Sotsugyousei is a yaoi manga by Nakamura Asumiko, and is a direct sequel to Doukyuusei. As such, it's naturally pertinent for you to read Doukyuusei before progressing to Sotsugyousei.
Needless to say, we are reunited with Sajou and Kusakabe, as well as Hara, for some more shenanigans regarding their relationship. Yes, our two main leads are still very much in love and still very much pushing forward. What Sotsugyousei does differently from its predecessor is that it sheds a small amount of light on the difficulties of being a gay couple in Japan, although probably not as seriously as it could have. It is still a
lighthearted, pleasant story at heart, with a bit more plot that manages to raise my opinion of this instalment as a whole.
There isn’t much to say about the art. It is the same as it ever was – stylistic, original, pretty, but still lacking in details. The anatomy is a bit weird in some places. I will say that the backgrounds this time around seem to be a bit more fleshed out. Speaking of fleshed out, both our mains as well as Hara-sensei get some development. Kusakabe and Sajou are in the midst of growing up and deciding upon their career paths, and the manga attempts to shed light on their issues and troubles as they do so. In essence, it is more of a coming of age piece of fiction than Doukyuusei was. The prequel was more of an introduction to our primary characters. Now that we know them well enough, the real meat of the story can begin. We have a new character by the name of Tani, although he’s more like a side character than anything and has a completely nonexistent character design. He’s obviously just there for comedic purposes. Hara gets some character development (or rather, we as readers are able to understand him better), and he comes off as much more likable than he did in Doukyuusei.
Neither Sajou nor Kusakabe are just hormonal teenagers looking for love. They have dreams and aspirations and they support one another in aiming for them. They make sacrifices, like in any relationship, but they understand what the other person wants, for the most part, and they don’t attempt to hold each other back. The manga ends on a high note, a truly wonderful one I might add, that left me feeling happy for the characters but sad that the series had come to an end. Well, there’s still the sequel and the spin off, so I guess it hasn’t ended just yet. I’ll have to hunt those down soon.
Nakamura-sensei panders to some of the fangirls with some shorts that contain good old-fashioned fan service. They pose some cute or comedic value but otherwise do very, very little to further the plot of the manga. In addition, MAL classifies Sotsugyousei as a “yaoi”. According to the current organization of the site, that means that there’s sex in it. Yeah, there is some toward the end, but it’s not explicit in any way, thankfully (or unfortunately, depending on what you’re looking for). They also don’t go at it like rabbits, unlike in a lot of yaoi manga. Not that there’s anything wrong with having a high sex drive, you know, but these characters just feel very realistic with how delicately they breach the subject in and of itself. It probably helps that they are both fumbling virgins.
All in all, it feels like the author of Sotsugyousei is very respectful with her treatment of the main characters of her manga. It’s still a slice of life and a drama, like its predecessor, but it’s a more involved one and a more mature one, only fitting since the characters are older. It is definitely a treat and very much recommended for anyone interested in a yaoi manga that is actually good.
This manga has two parts:
The first part, just like it's predecessor, Sotsugyousei is all about school, but this time they are third years. They have to decide about their future and about themselves.
Except they already decided about themselves on the first part of this series, so nothing new about that. You could say they develop their feelings further instead.
The conflicts are all about that same old "another girl", "not really gay", "third wheel with honest interest". But this time it's better and less childish than Dokyuusei is.
This story does NOT have smut. Although Saijou is indeed REALLY sexy (like all
the perfect ukes Nakamura-sensei draws), but it's badly explored. Maybe that's some way to make us all gagging and waiting for more.
Honorable Mentions: the amazingly well written part about Hara sensei. It's the right amount of bittersweet and his young face is just gorgeous! The sensei he fell in love is super plain, but kind of cute when blushing. Does Hara sensei have a glasses fetish? I wonder.
Honorable Mentions 2: Chapter 5 and Kusakabe's friend: Tani. All the lies were so obvious but Saijou's reactions were so cute! If I was Tani I would bully him a little as well, sometimes he's too stoic.
Second part starts at chapter 8 and has a different tone to it. Unlike the first part, which is really lighthearted, this one talks about subjects that are more serious, like medical issues with parents. In which Kusakabe proves himself to be such a good waifu.
Then there's the college exam, also known as "the only real struggle of this series" and it was very good. Really heart warming. It came with the first real hint of smut of this manga. And, since I really had zero hopes for some smut, I was very happy, even though I saw virtually nothing. It was sweet.
P.S.: Hara sensei really can't help himself of lusting, right? He hold on hopes till the very end.
Excellent story, if you like sweet and non conflicting thing. They are really soulmates, the ideal relationship everybody hopes for themselves.