Gravitation, vol. 6

This latest installment continues to deliver the outrageous humor and angst we’ve come to expect from Gravitation. The boys from Bad Luck are sent to compete on an “Iron Chef”-style cooking show, despite Shuichi’s total lack of cooking skills. To spur him on to victory, Hiro bribes Yuki’s brother Tatusha to dress up as Shuichi’s lover and cheer him on (the real Eiri Yuki being out of town). Unfortunately, Tatusha gets carried away in the role and kisses Shuichi on national television. What Hiro rightly termed the “worst-kept secret ever” is out. Soon the news of Yuki’s gay romance is all over the tabloids, and Shuichi is trapped inside his house while news crews camp on the lawn. Meanwhile, Yuki and Tohma (whose interest in Yuki that goes far beyond what you might expect from a childhood friend and brother-in-law) visit their old haunts. The visit raises interesting questions about Yuki’s past which are left unresolved to tantalize us until the next volume. Unaware of the situation at home, Yuki returns only to run straight into a horde of reporters. Instead of denying his relationship with Shuichi, Yuki shocks everyone by boldly admitting the truth. Will the lovers’ careers survive the scandal, or is there such a thing as bad publicity after all?

Gravitation continues to pile on the elements that make the series so appealing: pop culture references, plot twists, scheming, wise-cracking, and plenty of pretty men with their shirts unbuttoned. It’s still full of sexual innuendo and a healthy dose of swearing. Just as some American comics seem designed to titillate boys (busty women in spandex, anyone?), Gravitation serves the same purpose for girls. At least the manga industry recognizes that girls enjoy ogling as much as boys do.

Gravitation Volume 6
ISBN: 978-1591823384
By Maki Murakami
Tokyopop, 2004