Kanshaku Dama no Love Song – Suzumaru Minta
Wakou, a senior student, is in love with his childhood friend, Takeo. However, he’s given up on that love and just wants to be his best friend. But one day, Takeo suddenly says “I might be okay with guys”?!
At first blush, The Love Song of the Cracker Ball is your run-of-the-mill pining-after-your-childhood-friend story starring a virginal, pretty, and somewhat sickly uke, a popular, experienced, cool seme and the hella awkward, make-or-break-a-friendship confession.
HS seniors Wakou and Takeo are lifelong friends and neighbors. Takeo is uber-protective of his sickly friend, who was secretly in love with him for a very long time. He’s very popular with girls, and Wakou feels he can’t compete with them. But one day, Takeo casually mentions he might be open to dating guys, and Wakou decides to take a chance and confesses his feelings.
This part happened early on, and as the story progressed, I was pleasantly surprise that it was more about that fragile period where best friends had to deal with the shift in their relationship. It was especially precious, even if full of uncertainties and insecurities because this is Wakou’s first love. I loved that the two friends made the sensible move of talking things out and taking it slow.
The cover illustration is misleading because it makes you think Takeo’s gonna be one of those pushy assholes. He’s quite the gentleman, really. The boy explicitly stated he’ll go with his boyfriend’s pace, letting Wakuo get used to hand-holding and such. The artwork is really beautiful, sometimes with hilarious derpy expressions.
Overall, this is an entertaining take on the age-old trope. Light-hearted, and funny but with enough depth to make the feelings heartfelt.