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Loveless  
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Description
12-year-old Aoyagi Ritsuka is a troubled child. He has no memories of his life until the age of ten. His excitable mother physically and verbally abuses him, demanding that he return the "real" Ritsuka to her. For the past two years, his older brother Seimei had been his devoted friend and protector: the only one who accepted Ritsuka's "new" self and who could stop their mother from abusing Ritsuka.

In a talk the brothers had one day, Ritsuka learns Seimei's real name is Beloved, and although Seimei refuses to explain why he would say that, Ritsuka thinks the name fits. Soon after that conversation, Seimei was found dead under mysterious circumstances.

A while later a college student named Soubi appears before Ritsuka, claiming to have been Seimei's friend. He tells Ritsuka that Ritsuka's real name is Loveless, and that like his older brother he is a sacrifice. Ritsuka has inherited Seimei's fighter, Soubi himself. Ritsuka finds himself drawn into a bizarre secret world where teams of two—fighter and sacrifice—engage in combat with another team using the fighter's verbal spells that manifest in local space and, for every round lost, create increasingly painful bindings on that team's sacrifice.

As his involvement in this new life deepens, Ritsuka unearths many shocking facts about himself, Seimei and Soubi, plus the mysterious organization related to the combat, Septimal Moon. He resolves to discover the truths behind his brother's murder and his own unexplained amnesia.

Type
Manga

Related Series

Associated Names
Нелюбимый
ラブレス
无爱之战LOVELESS

Groups Scanlating
Kamibana Scanlations
Obsession
Shoku-dan
sof-93
More...

Latest Release(s)
c.118-119 by Kamibana Scanlations (235d ago)
c.117 by Kamibana Scanlations (1113d ago)
v.11 c.Special Booklet by Kamibana Scanlations (1158d ago)
Search for all releases of this series

Status in Country of Origin
12 Volumes (Ongoing)

Completely Scanlated?
No

Anime Start/End Chapter
Starts at Vol 1, Chap 1
Ends at Vol 4, Chap 9

User Reviews
Loveless by Myrah

Forum
7 topics, 40 posts
Click here to view the forum

User Rating
Average: 8.2 / 10.0 (677 votes)
Bayesian Average: 8.13 / 10.0
10
 38% (260 votes)
9+
 19% (130 votes)
8+
 15% (100 votes)
7+
 10% (68 votes)
6+
 7% (50 votes)
5+
 3% (18 votes)
4+
 2% (15 votes)
3+
 1% (5 votes)
2+
 1% (10 votes)
1+
 3% (21 votes)

Last Updated
June 23rd 2016, 7:36am PST


Genre

Categories

Category Recommendations

Recommendations

Author(s)

Artist(s)

Year
2002

Original Publisher

Serialized In (magazine)
Comic Zero-Sum (Ichijinsha)

Licensed (in English)
Yes

English Publisher
Viz (12 Volumes - Hiatus)

Activity Stats (vs. other series)
Weekly Pos #661 increased(+163)
Monthly Pos #1213 increased(+26)
3 Month Pos #1457 increased(+156)
6 Month Pos #1647 decreased(-351)

List Stats
On 2120 reading lists
On 691 wish lists
On 228 unfinished lists
On 368 custom lists

Note: You must be logged in to update information on this page.

Forum Posts
No release date for Volume 13 yet in Japan 516 days, 2 hours, 11 minutes ago
Loveless 878 days, 20 hours, 20 minutes ago
reference in v04ch17 intro-picture 1191 days, 1 hours, 42 minutes ago
Loveless chapter 1834 days, 8 hours, 47 minutes ago
Names Discussion, Moonless theories? 1917 days, 11 hours, 48 minutes ago

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User Comments [ Order by usefulness ]
 

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Be prepared...this comment is long!   
Rating: N/A
by calstine
May 19th, 2010, 12:02pm
I agree with nephilim, and Kirity- their reviews were quite detailed and insightful.
Since they already stated much of what I wanted to say, I'll just be listing the pros and cons of 'Loveless' as I noticed them.

Pros

1. The characters might all come across as stereotypical and cliched- and up to a certain extent, they are. However, as the story progresses, each person soon begins to hold his own as a 3-dimensional depiction of human nature.

