After meeting with his father who has been apart from him ever since he was an infant, Ryou suddenly time traveled to 22 years ago! He was sent to the late Shouwa period. After that, there's also his father, Konomi, who is just three years below him...! With the unfamiliar environment and the anxiety from the inability to go back to the past just heightens Ryou's worries. While trying to recover his transparent-like existence, his feelings began to change... A story released by Reimon, a long genuine series, first volume!
This is certainly one of the most beautiful manga I've ever read. Actually, I think it's arguable that it is one of the most beautiful stories I've ever read.
Next time somebody makes a disparaging comment about yaoi, I'll tell them to read this particular work. Not Equal was mind blowing. It wasn't just that the art was breath taking, and the conversation was intelligent, and the characters were well-developed, complex and relatable yet interesting; it was that this manga makes one think. I think classifying Not Equal as a psychological manga is highly appropriate. It leaves one pondering about our morals, what we believe
to be right and what we view as disgusting and how we justify and assert our values. More than anything, it leaves one wondering about love. If two intelligent, consenting adults love each other and are not harming anybody else in the process, who are we to condemn them?
Not Equal is the story of Ryou, a 17 year old whose parents separated a year after he was born and he has only once seen his father, Konomi, since then. However, his mother is dating a new guy and Ryou is feeling confused and just wants to see Konomi again. But when he visits his dad, something goes wrong--Ryou finds himself 22 years back in time and Konomi is 14 years old. Konomi does not know who Ryou is, and Ryou does not know how to deal with the situation he is in and his growing affections towards his father that have nothing familial about them.
I think the biggest problem anybody has coming into this manga is the idea of incest. Well, at least that was my qualm. And I was going to write my own opinions of the matter, but I think Ryou can argue them better:
"To hell with the forbidden. An unhealthy child would be born from the dense mix of blood? Such a cruel verdict was decided by a mere risk, despite the fact that it's not 100% guaranteed that a child born from unrelated people would be normal. When someone possesses a heritable disease, it's passed down through the next set of generations. Anyone and everyone has to face risks, too. Oh, right... What if science advanced far enough to genetically alter people to avoid illnesses? Would it become a popular practice? But, that's just a dreamer's talk. Well, what if there was no intention of having a kid to begin with?
Anyway, we're both guys after all. However, being a homosexual isn't smiled upon either. So, as long as we can't make children, then it's not acceptable by society? In other words, it's righteous as long as we can leave behind healthy genes? Humans already occupy a greater part of the world, yet, contrarily, it seems that anything which allows us to reproduce is ethical and just? Even though it's likely that the Earth's environment would be better off if the human race was annihilated?
Psychologically speaking, just what are the fundamentals of feeling disgust and hatred? Shouldn't the so-called morals and ethics be different for each person?... I like him, so I only want him to like me in return. But something as simple as that is still not possible. For what reason was I born then?"
It is interesting to compare Ryou's internal struggle, which mostly revolves around what is morally correct and whether society is right about what it deems righteous and what it deems taboo, with Konomi's conflictions (I think this is the perfect term for what Konomi suffers: def. Psychology-a psychic struggle, often unconscious, resulting from the opposition or simultaneous functioning of mutually exclusive impulses, desires, or tendencies), which revolve around his guilt and what would be best for his child: "I'm, not some animal. No, humans are just animals with slightly bigger brains. We live, we die, that's all there is to it. I've already lived half of my life. Even if no accepts us, I want to be happy making love with the person I love."
I think this work is special, not just in the yaoi or manga world but in literary and artistic works in general, because it dares to be controversial. It dares to say stuff that a lot of people would not only disagree with, but many times vehemently and aggressively fight against. And for that I believe the author deserves kudos.
All I have left to say is, don't worry, this is a yaoi after all, it has a happy ending.
Oh... only one had reviewed this manga?? WHY?!! This manga is such an amazing one!
Then I shall make one, too!
Not Equal is one of my fave Yaoi Manga. I dunno but somehow when I read this before.. it made me feel so sad. Warning.. it's incest.
I'd say the story is really unique though not really original. Well I think I've read something like this before.. I think it was Sleeping Moon. But they're not that really the same. Both are great stories though.
Anyway! The pace of the story of this manga is really heart wrenching (if you know what I mean) and just too
sad. Not literally sad but because of the characters' situations. For goodness sake, they are FATHER and SON! But, it's just that fate is too cruel for them. They inevitably fell for each other despite of being related to each other. And no. They didn't mean to. It's just that 'time' was too cruel to play a prank with them.
I really love Ike Reibun-sensei's art. It has such a warm and simpleness touch on it. Really nice art.
Do you really need to ask? Of course I enjoyed this! It's such a nice story and really really great! Unique but abit sad.
I do enjoy sometimes reading incest stories though I'm not really into them. But this one, it will make you change your opinion about incest. Seriously.. I know that it's wrong for them to fall for each other... but WHO CARES??!
If you're up for a forbidden love with a strange twist and drama, then you should totally read this.
It's a shame that this manga is not getting that much attention.. but I guess since the scanlation is not yet finished and only 8 chapters were available.