Zesty! Vol. 1 is a manga about a rich heir, Zesty, his inscrutable father, and the heir of a rival family who steals his heart. Along the path of their star-crossed romance, the two play with business espionage, rebel soldiers, and interference from both sets of parents. Itís all pretty standard manga fare, and so is the fact that both Zesty and the object of his affections are men.
That is, in fact, pretty much the whole point of Zesty!: Among manga fans, those interested in shonen ai, where boy meets boy and romantic struggles ensue, already know who they are. Zesty! will fit right in with their collection, although it does little to distinguish itself. The art is often stiff and the pretty boys themselves, by far the most important aspect of this sort of story, often look dangerously plain. The names are laughable to the point of distraction, and despite plenty of clever gags, the story offers little in the way of real surprises.
Still, Zesty! delivers on its core promise, presenting a
G-rated romance story for romance fans with very particular tastes. Those shopping for a manga fan in their life, especially parents, donít need to worry about lewd content. Zesty never gets farther in his amorous pursuits than Archie and the gang, at least not in this volume. Just be sure the intended recipient is a big fan of shonen ai comics. Those shopping for themselves will likely enjoy Zesty!, but might find themselves longing for something with a bit more spice.