Sep 5, 2021
abystoma2 (All reviews)
Umibe no Etranger is a BL that does not fetishize gays. To those not that familiar with the genre this statement much not be telling much, but let me tell you that there’s just a few BLs that successfully don’t do that, even if they try not to. And most don’t even try at all. The characters feel like actual people having actual feelings instead of the usual “we’re all gay because the plot said so”. That’s not to say that Etranger doesn’t have any sexual content at all, but even that is more realistic and believable than the common “yamete kudasai senpai” bullshittery.

Now, I have stated that the characters feel realistic, but the character development still leaves things to be desired. The relationship feels quite rushed, perhaps even speedrunned. Not as confusing as the movie which is why I like the manga a bit more compared to the adaptation, but we still get from two people meeting to being in love within but few pages, with few actual development shown. I’d say that the plot of this manga feels more like a feeling than an actual continuous story. That’s not entirely bad and it still feels like an actual romance story (again, compared to the usual rapey boogaloo that plagues the genre), and I guess it was not the goal to show the full relationship development in the first place, but it would still be nice to have perhaps at least a chapter or two more focused on that.

The art is good, and doesn’t give away that this is a BL work right from a first look – if you know how average yaoi artwork looks you know why this is a good thing.

Overall, this is the kind of title that doesn’t hurt to read even if you’re not interested in the genre, but don’t expect anything near a masterpiece. It’s also a nice counterweight to the usual genre tropes, as you might have already guessed by my continuous comparisons to an average work of said genre.