Sep 21, 2017
Gomorrah (All reviews)
(contains spoilers)

Kasa no Shita, Futari is a homoerotic drama written and drawn by one of the most famous BL mangaka, Junko. This work heavily relies on angst, and not the kind that I like.

The story is told from Keisuke Mio's perspective. He's a high school student who starts hanging around a gang of university students by chance and over the course of time develops feelings for one of them, Kakeru Yugi, to be exact. Not only are Mio's feelings initially unrequited, but he also finds out that Yugi secretly has casual sex with a male friend. Lacking dignity, Mio decides to use this knowledge as a chance to get in Yugi's pants. He's frustratingly persistant, considering that Yugi doesn't show any interest in him and even treats him cold-heartedly, which causes Mio's advances to seem baseless and pathetic, but we don't choose who we fall for, do we? Although their relationship progresses throughout the story, the kind of progress that leads to a romantic relationship is only present in the last chapter, where the plot takes place some time in the future, but even here, it isn't indicated that Yugi has missed Mio, but just the opposite! Yugi generally felt distant to me as a reader.

On one hand, I could feel the main character's pain and frustration, meaning that the author achieved the goal. On the other, there was no reason for me to support the main character other than the fact that he was the main character. Surprisingly, I found myself indifferent to the conclusion, the only thing I felt being relief that the drama was over, not happines for the main duo. A plus is that the drama is brought in a calm and mature manner, without screaming and crying.

The umbrella from the title is used for symbolism, but it has no any deeper meaning that can't be grasped. It's explained in a straight-forward way, even though no explanation is necessary.

The art is decent. It's neat and there are no issues with odd proportions or sharp edges for instance, but I'm not a fan of this type of character design. The seme has large eyes, which make him look boyish, innocent and immature, while the uke has rather feminine features. In fact, you can tell he's uke by the faces he's making during sex, though seme/uke roles are typical for BL manga.

Overall, Kasa no Shita, Futari is alright at best and far from a must-read, given neither the story nor execution is spectacular and the characters aren't likeable either. You might even want to avoid unnecessary heart-wrenching. However, cute art and unrequited love enthusiasts may find this appealing. Hopefully, you've been given insight into what to expect and can decide for yourselves whether this is your cup of tea or not.