• manga,  Uncategorized

    MANGA: Kimi ni wa Fureru to Naru Toko ga Atte

    Kimi ni wa Fureru to Naru Toko ga Atte – Hayane Dento

    Touji is an average high school student who is terrible at dealing with people and struggles with physical contact. On one rainy day, all of Touji’s struggles come to a head when he encounters Itsuki Yato, a fellow classmate who touches him casually even when they first meet. Even though Touji isn’t great at socializing, Itsuki goes out of his way to talk to him and spend time with him. Gradually, Touji starts to want to learn more about Itsuki…

    Every Time We Touch, I Hear That Sound is a slow-burn, friends to lovers manga with a gentle, peaceful vibe of lazy summer afternoons.

    Introverted, socially awkward Touji meets extroverted, touchy-feely Itsuki on a crowded train when Itsuki’s earbuds tangled with Touji’s button. The two struck up a friendship. Or more like, Itsuki decided to adopt the shy high schooler.

    Itsuki’s sunny personality and talkative nature drew Touji to him. I love how he saw beyond Touji’s fumbling attempts to converse to the true personality hidden underneath. He helped give him the courage to come out of his shell.

    The two lived near a mountain. Touji is most comfortable when exploring. His character shone the brightest when he is at home on the slopes.

    I love how these two boys were connected by the local festival. This is where things came full circle and where Touji showed his mettle and Itsuki found his god.

  • manga,  Uncategorized

    MANGA: Machigitsune to Hito no Ko

    Machigitsune to Hito no Ko – Nmura

    1920, the 9th year of the Taisho era.

    Kiyo Fukasaku, a student freshly admitted into the Imperial University, lost his way while heading to his rental dormitory and met a man named Ozaki.

    Ozaki, who lived in a huge mansion, learned of Kiyo’s financial troubles, and invited him to live in his mansion. However, Ozaki had many secrets—he was a fox spirit in human form, and he had invited Kiyo to live with him as a way to repay his debt to Kiyo’s grandfather, Seishirou.

    The two continue living together, surrounded by secrets.

    The Waiting Fox and the Human Child is a slow-burn, age-gap love story between a fox spirit and a university student. It had the makings of something great but was failed to deliver a convincing connection between Ozaki and Kiyo.

    Ozaki was too distant. The usual subtle romantic development frequently present in BL manga was there. This is something I truly enjoy about the genre but here, it wasn’t enough to convey what strong feelings were there.

    I wasn’t that interested in Kiyo either. I was more keen on the grandfather and Ozaki’s shared history. The grandfather had more personality. Too bad, he died young.

  • manga,  Uncategorized

    MANGA: Tonari Ni

    Tonari Ni – Basso

    The first time he saw him, Tohru was on his way home from his hobby of taking photos. He’s queued for the Shinkansen’s unreserved seating, just right next to him…

    Seven years after her previous work, “Naka-san no Nagare,” the latest BL from basso is finally here!

    I am of the opinion that when it comes to slice-of-life, nothing beats Japanese authors at the game.

    Next To You is a perfect example of this. It is a story of a young man crushing hard on a much older man he saw at the train station. Tohru is a photography hobbyist who loves taking pictures of race horses. He chanced upon Makoto at the train station who made an strong impression on him. He couldn’t get the older man out of his mind. He saw him several times until one day, Makoto struck up a conversation. He turned out to be a nice, amiable fellow.

    Many of the scenes here were pretty mundane, just standing around waiting for the train, sitting inside the train, sharing a couple of beers, brushing teeth and so on. But somehow, it encapsulated a whole gamut of emotions simmering beneath such trivial ongoings.

    The mangaka was able to perfectly capture that exhilarating thrill of seeing your crush once again when you least expected it, the fervent longings of a young man who realized he was in love, the heartbreaking helplessness of seeing the one you love getting hurt and not being able to do something to help him. All of which was done without breaking the soft, subtle atmosphere that was reflected in the gentle idiosyncratic art.

