Akira confesses his love to his best friend Tatsuya, but then turns to Tanabe for comfort instead. In the end, who will he choose?
Writer/Artist: Riyu Yamakami
Translation: Melanie Schoen
Adaptation: Melanie Schoen
What They Say
The classic love triangle gets a new twist in this school-age love story. Tanabe likes Akira. Akira likes Tatsuya. And really no one knows who Tatsuya is lusting after! But when Akira decides that unrequited love isn't all that noble and responds to Tanabe's advances, Tatsuya confesses!? Akira isn't sure which way is up let alone which way lies love!
This book has DMP's standard large trim size and full color dust jacket. The paper and print quality are both very nice, with sharp lines and dark blacks.
The art here is surprisingly delicate, relying almost as much on the reader's imagination in some scenes as it does on the linework itself. In a few panels there are some terribly awkward errors of anatomy and proportion, but that's thankfully not particularly common. Yamakami's page layouts could use some work - rather than helping the story flow, they frequently just felt overly busy and cluttered. But the soft art and surprisingly emotional facial expressions come together nicely in the end, making this a very attractive book overall.
All sound effects are subtitled on the page in a font similar to the original. The translation flows smoothly without any notable rough spots.
Akira is secretly in love with his best friend Tatsuya, but there are complications. For one, Tatsuya has a girlfriend. Also, things didn't go so well with the last guy Akira fell for - he confessed, and was quite thoroughly rejected, which isn't an experience he wants to go through a second time. The only one who knows is his dorm neighbor, Tanabe, a strange guy who seems to enjoy tormenting Akira, but also has surprising insight at times. But spending time with Tatsuya gets much more difficult as time goes on, until finally one day, as Tatsuya is talking about his breakup with his girlfriend, Akira confesses, almost without realizing it.
Scared to see Tatsuya's reaction, he runs away, straight to Tanabe, who somehow manages to make him feel better about the whole situation. But better isn't the same as fine, and Akira starts taking increasingly desperate steps to avoid being alone, because he's scared of what he might feel when he's by himself. Tanabe finally has to step in to save him from an especially risky situation, and the two wind up sleeping together.
Tatsuya, meanwhile, has been dealing with Akira's confession (and subsequent avoidance) all on his own, and slowly comes to realize that somewhere along the way, he's fallen for Akira as well. The two finally get together as a couple, but despite getting what he thought he wanted, Akira isn't as happy as he should be.
Love triangles are pretty common in BL titles, but seldom do you see them executed this well. Akira's struggles to understand his own feelings are extraordinarily well executed as well, even if the pop psychology was a little heavy-handed at times. If it wasn't for the postscript, I probably wouldn't have been particularly happy about the ending, but it worked out well enough in the end. This book was big on the moody emotions and angst, and not particularly long on character development, but if definitely manages to create a mood particularly suited to times when you want to read something introspective.