Spin-off of Onoda and Deguchi's from Doushitemo Furetakunai.
Romance intensifies in this one-volume follow-up to Doushitemo Furetakunai. Our two young lovers met as supervisor and subordinate—when the boss was hungover in the elevator! What kind of love can spring from such an awkward start? The kind full of patience and gradual understanding or just another heartache?
If love is sweet then unrequited love is bittersweet. It's difficult to take the next step—confessing—especially when the other party doesn't swing for the same team that you do. It's not just admitting that you like the other person, it's stepping out of the closet and risking the chance that the other person may not be able to view you the same way anymore. And even in the best case scenario, is it still possible to be friends at the end?
Deguchi is a self-confident, charismatic office worker that satisfies his carnal urges through one-night stands. But perchance he happens to meet Onoda through a mutual
acquaintance, which, much to his chagrin, sparks a one-sided and unrequited love for a kind, gentle man that seems all but oblivious to Deguchi's interest in him.
The development between the two is gradual and satisfying, and despite there being large gaps between the chapters (three years apparently have passed by about chapter four or five), the pacing is impeccable. It can be said that the trope of “gay man and straight man” tends to be overused, but Yoneda Kou pulls it off flawlessly. Onoda doesn't immediately fall for Deguchi, it's a struggle for him from the very beginning to even comprehend how a relationship between them would ever work.
Which brings us to the characters themselves, which are fleshed out nicely for such a short one volume manga. Particularly because Yoneda actually gives them development as well. Deguchi starts out as somewhat cynical about others and can come across as, at times, bitter. Onoda on the other hand seems like a spineless jellyfish that eventually grows himself a backbone, particularly with Deguchi.
All of this combined with Yoneda's gorgeous crisp, clean, and captivating art, if you liked Doushitemo Furetakunai, you will adore this. If you're a yaoi fan that appreciates that love can, at times, be accompanied by pain as well, then you will no doubt enjoy this. It's every bit as good as the original story that it stems from.
Mod Note: This review was initially posted for the one-shot, After 9 Hours, and was subsequently merged into Soredemo, Yasashii Koi wo Suru.
"After 9 hours" (followed by "After 10 hours" and "Iro no Aru Sekai") is a parent story to "Doushitemo Furetakunai". Onoda, who is a secondary character in "Doushitemo Furetakunai" has his heart broken by another character in that parent story. He talks about his feelings to Deguchi, a drinking mate. Deguchi, who has always been in love with Onoda but has never confessed and given that Onoda may be into guys, decides to take action.
"After 9 hours" and "After 10 hours" are shounen-ai...
there are no sex scenes. There is a pannel in "Iro no Aru Sekai", but it is not only brief but extremely subtle. There is more in the parent story (Doushitemo Furetakunai), but also implied rather than explicitly shown.
Story - 8
The parent story is better, probably because of the characters, who have a troubled past, and are both more complex characters. There might be a little more depth in that other story. But this spin-off is also good. Both stories are endearing. The relationships are not twisted or sick, which is always refreshing, and in this one there are some very good comic panels. The plot is realistic. The only thing I find difficult to believe -and this is something a little two usual in yaoi manga- is when a straight guy falls so easily and naturally in love with another man, especially when they are grown up adults who -as a general rule- should already have defined their sexual preferences. It is not so easy to believe, and it is also a cliché. But it isn't so much of a trouble in the case of Onoda, as he had already developed feeling for another man before (in the parent story).
Characters - 9
The characters in both stories are not the usual yaoi stereotype. No bishounen, no tsundere or teary uke, no incredibly handsome, strong and controlling seme... they are normal people... and they handle things in a believable way. They are down to earth characters, very realistic.
Art - 10
The art is simple, clean and elegant. Very mature. I personally like this artist's style very much.
But what makes this manga so much better than most yaoi mangas out there, are the dialogs. The dialogs are natural, no clichés are used, no ridiculously cloying lines... the characters talk like any person would do... and they don´t talk when there is no need for them to do so... neither do they moan non-stop during sex or when they kiss. Part of the charm of the characters lies in the way they talk, in the answers they come up with.
I think this is a manga that even those who are not yaoi fans can enjoy, but if you are going to read "After 9 Hours" and the sequels, read "Doushitemo Furetakunai" first.