    There’s something really pure about this manga. Truly beautiful!

  • manga,  Uncategorized

    MANGA: Just When I Thought I Came Here to Die

    Just When I Thought I Came Here to Die – Matsukura Yuuko

    When our protagonist came to an abandoned house to commit suicide, the house owner may have something to say about that.

    OMG!!! This is a riot!

    So a young man was just fired from work and was dumped by his girlfriend on the same day. He tried to kill himself but was stopped by a sudden appearance of a mysterious masked man. Said masked man then proceeded to feed and house said young man. Stockholm Syndrome a.k.a. feels ensued…

    So imagine Jason Voorhees was gay and fell in love with a guy who was about to kill himself. The manga breezed through suicide, murder, Stockholm Syndrome, psychological trauma, blood and other heavy topics in such a ridiculous, tongue-in-cheek way.

    You couldn’t help but root for our dysfunctional couple as they navigate through unmasking (yeah, the guy’s face was nasty but our boy quickly got over it), the dark past and the taking it to the next level moment, where our boy tried to get his monster boyfriend in the mood with some kinky nurse cosplay to hilarious results.

    This silly little one-shot is comedy gold!

  • manga,  Uncategorized

    MANGA: Kitsune no Natsu

    Kitsune no Natsu – Nacolat

    Norihiro returns to his hometown during summer vacation with a lingering feeling that something is calling to him. On the way back home, Norihiro encounters a mysterious fox man in a wedding dress waiting for him. Who is this fox and why does he want to “consummate” their marriage!?

    The Summer of the Fox is a cute paranormal tale between a young man, Norihiro and his childhood friend, the fox spirit, Tsunetsuki.

    Tsune patiently waited years for Norihiro to come back to him and fulfill his promise. This one-shot is filled with melancholy, longing and yearning but also nostalgic joy as the Norihiro remembers playing with the fox during summers past.

    It is an explicit manga. We get the graphic details of them consummating their marriage.

    I like the artwork. Tsune is pretty. Even with only one chapter, the manga was able to tell a complete story. But it also left me wishing this is a full length volume.

  • manga,  Uncategorized

    MANGA: Doukyuusei Seikatsu

    Doukyuusei Seikatsu – Kinoshita Keiko

    Mizuno and Mitazon were middle school classmates with polar opposite personalities. One day, years later, Mitazon calls Mizuno up to help take care of some stray kittens. Mizuno agrees to stay in his house to look after the kittens for a short while. This is living together with a classmate!

    Kinoshita Keiko has been mostly hit or miss with me. Classmate Living is definitely a hit. It’s a childhood friends to lovers story, a slow burn romance between two middle school classmates who somehow maintained a connection up to adulthood despite separate schools.

    Mitazon is a poker-faced tsundere who is adorbs when flustered. Mizuno is the more outgoing of the two. I am so happy this was written in his POV. Typically, we get the story from the POV of the one pining for the other person. Seeing the romance unfold through the eyes of the one pined for is a refreshing take on the trope.

    The atmosphere is gentle and the artwork matched that vibe. The pacing was great, never too slow or fast with each scene executed just right. For me, this is the mangaka’s best work to date.

  • manga,  Uncategorized

    MANGA: Keppeki Danshi Kouryakuhou

    Keppeki Danshi Kouryakuhou – Pipipi

    Takumi is a neat freak who shies away from touching others, while Sakura is a goofball who tends to overstep personal boundaries. Even though it pains him to do so, smart and successful Takumi finds himself tutoring Sakura on a regular basis. Over the course of their study sessions, they finally start to break the ice. But then, Takumi discovers that Sakura is actually a…

    The love story of a guy with no sense of personal space and a stoic student council member trying to overcome germaphobia.

    How To Cure A Germophobe might be inspired by that other super famous manga about a doctor and a germophobe. This manga though is a more light-hearted take featuring two high schoolers who couldn’t be more opposite in personalities.

