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Manga / Love Mode

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Love Mode is an eleven-volume Boys' Love manga series created by Shimizu Yuki, which was serialized in Magazine Be x Boy from 1995 to 2003.

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:

  • Archnemesis Dad: Reiji and Kiichi’s dad, Shougo.
  • Art Evolution: And how. Just compare Reiji and Naoya in the second volume to the one-shot 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.
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  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Although the lovemaking scenes are drawn, they mostly show cones of light for a penis.
  • 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.
  • Caught Up in a Robbery: In Volume 6, Naoya, Haruomi, and Kichi become unfortunate victims during a robbery of a jewelry store. Naoya and Kichi are later taken hostage during the subsequent high-speed chase.
  • Deus Angst Machina: Naoya loses his entire family in a motor vehicle accident, loses his job, has his apartment burned 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.
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  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Aoe Shougo. After giving Reiji and Kiichi appalling childhoods and destroying people’s lives for power, he dies abruptly in a plane crash.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Reiji and Kiichi’s father Shougo didn’t love them. He kept them so long as they were useful to him, and the moment one of them (Kiichi) lost value to Shougo he was discarded and disowned. He was also a brutal businessman who had no problem destroying lives in the pursuit of money and power. The only person Shougo did love was his lover, Nishiki, who was also the only one who could somewhat keep Shougo in line. But only somewhat.
  • 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.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: At the end of volume one, Reiji gifts Izumi a box of chocolates laced with aphrodisiacs as a means of “helping” his relationship with Takamiya. Neither Izumi or Takamiya are happy with this “help”, and Takamiya even punches Reiji in the face later in retaliation. Fast forward to volume seven, and Reiji finds himself on the receiving end of such “help” from Kiichi when Naoya finds himself with those exact same chocolates!
  • 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. They move together, but Tomoki dies only a day or two after that.
  • May October Romance: A couple of the relationships feature significantly older Semes and younger Ukes.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Takamiya, when he realizes that the Izumi he’s been with is not a host from Blue Boy.
    • Wataru has this when he cuts Naoya with a box cutter.
  • One Head Taller: The primary ones are Reiji/Naoya and Takamiya/Izumi, but there are plenty of side arcs with others.
  • 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 includes a variety of shady businesses probably doesn't help matters much.