Nov 21, 2013
Charcanis (All reviews)
A sweet, slow-paced story of two brothers and their unusual yet strangely entrancing relationship.

Haikei Niisan focuses on the story of overly-dependent Yutaka, whose fondest childhood memories were of him and his older brother, Minoru. Yutaka was always overly attached to his brother, who was something of a second parent to him. As the years pass, Yutaka's feelings for Minoru transcends that of your typical sibling relationship - and Minoru's constant absence from home leaves Yutaka forever yearning for him. How will Yutaka fare as his feelings become increasingly intimate, and what of Minoru's feelings for Yutaka? Can a love like this ever prevail?

The topic of incest is an interesting one because it is commonly linked to sinfulness and even fetish material - basically, it's a scorned-upon topic. However, Haikei Niisan manages to illustrate the other side of it in the form of an innocent love between two brothers who grew closer than best friends. The narration really does a great job in making you able sympathize with the two main characters. As the story progresses, one might even able to completely forget about the taboo nature of such a love, because the story revolves around just that - a love story between two conflicted individuals who are unable to express their true feelings that were kept locked away for so many years. Yutaka and Minoru's affinity for each other is just so innocent and pure, you can't help but root for them.

The art is very well done, and very efficient in depicting the atmosphere. Great use of soft gradients in the backgrounds to enhance the nostalgic feel of the flashbacks into Yutaka's childhood; it enhances the gentle atmosphere of the manga. Illustrations are very well done for the more emotional scenes (like when the reader is given insight into the character's thoughts). Expressions are beautifully drawn and can really stir up empathy during the more emotional parts.

Haikei Niisan is a refreshing read, especially for those seeking "forbidden love" stories. It is a romance story involving two conflicted individuals, and the ever-increasing pressure to conceal their love for each other, simple as that. Even if incest is not your thing, I would recommend trying this manga because it does an excellent job of showing a sweet and innocent love, hindered by a topic that is sometimes misunderstood in our society.