This very low key story of awakening love between two friends won't suit those who like more aggressive and angst-ridden stories. However, fans of romance, introspection and tenderness will find this very satisfying.
Writer/Artist: Tatsumi Kaiya
Translated by: Sachiko Sato
Adapted by: Sachiko Sato
What They Say
Be careful what you ask for in life, you just might get it! Mamoru and Natsu are now dating after a long courtship. Watch how things unfold between them and their friends at the university in this story of youth, friendship, and (boys) love.
This 2008 release is the standard trim with separate color cover, which has now been abandoned by DMP. There are no color pages in this volume and the excellent print quality almost makes up for it. There are the usual DMP advert pages and a mangaka afterword.
Tatsumi Kaiya's artwork with its simplified and stark definition of form and content suits this material well. The artwork and layout do not promise more or belie what Party offers in its slice-of-life story line. Fitting for a story with so much inner reflection, there are lots of close-ups and reaction shots.
The dialog is rather sparse, but it is meaningful and reads well. Much like the unembellished artwork, the words are clear and direct and suit this very understated story.
Contents (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Film student Mamoru and unemployed stage craft technician Natsu had been friends for ages when Mamoru confesses his love for Natsu. Of course, Natsu assumes the more brotherly type of love than Mamoru has in mind. How can Mamoru control his increasingly public demonstration of jealousy with respect to Natsu? How can Mamoru get Natsu to understand and respond to how he feels?
This story is a nice example of how the depiction small, everyday events can produce meaningful and affecting results. There is no dramatic turn of events, no pivotal actions that change any lives. Any changes in the relationship of Mamoru and Natsu occur within the context of daily affairs, chiefly aided by the college setting and the interaction of friends and fellow students. Mamoru's running internal monolog about his state of mind and affections help distinguish the story.
Readers looking for high octane sexual activity should look elsewhere, this is all about tenderness and longing.