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    MANGA: Konokoi wa Unmeijanai

    Konokoi wa Unmeijanai – Yamada Yugi

    Tsukamoto is newly independent designer who wants his work to be printed with traditional movable printing at the Nakajima printing house. There, he meets the delinquent turned printing master, Seto. Seto’s skills and knowledge are undeniable, but his insensitivity and firm opinions cause him to butt heads with Tsukamoto. As they continue to work together, Seto’s passion for printing shines through, and Tsukamoto’s feelings begin to change. Then one day, they receive a huge job, and the client is none other than…Tsukamoto’s ex-lover, Soejima?!

    This Love Is Not Destiny is a low angst, gay-for-you manga featuring the dying art of movable printing.

    Tsukamoto, a level-headed man, has recently gone into independent design after a bad breakup with the director of his old company. He goes to Nakajima Printing upon the recommendation of a friend to have his design printed. There he meets the short-tempered former gangster turned printer, Tsuyoshi, and the elderly owner, Zen. After starting off at the wrong foot, Tsukamoto and Tsuyoshi realize they work well together.

    According to the mangaka, they were inspired to create this story after visiting a movable printing shop for a business card order. You can clearly see the mangaka was fascinated because they were able to convey the appeal and the sense of wonder with the process and the printed designs.

    Apart from the unique setting, the manga is peopled with lovable characters. I loved the clothes the mangaka chose for each of them. It really highlighted their personalities.

    Tsukamoto is pretty with long lashes, described by his ex as “looks demure but is really sexually aggressive”. He’s a talented designer with a good eye for color. His character design perfectly portrays a well-mannered, creative professional neatly dressed in smart casual clothes.

    Tsuyoshi is a grumpy sort whose care and worry is shown through scowl-y commands of “eat your snacks!” His bomber jacket with the roaring tiger print really suited him to a T. He’s very passionate about his work. By all accounts, he is straight but the more time he spent with Tsukamoto, the more he thought about it, the more he realized certain things.

    The plot was well-executed, the romantic development, slow but wonderfully done. It’s a gay man pining for a straight guy in that as-long-as-I-can-stay-by-your-side-I’m-happy self-sacrifice that makes the chest feel tighter. This could have easily gone the full angst route but happily kept things light. I loved how everything was resolved and how the ending tied together their personal and professional lives.

    There’s a bonus super cute love story for Zen, the old master printer, and his long-time love, Richard. I hope they get their own manga too!

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