Oct 31, 2015
ItsPHI (All reviews)
Koimonogatari focuses on the difficulties of adolescent homosexuality. Yoshinaga Yomato is an ordinary boy, he’s naturally athletic, considerate, and sometimes quiet. While talking to one of his female friends, Yoshinaga mentions that girls simply don’t make his heart beat faster, and classmate Hasegawa Yuiji happens to accidentally hear. At first, Hasegawa finds himself uncomfortable with the news. However, as he begins to observe Yoshinaga, he finds himself unable to hate the boy who has such pure intentions.

As a manga with emphasis on reality over fiction, Koimonogatari relies on the two major perspectives consisting of: the protagonist (Yoshinaga) and the observer (Hasegawa). Readers will most likely relate to Hasegawa, who at first struggles to understand and accept Yoshinaga, but then begins to empathize with him, and even wish for his happiness. Hasegawa is open-minded, but that doesn’t mean his isn’t initially uncomfortable with the idea of Yoshinaga having a crush on his male best friend.

The success of the manga comes from the narration and plot, there’s attention towards real-life problems rather than unnecessary drama. Yoshinaga struggles with coming out to his friends, knowing that it is a risky thing to do, but if he doesn’t, he feels he is hiding a terrible secret. It’s exceptionally difficult to pretend you are happy when you are not, and as people begin to observe Yoshinaga they conclude something is “fake” or off about him. He tries to be stoic, and generally succeeds, but some of this classmates manage to see through this façade.

The art is beautiful and appealing, I'm sure most people will be pleased with the character designs and expressions. Expressions are not over-exaggerated, they're perfectly fitting and appropriate.

I recommend the manga to anyone who is a fan of reading LGBT works. There is some romance, but the focus is on the struggle of being gay, when being gay comes with negative connotations. Let’s call it a Slice of Life with an actual intensive, involving plot?