REVIEW: ‘Love of Kill,’ Volume 1

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Love of Kill Volume 1

Attractive assassins doing murder, fighting each other, and maybe going on a Christmas date along the way? Well, that’s the easiest way to describe Love of Kill. Created, written, and illustrated by the mangaka Fe and published by Yen PressLove of Kill Volume 1 is a strong debut volume for the series. Romance, intrigue, and a cliff-hanger that will make you pre-order volume 2 immediately. The volume is translated to English by Eleanor Ruth Summers and features lettering and touch-up art by Chiho Christie.

Love of Kill is centered on the silent and stoic Chateau Dankworth, who is a bounty hunter from a larger organization. Her target: Son Ryang-ha, a notorious killer known for killing 18 high-class officials in a single night. And his boogeyman reputation is just as truthful as ever since his murders remain swift, efficient, and bloody. However, after Son Ryang-ha overpowers Chateau in their first encounter, he reveals his own intentions: a date.

But, Son Ryang-ha’s attempts to catch her eye aren’t flowers or words of admiration. He offers gifts to her in the form of her current targets, tied up and battered or killed. Reluctantly, Chateau goes along with this act, turning in her targets and willfully entering his game of cat and mouse – even after she is given the orders to capture and kill him.

Love of Kill Volume 1 is a story that manages a romantic game between two assassins in a way that hits. But to be honest, as much as the romantic elements stick out, it’s the amount of action that Fe packs into the debut volume that also makes it a great read. Specifically, we get the chance to see shootouts, physical assaults, and a car crash in the final chapter of the volume that all hit the assassin action movie tropes and do so with beautiful and dynamic illustrations.

All that said, there is one small element of Love of Kill Volume 1 that doesn’t land, and that’s the fact that Chateau never has a moment where she questions if she should turn Son Ryang-ha to her company. While there is chemistry between the two, we don’t get a moment to see Chateau contemplate whether she should risk her life and career by not turning him in. This is especially frustrating given how strong Chateau is a character.

She’s beyond capable of holding her own and taking on her targets with ease, so there really is no reason for her to rely on Ryang-ha’s deliveries of her targets. In fact, she even holds her own against him. This small element leaves questions that I hope are answered in the next volume. In fact, Chateau doesn’t get much character development outside some amazing illustrations of her physical strength during action sequences.

Overall, Love of Kill Volume 1 has some small stumbles with its female lead, Fe more than makes up for it with action sequences and the potential for a dark and twisted story to follow this volume. If you’re looking for an assassin love story – this one is just for you.

Love of Kill Volume 1 is available now, wherever books are sold.

Love of Kill Volume 1
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TL;DR

Overall, Love of Kill Volume 1 has some small stumbles with its female lead, Fe more than makes up for it with action sequences and the potential for a dark and twisted story to follow this volume. If you’re looking for an assassin love story – this one is just for you.