Firstly I have to say that I've always been a huge fan of the yaoi stories set in the real world - or, the 'slice of life' type as many like to call it. 'Soko ni Suwaru na' fits exactly in this category, when it comes to the realistic way of portraying the characters, their relationships and environment.
The first story develops rather slowly, but it's worth waiting until the end. The characters are very well shown: it's easy to understand both honest but little unsure Namikawa and afraid to get close Hayama. This story sure has some magical moments, such as waiting near the window
or others, that you will have to 'catch'.
The second story, although only one chapter long, is in my opinion even better. Junpei and Tsutomu are childhood friends who pretend to be a couple due to an event taken place in the class during probably primary or middle school (judging by their looks). The story shows the time when they are in high school and start to be aware of their true feelings. It's easy to understands character's actions and their personalities are also well portrayed
The big advantage of this manga is mentioning how homosexuality is treated in Japanese society and not putting the characters in the mysterious world when everybody is gay. The doubts of Namikawa, who has never dated a guy before and the school scenes from the second story only make this manga more realistic. There isn't also a strict line between who is seme and uke. It is true that one of the characters in both stories tends to have more features poses by uke-type, but they are still both men and it's really visible.
The plot focuses mostly on the relationships between main protagonists, but there are also some second-stage characters that are worth remembering, especially considering this manga has two stories in only one volume.
The art is pleasant, simple and not really outstanding, just enough to portray the plot. The sex scenes, as it is obvious that they are some, are very well drawn, quite gentle and really enjoyable.
To be honest, the only thing I didn't like was the chapter about Maki, the previous lover of Hayama. It was short and in my opinion totally unnecessary.
So, if you are looking for some 'slice of life' yaoi story, I certainly recommend this one, as they really aren't any cons. Still, the manga offers a little too less to be called a masterpiece. The different story is if you are looking for a big-eyed crying uke and almost-raping seme, then please, go check somewhere else.
Why: Okay, without fangirling too much like I’ve already done for you poor things about this author in the beginning, I really love this character design, or maybe it’s the art style. But oh man, they’re handsome.
You have no idea how many yaoi mangas I’ve gone through where I’m having to flip back a few pages just to double check gender. Now to each there own, I understand some people enjoying a good androgynous character, I enjoy it myself (especially if gender is satirized, that is genius).
It’s not only the art design, but the characters. They aren’t just women
in a men’s body. They are working men who have jobs that work at their separate companies who happen to live together under strange circumstances. The plot isn’t too out there story wise. There’s no rape (consent is heaven sent; you have no idea how rare it is in this genre). It’s a slow cooking passion that starts off lukewarm slowly boils you alive.
My only problem? Under utilized side characters? Hayama has a few close friends he hangs out with constantly and they never really explain why one of his friends is so gosh darn protective other than because he understands him so well. It doesn’t take away from the story, just a bit disappointing for potential.
This wouldn’t really be a problem, except ex-lover doesn’t really show up ever, then again story, then again gaaaaaah. It’s difficult to explain without spoiling the story. I mean, technically, the ex-lover get’s his own extra chapter, but it’s an extra chapter! It’s like a deleted scene in a movie where you wonder why they deleted it in the first place. I think I’m spoiled and want all the drama I can get, especially with how many tears I spill over this the last six times I’ve read it (oops, did my inner fan-girl show, here let my show it again).
All of Asou-san’s mangas are re-readable so yes (even the ones I don’t mention), hearing me say six or ten or a million should be expected.