Hello! This is the first time I have written a review for a manga on MAL and I felt it a shame no one left one yet, so bear with me, please.
Okay, so this oneshot doujinshi is best read after Sabita Yoru demo Koi wa Sasayaku and Renai-Rubi Tadashii Furikata (chapters 3+) so that you can be introduced to the main characters. I will be writing this reveiw with the assumption you have at least read Sabita.
This dj delves into the relationship between Kan-chan and Yumi after high school and before their break-up in Sabita. As you should know, Yumi had been physically abused
in Sabita by his boyfriend for at least a year. In this dj, we get to see how they came to date and what Kan-chan's workplace experience was like at the company that led to start his abusive behavior. The portrayal of Kan-chan's struggle is very powerful and sad; although, Yumi's character does feel a little more flat or inconsequential in comparison.
Frankly, only two characters ever really appear, but Kan-chan's motivations, anxiety, despair, anguish, etc. are so beautifully illustrated, he warrants a 10 in my book. Yumi is not a bad character, but the focus of the story is mostly on Kan-chan, so he is not as fleshed out.
Oregetsu Tanaka's art always gets to me. However, instead of being extremely smutty, which is one of her most defining art form, her use of screen-tones, expressions, and the like to convey feelings of despair, stress, and mental fatigue were mind-numbing. Also the contrast between the happy beginning to the sad ending are very well down.
I love this one shot so much because it made me really feel for Kan-chan and cry out for a happy ending that I frankly knew was NEVER going to come for him and Yumi.
This is not a love story or a typical yaoi story. It felt much more like a story on the struggles of living with abuse in a situation way beyond one's control. And what being being a victim of abse can lead a person to doing.
This dj does not try to justify Kan-chan's violence, but more less seek to give us an understanding of where he was coming from. A chance to forgive him although he made a huge and terrible mistake. Even the ending leaves no hope as to Kan-chan "magically" resolving his turmoil. It ends heavily implying that once he and Yumi decide to stay together after the first time Kan-chan hit, it would be something to regret.
Side-Note: I hated Kan-chan in Sabita, and by pure chance I happened upon him again in Renai. While not realizing he was the same person, I read the story and was shocked to see how far he had come since breaking it off with Yumi. It made me want to forgive him. After reading that and then reading Azami, I fell in love with the type of character Kan-chan became.