- Ritsuka - A typical example of an abused child; protecting his mother no matter what she does to him, because he loves her and believes it's his fault that she has gone insane. What's so unrealistc about that? Any book on child psychology will tell you that passionately defending the abuser is one of the primary features of a child who has been treated badly ever since he could remember. And keep in mind that Ritsuka has no memory of the days when his mother 'loved' him- he only remembers what happened since two years ago, when the abuse first started.

- Soubi - Frankly, I am no fan of pedophiles. I really do despise them. However, this guy is just not your average shotacon; for one, he isn't all that forceful, and for another, there is plenty of depth to his character. He has so many psychological issues- an unceasing desire to be 'controlled', a disturbing belief that you have to undergo pain in order to prove something to yourself, and a desperate longing to be loved and wanted, but at the same time, feeling the need to pretend that he doesn't desire attention.
His virginity lost at a very young age (maybe around fourteen?), abused continuously and trained to become a complete slave to his 'sacrifice', emotionally unstable and unable to deal with any kind of mentally challenging situation on his own due to the lack of a proper upbringing... I can't say I like him, but I can certainly sympathize with his situation.

- There is a very large cast of characters in the manga- most of whom have a very dark and disturbing side to them, despite their initial appearance of carefreeness and cheerfulness. Some others are truly well-meaning and likable, and naturally have good intentions. (The best example for this being Ritsuka's class-teacher and Yuiko- and sometimes even Soubi's friend Kaidou.) They serve to lighten the mood of the story and prevent it from becoming too depressing.

2. The cat ears and tail - I previously thought that this was unnecessary and distracting, and was frankly annoyed with the mangaka. But within a couple of volumes, I came to understand that it was actually a subtle message; something that allowed the readers to gain a good assessment of the characters' personalities and situations. I also approve of how the author expresses that 'losing your ears' has nothing to do with being a mature, responsible adult. In fact, those without ears often find themselves in situations where they have to rely on the eared 'kids' to set them on the right track when they are driven into an emotional dead-end.

3. The art - Not very elaborate, but clear and simple. The people aren't gorgeous, but they don't look too bad.

Cons

1. The plot is incredibly slow to unravel. By the end of the 9th volume, the point of the story is just beginning to reveal itself to the reader, bringing with it more mysteries and raising a lot of questions along the way. If the mangaka wants to conclude everything neatly without leaving any loose ends, she will have to keep the serialization going for another while yet. Those who are impatient or looking for something short will not be able to enjoy this manga.
Also, the tendency of the story to jump from one place to another, sometimes even shifting time-frames and perspectives, might confuse you if you do not pay full attention to what you're reading.

2. Rituska's age - I think this is the major deterrent for would-be readers. (I know it was for me.) However, within this apparent flaw, I actually see a point in the story's favour. Ritsuka's occasional displays of naivety, his confusion regarding his feelings towards Soubi as well as Yuiko, his attitude towards his mother and brother - all these would have become pointless if he was in his late teens. Even his maturity and ability to think for himself would not have seemed very impressive if he had been, say, sixteen or so.
In fact, the question of Ritsuka's orientation (which is what is keeping romance fans and BL fans alike from abandoning the manga), is completely built up on the fact that he is only twelve. I feel that Kouga Yun plays this completely to her advantage.

3. The long dialogues and wordy fighting style - A plus-point for me, but I know most people would prefer them to fight in a less confusing and more traditional method such as with swords and guns. Sadly, the poetic quality of the original Japanese incantations used for the fighters' spells is, more often than not, lost in translation; making the dialogues during fighting sequences very unattractive, awkward and confusing.

4. Seimei - I don't want to spoil, so I'll only say that his attitude towards Ritsuka will be quite disturbing to some readers. However, I consider him a fairly intriguing and intelligent character in his own right; despite falling into the 'charming but cruel and sadistic villain' mold.

Overall

This manga is by no means suitable for kids or for people who disapprove of taboo relationships and have no tolerance towards mental disorders or hints of strange fetishes.
If you belong to one of these categories, do NOT read Loveless.


Anyone else should be able to enjoy it - but be warned; darkness and depression abound throughout this story. Though the heaviness is broken by occasional light and touching moments, this is by no means a funny or sweet manga.