    Takumi is a serious, no nonsense, straight A student and the Student Council president to boot. Sakura is a goofy, clingy student who copies other people’s homework. Sakura is forever trying to copy from Takumi who decided to tutor him. This is where the fun starts.

    At first, I was put off by how loud Takumi and Sakura were. There were scream balloons everywhere and I thought the manga was trying too hard to be funny. Then came the twists…

    It was a nice departure from the usual archetypes. The story is about how a person’s image could be vastly different from reality. It did a good job portraying that theme.

    The romance happened under the guise of curing one of the characters from his germophobia. So how it played out was they kissed and went on dates so that the germophobe would get used to being touched. I was unsure whether the character who instigated this had feelings for the other boy before hand or if his intentions were purely to help the other get over his fears. I wasn’t a fan of the execution. It felt like there was something missing.

    The art is really pretty though. The character designs were cute. And holy heck, casual Takumi is hot Takumi!

  • manga,  Uncategorized

    MANGA: Kimi To Wa Gokai Kara Hajimarimashita Ga

    Kimi To Wa Gokai Kara Hajimarimashita Ga – Mishima Kazuhiko

    Miike writes a love letter intended for the girl he sees everyday on his way to school. The girl misunderstands and winds up giving the letter to her brother and now Miike and him are dating! How will Miike fix this misunderstanding…?!

    It Started From A Misunderstanding is a super cute twist on the gay for you trope.

    Gloomy, introverted high-schooler Miike hands a love letter to his crush who thought it was for her big brother. The misunderstanding was due to a confusion with how the kanji or characters were pronounced. Miike thought it was Hifumi but it was actually read as Utakane.

    He ended up dating Utakane who asked Miike to call him Hifumi. He tried his best to correct the misunderstanding only to be interrupted again and again by Hifumi just when he was about to blurt out the truth. Little did he know, Hifumi has some secrets of his own…

    Both MCs are opposites in the best way possible. Miike is blushy and shy while Hifumi was forward and open about his feelings. He doesn’t hesitate to shower Miike with affection, slowing winning him over and helping the shy boy gain confidence about himself.

    When Miike realized he was falling in love with Hifumi, at first, he was so confused and ran away. With help from his only friend at school, he learned to accept his true feelings.

    Not only was the story beautiful, the art perfectly reflects the mood. Even if the romance is slow-burn, the plot moved quickly and there was never a dull moment. Each panel was executed just right.

    I liked it a lot that the MCs were the same height. All too often, a character of Miike’s type is the smaller one, being the uke. Hifumi is a very toppy seme which fits his personality to a T. I loved how he clearly adores Miike.

    The manga had some nice twists that really worked well in tying everything together. The scene where Hifumi first fell in love with Miike goes right to the kokoro!

  • manga,  Uncategorized

    MANGA: The Light Of Summer

    The Light Of Summer – Clove

    Sungha is loved by men and women of all ages for his mature and kind character. But he has scars that can’t be shown to just anyone… Woojoo is the only friend he can open up to. The day after the final exam, Sungha gathers the courage to overcome his wounds and try to change. This is the story of Sungha and Woojoo healing each other.

    Sungha is a high schooler trying to deal with his biggest fear while trying to keep up appearance as perfect. This fear was rooted in a childhood trauma. His best friend is Woojoo, a neighbor who lives in the same apartment complex. One rainy day, they were trapped in an elevator and Sungha fell apart. What would his best friend think of him now?

    The Light of Summer is a short webcomic with only 3 chapters. Even if it’s short, it felt complete even though it ended with the two boys on the verge of becoming something more.

    This manga is a tagged psychological. We see things from Sungha’s perspective and we witness the cruel things people around him thoughtless say. He was not bullied. People liked him. Liked him because they know he can’t say no to anything.

    It was only his best friend Woojoo who really see how things truly were. His genuine acts of kindness were touching. I think that elevator scene was beautiful. It lit a spark in Sungha.