English: Hide and Seek
Published: May 30, 2011 to Jan 30, 2014
Score: 8.271 (scored by 1392 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
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SynopsisShuji, a divorced single dad running a modest corner shop, has an easy-going attitude and an eye out for anything to break the boredom of his days. So when Saji, the serious, reserved pediatrician who's been coming into his store suddenly declares that he's gay and wants to take Shuji home, Shuji goes along with it out of simple curiosity. He thought they'd just mess around, have some fun, and that would be that. But he gets a lot more than he bargained for in this story of opposites in love!
Related MangaParent story: Yume Musubi, Koi Musubi
While reading this review, please take into consideration that at this moment there are only 7 chapters released, so this is mostly based on the first volume of the manga.
The sweets shop owner, Tanihara Shuuji, is a kind of happy-go-lucky man who lives life on his own terms. Due to some circumstances he lives with his ex-wife’s daughter, Chisuzu. The girl is a reliable one, sometimes acting more mature than Shuuji.
He seems to be pretty much bored with his current situation, so when a handsome, but stern-looking man enters his shop, Shuuji probably doesn’t expect what fate has stored for him. The mysterious man buys lots of toys, leaving the shop owner completely perplexed and curious at the same time.
When Chisuzu becomes sick, Tanihara does the first think in his mind and takes her to the nearby clinic to see old doctor Saji. As it turns out there is a substitute doctor in the clinic and to make matters even more interesting it is the same scary-looking guy who bought toys at Tanihara’s shop. The doctor is in fact the grandson of the owner, Saji Takafumi. After a quick observation Shuuji is sure that the saying about deceiving looks is indeed very true and Takafumi is in fact very nice, gentle person.
Somehow they become quite close, even after Takafumi very boldly confesses that he’s gay. Shuuji, being an adventurous man who likes experiments, ends up sleeping with Takafumi. What he doesn’t expect are the consequences of their one-night stand...
And here starts the drama.
I must say that this is one of the best titles that I’ve read lately. It’s quickly climbing up to my TOP 5 favorite yaoi mangas. Even though it has kind of generic plot and sometimes the perspective in the panels was screwed up, the main characters are simply too good to even notice its flaws.
Mangas with lonely fathers probably aren’t and won’t be the mainstream ones, but still it isn’t something that the reader didn’t see at least two or three times. The situations that lead to Shuuji and Takafumi’s meetings or chance encounters are also quite common in yaoi. Often, you just know what will happen next and you’re able to predict the outcome. But “often” doesn’t mean “always”, which means that at some point this title can be surprising. Plus, it has nice humor and some parts will leave you cracking up about the nicely delivered innuendos.
It’s a matter of one’s taste, but personally I like Sakuragi-sensei’s style very much. It isn’t cutesy and sparkly, however I have some serious doubts about putting it on the shelf with other “minimalistic” yaoi mangas. The backgrounds have just right amount of details, so you can concentrate on the characters without feeling that they are closed in some empty room or their sparkliness/random garland/flower petals/other strange things will throw you of the pace. On the other hand, the perspective is sometimes really messed up and it can make the reader feel weird (even “yaoi hands” issue pops up from time to time). Nevertheless, I love chara design of Shuuji – it fits his personality and gives off those “I-really-don’t-care” vibes, while he still is very sociable, easy-going person. And for God’s sake, Takafumi with bed hair and his sad smiles turns me into a puddle of goo.
I’m totally entranced by both Shuuji and Takafumi’s personalities. They both have very distinct characters and seem to be absolute opposites. Shuuji is an actor on a never-ending quest to hide his true self. For the onlookers he may be a shrewd but carefree man, who is popular with people. In fact he doesn’t trust anyone and tries to distance himself, his own freedom being a priority. Containing his feelings, acting like nothing have happened – it’s his way of self-defense.
In comparison to this, Takafumi, who at first glance seems to be a cold person who takes everything in stride, turns out to be a honest man, whose approach to many situations can be quite shocking. It were his boldness and sincerity that made Shuuji so distraught, while holding him spellbound. He offered a change, an escape from the convention and Shuuji gladly took it. Takafumi seems to be a man who quickly warms up to the people he likes, not noticing that maybe he was too careless in doing so.
It’s a real case of “opposites attract”, with mature characters, who are aware of the status of their developing relationship.
WHOLE THING: 9/10
As I said earlier, the characters stole my heart immediately, making it impossible for my brain to point out the flaws and even though I know that it isn’t nothing new, nothing revolutionary, I seriously can’t give this title a grade lower than 9. It’s a great read, which leaves you craving for more and the fact that it is still publishing doesn’t make it better (especially if you’re not a patient person). Nevertheless, I recommend this title to all readers, who like mature men with nicely developed characters having a relationship that isn’t all roses and butterflies, but at the same time isn’t deranged and overly angsty. It’s normal in its own way and that’s what makes this title so enjoyable.
Similare plot and structure: heterosexual daddy sees his life transform when his daughter caught a cold; leading a sexy, reliable, yet fragile and loving man into their life. Credible stories, with a slow pace so that the feelings are not forced or rushed. The familial setting (relationship & past) really takes part in the story.
Also both have beautiful art, realistic, with manly men.
Both have a story with a father and his daughter. And both discover they can fall in love with a man.
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