Kyouichi is now divorced from his wife and carrying on a tenuous, homosexual relationship with Imagase. He has even become accustomed to having sex with Imagase every day. However, when Tamaki, a young co-worker with a crush on Kyouichi, appears on the scene, it might be the beginning of the end for Kyouichi and Imagase.
The prequel was amazing, but this installment blew my mind away. All the angst, melodrama, and character complexity from the original is there, but its even better. Not to mention one of the most wonderful endings in the history of yaoi manga (that I've read at least). Its painful, fluffy, and bittersweet all at once. You feel for both characters so deeply. The female lead is also an example of a wonderful character. There are no stereotypes for a typical yaoi manga. Honest, endearing, well written, at times funny, and a perfect view of the bare human spirit. It shows us selfishness, immaturity, and indecisiveness
in the face of relationships. And as the protagonist questions himself, we're left questioning ourselves, as well. A beautiful must read!
The relationship is more tense than before. It’s now vulnerable and weaker than ever, He is defenseless. He is flustered. Everything is now a mess.
The suspension bridge is about to break.
To be more precise, Sojou no Koi wa Nido Haneru is the sequel of Kyuuso wa Cheese no Yume wo Miru. It’s now more concentrated on the strengths and weaknesses of the relationship and the thoughts of Kyouichi. Another rival has arrived for Imagase and the pressure between the two is unsettling. Kyouichi stays the same. He still lacks too many puzzle pieces for him to complete the jigsaw of his true feelings. He
is still unable to see awareness. Weak as ever, he commits the same deranged mistake, twice.
If you thought the prequel had exquisite dialogues and character portrayals, you better think again after reading the sequel. It digs more unto the fine angles of the choice of words. It’s specifically breathtaking.
The character progress focuses more on Kyouichi rather than Imagase. He now takes the spotlight and is more contemplative compared to the prequel. He becomes more sensitive and affectionate. A total different Kyouichi we have seen from its prequel.
Imagase, on the other hand has less development. Not that his caliber hasn’t been improved but it’s more like his character stability suits the flow well. He’s dependent on unrequitingly loving someone willingly instead of being loved by someone who he doesn’t have feelings with. It’s realistic and painful but love is fine just the way it is. It takes someone out of his league.
Tamaki is one of those a little above average women you can find in this genre. She is more composed and decent compared to the prequel’s lady. She knows well Kyouichi’s outer feelings. She knows Kyouichi’s affections towards her isn’t as deep as his so-called previous lover. Their relationship has lots of faults and limitations. Her thoughts of making Kyouichi happy isn’t enough to let Kyouichi be happy. It just isn’t enough to budge Kyouichi out of his zone. He was never hers from the start.
They’re both in love. One is a mass of desire, one is a regretful gentleman. It’s not all about sex. It’s about them. Them being painfully in love. It was so painful, that it’s considered as a divine punishment.
The internal part of the sequel is more on confusion and second thoughts. Imagase’s acceptance of his lost is one of the biggest turnarounds of the story and so was Kyouichi’s bewildering decision. If you were to look up to the face of the story, a dense reader would simply see two men, misunderstandings, sex, sex and sex. With this I’m telling you, you’re getting it all wrong dear.
Sojou no Koi wa Nido Haneru’s scenes has more impressive feelings in it. The dialogues and emotions were perfectly in sync. It’s either you end up in awe or you end up in awe. You have no way to get out of the story’s quicksand.
At the end of the series, I ended up in tears. To depart from someone who has treasured you and to hopelessly return to your fated someone. One has come a long way in order to find his own happiness, his own self, his own feelings.
But once he turns his back again, he might never have something to return to.
Story: Kyouichi is an indecisive man who frequently commits adultery. His wife hires a detective named Imagase, to investigate. However, Imagase tells him that he won’t tell Kyouichi’s wife the truth in exchange for his body. From there, they descend into a downward spiral filled with bittersweet pain.
The manga centers around the relationship between a straight man (Kyouichi) and the homosexual man (Imagase) who is utterly in love with him. There is no real seme or uke here; they interchange the roles often throughout the chapters, and that was a great display of how their relationship really was. Seeing Kyouichi struggle to define who he
is and what exactly Imagase means to him was just so real. The manga shows the realism of having a homosexual relationship with a straight man. The story was agonizing, yet touching and thought-provoking.
Characters: The characters are heavily flawed, giving them more depth in a sense. The character development for Kyouichi was superb. We read this series from his perspective and can clearly see how he grew. Imagase also experiences a huge change between the prequel and sequel. He slowly becomes more obsessed and spirals towards self-destruction due to his love for Kyouichi.
Art: The art is mature with simple lines and shadows, yet leaves a strong impact. While not always consistent, it suits the story perfectly.
Overall: Love seems like a happy fantasy of bliss. But in reality, it isn’t. Love can change people, for better or for worse. What exactly is love? How do you know if you really are in love with a person and can stay in love with them for your entire life? Love is ambiguous, and this manga displayed the reality of it. I highly recommend this to anyone looking for something different from the more typical yaoi stories we see.
If you're thinking of reading Sojou no Koi wa Nido Haneru it's probably because you finished reading the prequel and you enjoyed it. Trust me, this sequel will not disappoint. (If you stumbled upon this first and you haven't read the prequel, you really should, it's great and will provide a lot of the back story for this sequel).
This story gives you a look of how a relationship that started out of seduction progresses. More importantly, the seduction of a straight man by a gay one. We get to feel the confusion, the mixed signals, the feelings, and the build-up of love through both the
characters Kyouichi and Iwagase.
Not only are they facing an already difficult situation by being together, the uncertainty they already feel duplicates when a love rival for Iwagase appears.
As much as they try to portray their actual feelings to each other, there's still misinterpretations between them and they are driven up the wall with feelings that they can't seem to get through to each other.
This story doesn't try to sugar coat anything, it doesn't try to make things nicer than they are, it gives you the pure feeling of the struggle that the characters have and it doesn't in any way try to be unrealistic.
It's bittersweet, angsty, compelling and it will leave you with so many emotions. It's probably the best yaoi story I have read, and you will truly find yourself attached to the characters and the story itself. This is definitely worth the read.