What does it mean to love someone? What does it take to love yourself?
*This is a spoiler free review*
First of all, this is not your average yaoi centering around sex, lust, roles and power. This is a slice-of-life story about two people who fall in love and how they deal with the issues they encounter when their relationship develops. The plot is not complex, it concentrates on main characters’ everyday life and we get to know more about them and their past while they get to know each other better.
The fact that the protagonists are both male brings up questions about sexuality, self-denial and acceptance, and the characters are also brought to face other difficult matters like death, loneliness and depression. Despite the heavy topics the story deals with, it never feels dark but maintains a rather positive and warm ambience.
Kii Kanna’s art is soft and delicate and something I wouldn’t normally expect to find in a manga tagged with yaoi. It’s almost like illustrations you would expect to see in children’s storybooks. The characters are expressive and super cute which matches the dreamy atmosphere of the story.
There is a small but diverse cast of characters, who are all sympathetic and bring their own aspects to different issues. They don’t feel too generic and their interactions are refreshing, realistic and enjoyable to read. The main duo of Shun and Mio is adorable with their distinct personalities and their relationship has moments from solemn to comical, sweet and intimate.
I was captured by the slow spinning, dream-like magic of Shun and Mio’s romance and read everything available in one go. The characters are appealing, the story is thoughtful and beautiful and the overall feeling you’re left with is relaxed.
This is one of the best BL romances I’ve encountered and something I’d recommend not only to fans of that genre but to everyone who likes to read some smart slice-of-life and romance with real-life feeling and mature tone. Don’t be immediately put off by the yaoi-tag, because while there are some sex scenes, they are not the main point and always have something to add to the story or characters’ development.
Go read the prequel and then this. You won't be disappointed.