Hige to Suzu to Shabondama – YMZ
Daily life of Santa and Rintarou…
Beards, Bells and Bubbles is the super fluffy and adorably wholesome slice of life manga about an established gay couple going about their daily lives. It has a nice laid-back vibe that’s makes you think of easy summer afternoons.
Santa is the serious, hardworking one who takes care of all the household chores. He likes to spoil Rintarou. He was disowned by his family.
Rintarou is the carefree, lazy one who is completely hopeless at household chores. He likes being pampered. He has a big family who loves Santa. The running gag of the manga is that everybody thinks he is a good for nothing and that Santa is too good for him. Nobody expected they would last for 3 days.
They’re still together after 5 years.
The manga started in spring when these two dorks went to the park to view the flowers only to have it raining when they got there. Some parts of the story flash back to how it all started. Most of the chapters showed short and simple scenes illustrating the couple’s affection for each other.
Like in the opening chapter, Santa comments he’ll never see the flowers as long as they’re together. To which Rintarou replies, then you’ll never see them. Santa shrugs his shoulders and says it’s okay. They go home and eat soup.
The dialogues are funny, mostly due to Rintarou’s over reaction to things. He has a jealous streak that extends to members of his family. Santa going shopping for laptops with his father and twin brother had him in tantrums, the idiot.
My favorite part was Kiyoshi, Santa’s ex, who for some reason or another hangs around Rintarou hilariously comparing notes about Santa. He’s an overconfident businessman who unexpectedly had a boyfriend who was okay with his weird habit. There’s a twist here that I really liked and I hope the mangaka gives Kiyoshi and his man their own spinoff.
Anyway, the following year, it rained. They didn’t see the flowers. Again.