Smile – Penguin Frontiier
A BL manga originally published on Penguin Frountier’s Facebook between March 2016 and October 2017, Smile tells to story of Wayne Huntington Jr. a foreigner and orphan living in Japan and Itou Ren.
Boy, this is heartbreaking!
Smile is an angsty childhood friends to lovers story of red-headed orphan Wayne and the ever-smiling Ren.
Wayne lost his parents at a young age and Ren’s family took him in. Ren is quick to jump to the other boy’s defense whenever he was bullied and Wayne consider him his hero. Wayne is also in love with Ren. When he confessed, Ren ran away. But then they patched things up and started dating.
The romance itself is soft and gentle but this is painful to read because the boys had to deal with homophobia and bullying. What I love about the two is that even if they themselves had falling outs, they always go back to each other. Their love and friendship remained strong.
This is a beautifully drawn manga. And it’s in full color! The spring landscapes were simply lovely. The two MCs looked really good.
The story is set in the rainy season and it makes it even more melancholy. There were many scenes in the rain, some happy moments and some showing how one can smile while shattering to pieces.
This does have a happy ending, in the sense that the boys were both alive and together.
A smile is the chosen vehicle of all ambiguities.Herman Melville
Smile and Peco