Sunflower Vol. #02 (Mania.com)

By:Danielle Van Gorder
Review Date: Monday, January 12, 2009
Release Date: Tuesday, September 23, 2008

When Ohno breaks down and confesses to Imaizumi, will their friendship survive?

Creative Staff
Writer/Artist: Hyouta Fujiyama
Translation: Jekka
Adaptation: Jekka

What They Say
Kinsei High School is famous for its academic excellence. It is infamous for its 90% gay or bi student population. Kunihisa Imaizumi is a cute, homo-phobic freshman surrounded by a sea of aggressive, gay men. Unable to deal with the increasingly bold advances of his classmates, he appoints his friend Ryuhei as his "knight in shining armor" to keep his suitors at bay. But Ryuhei feels more like a fox guarding the hen house as he falls more in love with Kunihisa each day. It is only a matter of time before Ryuhei can't keep his growing affection and raging hormones at bay.

The Review!
Imaizumi didn't know what he was getting into when he first came to Kinsei High, but he's gradually adjusted, become a promising member of the Student Council, and has fun hanging out with his best friend Ohno. But Ohno's feelings for Imaizumi changed somewhere along the way, without him even really being aware of it until the two ended up having a fight over the vice-president, sparked by Ohno's jealousy. Newly aware of his true feelings, Ohno can't help but confess to Imaizumi, who winds up turning him down gently.

But Ohno refuses to let go of his feelings. But his lighthearted manner leaves Imaizumi confused about where they stand, and eventually leads to a confrontation between the two where Ohno is rejected again, this time in a much harder fashion. With little hope of things ever going back to the way they were between them, Ohno states his intention to leave the Student Council and go his own way.

Over summer break, Imaizumi has plenty of time to think over how things went between them, but he can't seem to find a satisfactory answer, or even figure out why it is he can't just end things completely. When he sees Ohno again unexpectedly, he's thrown into even deeper turmoil. In the end, it comes down to one thing - is he willing to let the friendship they shared go completely, or can he bring himself to finally accept Ohno's feelings for him?

The volume concludes with a closer look at the relationship between Leiji and Fumiaki, which is more complicated than the earlier interactions between the two let on. Fujiyama writes some excellent BL, and this is definitely one of my favorite of her books. Imaizumi's emotions are deliciously complex and confused, and watching him work through them was fascinating. Add the undeniably charming Ohno to the mix, and you've got a definite winner here. While this is rated for ages 18 and up, it only barely crosses that line, so anyone looking for graphic sex should look elsewhere. This is all about the sweetly charming romance, and it does that very well.



Mania Grade: A-
Art Rating: A
Packaging Rating: A
Text/Translation Rating: A
Age Rating: 18 and Up
Released By: Digital Manga Publishing
MSRP: 12.95
Pages: 200
ISBN: 978-1569700143
Size: A5
Orientation: Right to Left