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In the End    by Pink Psycho Amazon.com order for
In the End
by Pink Psycho
Order:  USA  Can
TOKYOPOP, 2008 (2008)
Paperback
* *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

In the End is a shonen-ai (boys' love) drama/romance written and drawn by Pink Psycho, who are Heath and Nheira from the visual-ki band, Nheira. In the End is a little edgier than most manga available in the West, both in story and in style.

Kaito's life is full of problems. The biggest, however, is the emotional abuse his father constantly throws at him. Because of this, Kaito has drifted towards a life on the edge hanging out in clubs more than going to school, and hooking up occasionally with his boyfriend. One day in the subway, he meets a man, Ren, who actually shows some concern for him. When his best friend convinces him to return to school, he learns that Ren is a new teacher. The two start up a relationship, and Kaito's life seems to be looking up, if only just a little. However, his father becomes angry when he finds out Kaito is with an older man, and his family plans to move. Kaito ends up being okay with this because he learns that Ren has a wife. However, by the time Kaito realizes what he really wants, it is too late.

The whole time I was reading Pink Psycho's In the End, I kept thinking of the song of the same name by Linkin Park. There is more similarity between the two than just the title. Both are filled with despair and hopeless regret amidst trying to change things. Pink Psycho does an amazing job of getting this feeling of despair across with the bold lines they use in their drawings, which also complement the punk undertones of the story, seen mostly through the characters' sense of fashion. While the dialogue has moments when the reader is not sure if the character is thinking or speaking aloud - as the normal manga conventions seem to be used in the same haphazard way that Kaito lives his life - the storyline is gripping and edgy, and the ending is not typical for shonen-ai stories.

Pink Psycho's In the End is not a happy manga, but it is an edgy story that speaks to those who are trying to find themselves. In the end, Kaito does learn a lesson, but hopefully readers can glean some of this information from the story instead of having to follow Kaito's path themselves.

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