This was a sweet and mature romance traveling on some dark rails. It’s very unexpected and surprising and not at all a typical yaoi plot.
What I liked about it:
It surprised me. It seemed somewhat typical at first but quickly turned all my expectations on their head.
The roles of the uke and seme were somewhat reversed from their roles in the relationship. The man with more emotional and mental power was not the seme.
There were no blushing maidens and no one was coerced. (Not that I mind coercion, it was just a refreshing change to not have it there.)
STORY: This was ultimately what won me over in this manga. I didn’t read the summary first; I just dove in feet first, so it seemed rather typical initially but very quickly surprised me and showed me that it wasn’t at all. I thought I understood where this new plot was going and then it surprised me again. And I love that! It did eventually settle on a path and become somewhat predictable but that predictability didn’t keep the author from continuing to surprise me in small ways.
CHARACTER: I really enjoyed watching these two. I do wish there had been some more background to establish depth but that may come as the author continues writing (it’s not finished). I loved that their motives were far from expected and even further from pure. They both are playing a mental poker game with one another and it’s exciting to watch. Makio uses some truly devious psychological mind-fuckery that was just incredible. It’s rare to see such complex mental processes in yaoi characters.
ART: There was nothing outstanding about the art in this but it was lovely. I did have trouble distinguishing a few of the characters but was able to quickly identify them by name or role. The intimate scenes were well done; they were erotic without being crass. Their expressions were riveting.
Overall, I really loved the heck out of this story. I look forward to continuing to learn more about these characters and watching them on their journey.