... Last updated on May 20th, 2010, 7:19am
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psychological shounen ai rules   
Rating: 9.5 / 10.0
by nephilim
December 20th, 2009, 11:38am
I've read this manga after watching anime, which left me really confused... I mean I have never read/seen something like this before, Loveless is "the one and the only" of its kind.
The art is really beautiful, it gives me an impression of tenderness and softness and creates a strange and captivating atmosphere of mystery, magic, tenderness and something prohibited, yet incredibly sweet. And I cannot help mentioning the colour palette in anime which is perfect at creating the same haunting atmosphere the manga does.

The plot has a lot of fetish allusions - chains, master-slave relationship etc, but in my opinion the balancing between "the permitted" and " the forbidden" is the very thing which makes the story so fascinating.

I also enjoyed the psychological aspect. Abusing parents beating their children, lost to thier convictions, hating and escaping the reality, loving one child more than another - horrible, and it happens all the time, unfortunately.

Closing oneself in private inner world, being kinda autistic, not having friends to share joy and sorrow with, the feeling of loosing, or better to say, having lost, oneself is what I have experienced, so I somewhat understand Ritsuka's trial. And as to Soubi.. how does it feel to be deprived of the will to choose? How does it feel to be doomed to obey someone without a chance to say no? How does it feel to be forced to love someone you don't even know?
We are always controlled by someone or something. we may not even notice it, and this exaggerated example makes us realize it.

This dark story has a lot more to muse about than it may seem at the beginning.

... Last updated on January 4th, 2010, 5:59am
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Loveless Complex   
Rating: N/A
by Kirity
September 19th, 2009, 1:29am
Towards the one who had subjected their review as "For Kids", I would hope you do not gear this manga toward kids Ritsuka's age and younger. The manga is dark and realistic, and much of the character development is based upon sexual tensions, obvious in the mangaka's use of animal ears depicting virginity. You must understand that Ritsuka is twelve body wise, and yet only two years due to the strong change in character and lack of memories of his first 10 years of life. Naivety is a given in that current state, and the mangaka makes great use of it.

The maincharacters are amazing. Ritsuka is a pacifist who has so much to tackle; abuse, lost of memory, a paranoia of being forgotten, and the truth of who his brother was, and what happened to him. Soubi has been trained to be a complete masochist, requiring to be commanded and forming a taboo love for Ritsuka. His character gives the feeling that maturity doesn't come from your loss of viriginity, which was constantly noted that he had no ears in the beginning of the book, but a feeling of lostness and wanting. Ritsuka's brother is a mystery to him, and the main plot revolves on Ritsuka figuring out who his brother is, and what happened to him.

What drives this story is the characters' increasing depth, and the mangaka's constant use of the theme that power comes from words, well inscribed into the battle system of the Loveless universe. The artwork is beautiful, and the story may get confusing at times due to the author tackling many unique profiles, character relationships, and the impact words can bring. But it is all done masterfully and smoothly, and when fully taken in, becomes worthy of reading and rereading.

I wouldn't recommend it to people sensitive to shounen ai/yaoi, or anything resembling pedophilia and incestuous behavior . Most of the plot devices come from the taboos that Ritsuka's relationships bring due to his age and naivety despite his overall composure. Being very character driven, as well as the battle system being mainly on the go mind games and spells, dialogue is extremely wordy, and so I do not recommend it to people who look mainly for action, whether in romance or fighting wise. However, it is a great manga due to its mix of complexity, endearing character designs and beautiful artwork, and in the end, worth giving a try.

... Last updated on September 19th, 2009, 1:36am
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Best manga I've read so far...   
Rating: N/A
by CrimsonShiori
July 10th, 2009, 8:58am
I've read a lot of manga and I mean a LOT, and I've never been so hooked to a single one like I am with Loveless.
It's a little upsetting to see people criticizing Ritsuka's character when there is so much to praise. His actions towards his mother's are very realistic and striking. Yes it may make you angry, but by him accepting his punishment only adds new conflicts and feelings to the story.
Like someone commented below he is only 12 meaning that him being naive is normal. The way he defends his mother is typical abused child behavior. Though he is naive and in denial that what his mother is doing is not his fault and wrong of her he is very mature for his age, and I like how it's mentioned in the manga.
Though it can be confusing in the end you will or should understand it...It just takes an open mind to take in the story's creative and unique type of style not commonly seen in other manga's.
I also love the character's wide range of personalities. It only makes the story more enjoyable.
Much better than the anime without a doubt. The anime is very good as well, but harder to comprehend. The manga gives more details and answers to questions that the anime leaves hanging.
Lastly the art is absolutely gorgeous. I actually tend to copy it when I draw my own characters! ^-^

