Rapid Fire Review
Title: Sorekara, Kimi wo Kangaeru
Synopsis: Four separate short stories of gay male teen couples enduring high school angst and the pressures that eventually push them together or tear them apart:
-In “Then, I Think of You”, Yasu and Takashi must decide if one of them will leave or if both of them will stay in their small nothing town to be together.
-In “The Final Command”, a dinner party makes Sano reminiscences of a dark-ish period in his life when he fully submitted to the bully of his class.
-In “Young Oh! Oh!”, an unplanned ploy to dissuade the advances of a female classmate
lands Sako in a relationship with a boy that he does not want. Or does he?
-In “It’s Darkest Before the Dawn”, Kaname gets terrible news about his family. He decides to run away with his closest childhood friend who helps him explore his sexuality in ways that he is not fully prepared to handle.
-The inner monologues in each piece are lovely and even have a few life gems to remember
-“The Final Command” is 1/3rd the length of the other stories and, yet, tells the strongest story due to its brevity, lack of explanation and dark subject matter
-Sex scene is realistic and honest without being gratuitous or exploitative
-Suffers from a what many Shounen Ai or most romance manga suffer from which is that two, arguably three, of the stories have little to no obstacle, high drama and somehow a forced romantic conclusion
-The spoken dialogue between the characters feels formulaic and predictable as are the outcomes of all the stories
-The manga suffers from lack of variety. The four stories seem to have almost the exact same characters assuming different hairstyles and varying degrees of angst or broodiness. With the exception of one, the manga is a paint-by-numbers romance manga that had missed opportunities to throw the reader a curveball.