Love blooms in all kinds of places – an onsen, a flower shop, and even a dog kennel?
Writer/Artist: Rico Fukiyama
Translation: Su Mon Han
Adaptation: Su Mon Han
What They Say
Everybody knows Tatsuki - a star performer at the Academy of Performing Arts School. On stage, he's very expressive and full of energy... but, off stage, he's the complete opposite - shy and introverted, especially when it comes to his relationships. He once had a crush on someone awhile back, but it ended up being a crash-and-burn. Can Tatsuki get his happy ending this time?
Midnight Bloom is a solid BL anthology with a nice mix of stories that are enhanced by the strong artwork. Though I find the cover too busy to be eye-catching, the interior art is very attractive. The character designs are well-proportioned, with lean frames and narrow, handsome faces. Expressions are readily communicated to the reader. I didn’t notice any typos, and the dialog flowed smoothly throughout the book.
This collection of BL stories is light and fluffy, emphasizing flirting and the joys of falling in love. The title story is about a florist and an actor, and it was actually my least favorite chapter in the book. With all of characters and romantic complications, it felt a little too complex for the few pages allotted to the story. I just didn’t feel connected to the story during the read through.
The next chapter, "The Big Shiba,” though ridiculous, was a more engaging. Hana’s mother died of an illness when he was young, and his father has been trying to make him happy ever since. All Hana really wants is a dog, but his father won’t let him get one because he is afraid his son will be broken-hearted again when it dies. Instead, the older, overindulged Hana adopts a young man to be his pet, and romantic confusion ensues. It’s all very silly but it’s also light-hearted enough that I enjoyed the relationship between Hana and his “dog.”
My favorite story revolved around Tsukushi and Kanji. Both of their families operate inns, and when Tsukushi’s sister breaks off her engagement with Kanji, Tsukushi has to go and apprentice at Kanji’s inn. I enjoyed “Now and Then, My Hearts Pounds,” quite a bit. Tsukushi is meak, confused, and unable to resist his attraction to Kanji. Kanji has always liked Tsukushi, and now he is determined to win his heart for his own. Sweet and fluffy, I thought this was a fun story.
Last but not least we have “Scratch That Itch,” which is a teacher/student romance. There was nothing distinctive about this story, but the author plays up the forbidden relationship for everything it’s worth.
Midnight Bloom offers up a pleasant mix of BL stories with a 16+ age rating. There’s nothing too racy or scandalous, making this a good choice for new readers of the genre. The tone is light and teasing in all of the chapters, and the art is pretty and visually appealing. Though not exactly memorable, the book is a pleasant diversion from reality.