue Boy so Tomoki can spend his remaining days with somebody who loves him.
- May October Romance: A couple of the relationships feature significantly older Semes and younger Ukes.
- One Head Taller: The primary ones are Reiji/Naoya and Takamiya/Izumi, but there are plenty of side arcs with others.
- Smoking Is Cool: Reiji
- Truth in Television: While Naoya's life in between losing his whole family and meeting Reiji may come off as overly extreme, there have been cases in Japan (ex. the Sugamo case of 1988, and the Osaka case of 2010) where children are alone and fending for themselves (and in some cases have died) due to societal abandonment.
- Unstoppable Rage: When Arashi stumbled upon Izumi being raped by a stalker he beat the assailant so severely that he'd thought he killed the man. After asking Kiichi about it, it's revealed Arashi crushed the man's nose and left him covered in blood.
- Yakuza: Reiji Aoi is tall, dark, and, at least once, mistaken for yakuza. The fact that his business include a variety of shady businesses probably doesn't help matters much.