Okuno Ryouko and Saeki are quiet normal students. But only at the surface. At university, they both feel out of place; so, Okuno visits a S&M club after classes. Saeki happens to visit this club as well; rather than participating in the activities like Okuno, he is there to play music. When they both meet there, they seem somewhat attracted to each other. But will this attraction last, when they come to know about each other better? Will love be able to bloom?
Same words I had when I started, same words I muttered when I finished.
This story was definitely on the darker side of things-- not in the grotesque, creepy or gut wrenching kind of way though. It's more of a makes you think, second guess yourself and check your emotions at the door kind of story. Despite not having a traditional A to B plot or anything, something made me want to keep reading til the end. Something with the way that the atmosphere that was set made it really compelling to see this manga til the end. I... still don't know what it
I haven't read many old mangas (Koibito was published well over a decade ago) but I'm guessing the art was pretty standard and or average for it's time. Characters while simple in terms of designs, (females not attractive/appealing, males bland and typical) something about them felt rather human and realistic. Backgrounds were pretty much nonexistent and forgettable as panels are kept short and simple; but again everything just clicked naturally-- Overall, I had no major problems with it and it didn't provide any distractions as I progressed through the manga.
The characters were "okay"-- for lack of a better word; but make no mistake it was definitely the manga's strong point. Each individual character had their own backstory that contributed to the overall atmosphere. They had their own problems that were humanly relatable. The emotions they carried were strong enough to leave an impact on the story. The growth that they showed, the main leads specifically were respectable and something I could imagine out here in the real world.
Again, I was a bit surprised that I kept reading til the end. After reading the first few pages, I was feeling a bit hesitant. Eventually I found myself reading a few more chapters and I still felt that everything was so-so. It wasn't until I got to the last chapter or so, read the ending, that I realized what a pleasant story it actually was. Personally, (read: I'm a happy go-lucky guy that loves his fairy tale endings) I would have preferred an alternate ending but I will say this much though, the mangaka kept it very realistic from beginning to end so it was enjoyable for what it presented itself as.
Firstly let me start off by saying this is a mature manga and it deals with mature topics , but that said, this is at heart a wonderful touching love story, that had even me captivated and I hate romance stories like poison.
The characters are truly well developed and believable , and their faults,weaknesses, strengths and good points are all on display.The art is excellent and the story second to none.
The "ecchiness /nudity fits with the story and is part of general flow , not a means to a
end in and of itself.
BEWARE however , that this is an adult /mature style manga and is in No ways fit for younger viewers.
To be honest , the story is also a bit edgy,and that adds to its realism and flair. Our heroines soul searching is something that all of us have done to some extent , through out our lives and the struggle to fit in , find a place and love in this world , is something we can all relate too.