Sakurazawa Erica (b. 1963)
Love Vibes
Japan, 1996
Paperback book (manga), ink and color on paper
Copyright: Sakurazawa Erica / Publisher: Shodensha Co., Ltd.
Anonymous gift

Love Vibes (1996) is a portrait of three lesbians—Mako, who hesitantly acknowledges her interest in other women; Mika, who suppresses her erotic feelings towards Mako in order to sustain their friendship; and Shōko, who develops a passionate yet domineering relationship with Mika.

In this scene, Shōko and Mika have just met at a party, and the two return to Shōko’s home. Shōko discusses a doll she owned as a child and persistently conflates Mika with that doll. While Mika finds Shōko’s behavior alarming, she cannot deny her physical attraction to the other woman.

Through use of intricate patterning, such as in the wallpaper of Shōko’s bedroom and in Mika’s dress, Sakurazawa imbues the story with a sense of elegance and femininity. Despite flaws in their personalities, we find all of the characters to be deeply endearing.

Since its publication, Love Vibes has received enthusiastic praise by both critics and the general public. In 2010, it was adapted into the live action film Kakera: A Piece of Our Life.