Twelve-year old Aoyagi Ritsuka is left with his insane mother as his only family when his brother, Seimei, is killed suddenly. After moving to a new school, he meets Agatsuma Soubi, who claims to have known his brother. Ritsuka eventually discovers that Soubi and Seimei used to be a fighting pair, whereby Soubi was the "Fighter" and Seimei was the "Sacrifice". Now that Seimei is gone, Ritsuka has inherited Soubi, who will become his "Fighter". After learning that Seimei was killed by an organisation known as the "Seven Moons", Ritsuka decides to investigate into his brother’s death, with the sometimes useless help of Soubi, along the way.

Loveless has been called a “boylove anime” and by Western standards it is, of course. What else can a series that circles around the love affair between a 12-yearold and a 20-yearold be called? If in doubt, the series itself will provide you with the necessary clues. Like for example when Soubi’s jealous ex-boyfriend accuses him of having a “Lolita complex” because of his obsession with Ritsuka.

At the same time it should not be called a “boylove anime”. This anime is made for TV by a big production company. The aim is to earn money. And how do you earn money? By attracting a lot of people. And a lot of people are apparently attracted to the love between Ritsuka and Soubi. In the West, we call that boylove. In Japan, they call it sweet.


This text is a short excerpt from an article about Loveless in the first issue of the Destroyer Journal. You can order it at I Love Mags if you want to read the full story. A review can be also found here.


40 thoughts on “Loveless”

    1. I disagree :p You might call it Shōnen-ai but not Yaoi. If it would be Yaoi the gay themes would be way more obvious and explicit. Besides that Yaoi usually refers to affairs between two grown ups, when a minor is involved it would be Shota.

      1. its shota when the male is around 10 or younger.. and yaoi actually refers to boy-love anime that contains sex scenes.. nothing to do with the age >>

  1. Hi Josh.
    I thought I should tell you and your followers that last night and this evening I clicked on the link to Pink Hell and received a virus warning from my security system. Last night my system found two trojan viruses, and right now it’s running a full-scan.

    I thought you might like to know and check out what’s going on.

      1. No viruses this time. Thank you, Josh, for the update.
        One Question: what happened to Soja? I though he was quite cute. He was quite cute. You two together were sweet.

  2. wow i think i saw this anime a couple of years ago, and it was really good but it ends on a cliff hanger, so i suggest everyone read it a , its really good but its not boys love (yaoi) more like shounen-ai

  3. I liked this anime until the end. I am left feeling unsatisfied :) Does anyone know of anymore anime like this?

  4. Another good shonen-ai is Sukisho/Sukisyo! The name changes depending which country you are in, but it’s so good!

  5. Great post, great to get views from around the world.
    Just one sad correction: in the West, the don’t call it ‘boylove’.

    They call the police.

  6. I really do like Loveless, but I don’t think there really was enough of the “romance.”
    Esp. in the anime. The manga is better–way better–in all aspects.
    But either way, it is a really cute, alibeit slow-ish, series.

  7. actually, this was a manga first and IS indeed “Shounen-ai” or “boy love” I adore Loveless. Its been my favorite anime for some time.. its one of the best animes out there and certainly unique.

  8. Luke, according to Wikipedia Shota refers to both pre-pubescent (12 and younger) AND pubescent (12 -17) boys so Loveless would be indeed Shota, not Yaoi which is like Josh said mostly used for post-pubecent characters. But I think we can agree on the fact that the best term here would be Shonen-ai.

  9. Hhmm…. did isee right ,
    they all seem to have tails.

    Like the butterflies , but i must say i like real life guys better. =-)

  10. well.

    having watched a lot of japanese animation art in my not so long ago teens, i appreciate the intimacy and focus on relevant aspects so deeply inherent in this art.

    the fox’es ears on the younger boy are kind of kitschy, though.

    as for the shota-discussion:
    i’ve seen shota and this isn’t it. this is classic shonen-ai. seriously, it doesn’t get more shonen-ai than this. only thing is that one of the protagonists is a pre-pubescent boy. this doesn’t make it yaoi (already 3/4 way there in hentai-land) or even shota (pre-pubescent and early teenage hardcore).
    “Loveless” isn’t about sex, but about love, a crush, butterflies, attraction, intimacy. That’s what shonen-ai is all about. The danish coming-of-age-flick “You are not alone” isn’t hardcore child pornography either, just because the boys (one of them ~12) share the occasional intimate moment.

  11. Loveless was one of my first favourites and it remains so.
    The boys and girls have tails and ears of cats until they lose their virginity.

  12. I’ve been reading the manga for a long time. I loved the anime, but the manga keeps going!

    I love the romance, but what keeps it going is the plot, which is getting more and more complex. This is considered a shonen-ai manga, though some fans want to see it pushed all the way to yaoi (it probably won’t be) which would involve actual sex.

    If you are looking for just adorable romance, look elsewhere. This plot gets very deep and very dark and the cuteness is interrupted by the other kind of graphic image.

    But if that turns you on… *wink*

  13. Yay! Loveless was my introduction to anime and it still remains the best one that I’ve watched.
    I adore Ritsuka and Soubi and has always reminded me of my own relationship ^.^

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