REVIEW: ‘The Two Lions’

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Two Lions - But Why Tho

The Two Lions is written, illustrated, and written by Nagisa Furuya, published and localized in English by Seven Seas Entertainment. Additionally, this BL manga one-shot is translated Jocelyn Allen, adapted by Ysabet Reinhardt MacFarlane, lettered by Chris Burgener, and features a cover design by Hasane Qi.

The Two Lions is a romance that finds itself somewhere in the land of childhood friends to lovers or rivals but dances somewhere in the middle. The story’s leads are Junpei and Leo, two first-year college students who couldn’t be more different from each other. Junpei is big-hearted, warm, and lights a room when he walks in, making friends with everyone he meets. On the other hand, Leo is timid, quiet, and has a face that makes nearly everything he does look intimidating. After a chance meeting, Junpei realizes that he knows Leo, or rather knows of him.

You see, Leo was known as the “Demon Lion” feared back then as a secret gang leader at their high school through nothing but rumors alone. Immediately taken by Leo’s loneliness, Junpei sets out to be his friend, to learn more about him, and ultimately to be the one by his side. Over the course of the one-shot, we see the two lions (their names both mean lion, a clever and adorable pun we get to see reflected in their interactions and the title) grow closer to each other. But when Junpei realizes that his emotions are deeper than friendship, he begins pulling away.

The main conflict in The Two Lions isn’t a misunderstanding or a love triangle, but rather someone coming to terms with their romantic feelings for someone who’s become their best friend. Junpei doesn’t shy away from closeness or his feelings, but when the fear of losing Leo rises, he chooses to turn away instead of open up. Junpei’s worry is two-fold. First, he’s worried about crossing the boundary from friend to lover.  Second, he’s worried about the possibility of being rejected by Leo not only because of a confession but because he likes the same gender.

The “conflict” in the story is internal, taking place in Junpei’s internal narrative as he tries to understand his feelings. And he tries to do it all by himself without leaning on Leo for any support. That said, it’s how Leo meets the wall that Junpei tries to put up. Instead of letting it happen, he does what he can to chase him, and in doing so, just ask to listen to him.

The Two Lions is stunningly wholesome and incredibly intimate. Not in the sense that Leo and Junpei get steamy – intimacy in this manga is about the growing connection between two people, letting someone into your life, and trusting them to stand by you. It’s a wonderful love story and one that puts a smile on your face.

The Two Lions is available now wherever books are sold.


The Two Lions
5

TL;DR

The Two Lions is stunningly wholesome and incredibly intimate. Not in the sense that Leo and Junpei get steamy – intimacy in this manga is about the growing connection between two people, letting someone into your life, and trusting them to stand by you. It’s a wonderful love story and one that puts a smile on your face.