Y’know what I haven’t read in a while? Shounen ai! Let’s get on that!
(image from: https://www4.mymangalist.org/read-dousaibou-seibutsu)
General warning/disclaimer: For those who don’t know, shounen ai translates to boy love. It differs from yaoi in that -as far as I can tell- there is generally no explicit sex, but rather, it just focuses on the relationship between boys.
I don’t own this manga, so I’ll be reading a fan translated copy online.
Every post past this point will be a spoiler, so please read ahead with caution!
Plot: 1/2 star. This is hard to do since it’s three different stories… The first and the last story have the plot of wanting to be together, which I suppose they both manage, but I can’t say for sure since I don’t know the end. None of the four guys really express interest in any other long term goals, like dream jobs or things they’d like to accomplish. In the first story, they graduate from high school, and one of the guys gets into college, but that’s all we know. In the last story, one guy already has a job, and later, the angel even gets a job, but neither express what their passions are. In the second story, there really isn’t a plot. They’re both high schoolers, and one of them dies. They don’t say they want to stay together forever, they clearly don’t manage that anyway, and we never see past that one year, so who’s to say what happens later. Even the boy who lived didn’t say if he high jumped in the hopes of that becoming something more; it’s just something he did.
Honestly, it can be hard for short stories like these to create or fulfil plots, and being romance based doesn’t help. Also, being gay couples makes it harder since those relationships are not supported by Japanese society as a whole. Just being together is an accomplishment, honestly. Since two of the three stories at least had the couples get together and stay together, I’m going to give this 1/2 a star, but I’m being very generous with that.
Art: 1/2 star. The art’s not bad, but I wasn’t blown away by it either. The shading’s fine; I can tell what everyone’s feeling from their expressions. The style’s not that clean, but that may be the scanlations that I read.
Story Progression: 1/2 star. The timeline jumps around pretty quickly in these stories. I would’ve liked smoother transitions. It actually makes it hard to tell what’s going on; how far did we just jump? What happened in the meantime? That was universal between all three stories, honestly. For example, in the first story, I would’ve liked to know what happened after high school; what jobs did they get? How did moving in together work out? Did their families argue (though again, that story didn’t show anyone outside the main two guys) with their decision? What did Nakagawa go on to study? In the second story, I had trouble telling when exactly they stopped hanging out and when Kana decided to start looking for Yuuji. In the third story, I would’ve loved to know how Sakaki grew up. We went from crying child to full grown adult with a job; what happened in between!?! A lot of this stuff was left blank, so I can only give 1/2 star because I feel like I only got half of a story.
Genre: 1 star. This is only listed as a shounenai, which it definitely is. It’s not school life or slice of life since it doesn’t show anything outside the relationships, really (school is more of the setting than anything). The third story could be supernatural because there’re angels, but that’s only one of the three stories, so that doesn’t need to be listed highly. I don’t remember laughing… really at all, so I wouldn’t say comedy. One kid dies, so that could be a tragedy, but he did get to confess to his love interest (and as a ghost, that also supports supernatural). I can’t think of anything that played a large enough role in all three stories, so I guess shonenai covers it. 1 star.
Enjoyment: 1/2 star. It was alright. I wasn’t wowed in any way, and in several ways, I was actually very disappointed. Even with short stories, I feel like there could have been more. More character development, more interactions, more backstory; something. I had an alright time reading this, though, so I’ll give it 1/2 a star.
If you’d like to read my full review, then please click here.