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Posted December 7, 2013
Lovely, cute story about high-school crush.
If you’ve read Isaku Natsume before, then you won’t be disappointed with this work. And if this is your first time reading this mangaka, then it will be a good first experience.
There are two stories in this manga. The first is such a cute story about a high school crush that turns into a deeper love. Akimoto has just started high school, where he went to be with his long-time Judo idol, Saitou. As the story progresses, Akimoto is confused about his feelings. What is love? Why does his heart go “thump” when he sees Saitou? Where is the boundary between like and love?
The characters were well developed, with little instances bringing out their characters. And even the side characters were well defined. Oka is a childhood friend of Saitou, and is the voice of reason throughout all of this. I like how Natsume-sensei did not make it a love triangle. Sometimes a childhood friend is simply a childhood friend.
There’s a lot of typical NATSUME Isaku here: one guy says with a smirk: “You’re ten years too early”. (Go on, you can picture it if you’re familiar with Natsume Isaku). But it never gets old here. And even after multiple readings, I still laugh out loud in places.
The second story is not as well-developed. Nonetheless, it is still quite interesting. My one complaint is that it brings up traumatic events, yet then doesn’t address these traumatic events. This story involves cousins who were parted when they were children. Taka-chan moved with his parents and left behind his cute cousin Yoshirou. Taka-chan says no matter where he is, he’ll always be on Yoshirou’s side. Ten years later, Yoshiro pops up at Taka-chan’s apartment, saying he’s run away from home. But what’s the real reason he’s at Taka-chans? It’s cute and yet very sad at times, especially when you see via flashback pictures what Yoshirou has had to endure all those years alone. These scenes are never really addressed. And why Yoshirou’s parents and Taka-chan’s parents don’t talk is not really explained either. But it is very funny in parts, especially when Taka-chan’s fellow club members, who are all sports-mad guys, think Yoshirou is cute and want him to tag along with them.
I’m rating this one a 5, for several reasons. I’ve re-read this one several times, and it was great read each time. The characters were well developed and the side characters were well defined. (They didn’t meld into each other, which tends to be the unhappy lot of side characters everywhere). And even the second story, which left some serious issues unaddressed, is still very good and well worth re-reading.
Disclosure: I’d like to thank DMG for the loan of a reviewer copy.
Posted July 6, 2013