... Last updated on July 10th, 2009, 9:03am
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One of my FAVORITES of all Times...   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by Myrah
July 1st, 2009, 3:38pm
...And I'm pretty hard to please. I find this manga delightfully complex and riveting. Gorgeous art, amazing characters, probably Yun Kouga's masterpiece if she actually finishes it.
I've heard a lot of people complaining about Ritsuka as a protagonist because he is naive or because he defends his mother's abuse. Okay. 1. HE'S TWELVE. Pretty mature for twelve, but still a kid that's getting used to how the world works. Of course he's going to be a little naive- it wouldn't be realistic if he wasn't. 2. As a child who's been abused, I found Ritsuka's reaction to his mother both realistic and relatable. Abused kids often defend their attackers because they don't really understand what is being done to them, or because they find it justified. And Ritsuka really loves his mom, of course he's going to defend her.
ANYWAYS, this manga is pretty dark, not for the kiddies. Regardless, one of my top threes.
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For kids   
Rating: 1.0 / 10.0
by Misochan
May 19th, 2009, 4:17am
I heard so many raving reviews about this manga so I decided to give it a try. Took me ~2 hours to read up to volume 9 and I can finally conclude that: I absolutely hate it. Ritsuko, the main character is unbelievably naive and stupid. He allows himself to be abuse and refuses to face reality. He defense his mother all the time refusing to admit that she has mental disorder. By doing that, he not only continues getting abuse but his mother continues to get worst. I supposed it is a defense mechanism to blindly believe that his mom and brother loves him even though his mother abuses him and his brother is evil. The only character in the entire manga that I actually like is Soubi. Other characters were either whatever or really annoying. The most annoying on has to be Ritsuko's classmate. Typical, big boobs, no brain, and always smiling. I don't understand how this manga can fall under Josei when it's so naive like one of those stupid smutty Shoujo. I'll problably read the very last chapter once it is publish just to see the ending and what happens to Ritsuko's brother but thats it. Other than that, this is going into my hate list.

... Last updated on May 19th, 2009, 4:18am
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Cute, girly, dark, with a dash of pedophilia   
Rating: 9.2 / 10.0
by Tyranasaurus
March 28th, 2009, 6:55pm
It's a little confusing at parts. I love the characters and the plot is different in a weird way. I love the unique fighting style, too. But like I said, it can be a little confusing. It changes a lot from being super sweet to super depressing and dark. I own all the volumes that are out so far in America and I love it. Truthfully, when you read this manga, you won't be reading it for the plot, but probably more for the characters. Overall, a very girly read. If that makes sense.
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intriguing   
Rating: 7.5 / 10.0
by waftingwish
February 4th, 2009, 6:06pm
At first this didn't appeal to me. Also this is my first time reading shounen-ai. The only reason I kept reading this past the first volume was because I just wanted to figure out what was going on. It was a bit confusing for me to read at first, but now that I finally have a grasp on the story it's actually quite interesting (I'm up to vol.9 now).
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Love Loveless!!   
Rating: N/A
by Lifelessgal
December 1st, 2008, 6:39pm
Loveless is an amazing anime and series. I watched the anime before the manga and understood it just fine. I'm trying to convince my sister to watch the anime. I was hesitate to try this a first, with the gay guys and all, but when I did it was away from it a bit and I love/loved it.
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Good Story   
Rating: 8.5 / 10.0
by DiamondGoddess
November 17th, 2008, 9:24pm
The art is lovely and the all the characters are drawn beautifully. Also the female in the story doesn't happen to piss me off, which is really good for me. As for the story it gets a little confusing at times. But overall its a great read, so I recommend it.

... Last updated on January 12th, 2009, 9:05pm
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