warning: yaoi / boys love / gay / men x men manga. do not read review if that sort of thing offends.
english title: the other side of you
; scanlated by nakama and memory for you; 2 volumes 11 chapters complete.
||2 years ago in junior high school sakisaka shou was hirose takashi's best friend, but then he abruptly moved away and never replied to takashi's letters, nor maintained contact by any other means. now he's suddenly a new transfer student in takashi's senior high school class, and takashi is overjoyed. but far from being happy about it as well, shou snubs takashi, and when takashi keeps pursuing him, finally tells him that he hates him and that he should stay away from him. takashi doesn't have the slightest clue as to what happened. and kanako who's living with shou (his girlfriend?) isn't helping, but she takes a decided interest in takashi. what's up with her?
i've been plowing through a lot of crap lately, so this one came as a lovely relief; several thumbs up. depth, good characters, sensible and realistic development once we get past shou's initial behaviour.
this story is possibly a little dated because i don't know that even in japan people would still go to the lengths shou goes here to hide his feelings in order to protect takashi, but maybe i am too hopeful about the state of the world. this isn't a spoiler, i imagine, since the story is yaoi -- i guess everyone realizes that shou doesn't actually hate takashi, *snicker*. :) i think takashi is wonderful; the strength of purpose he shows under pressure, and how he is unwilling to give up on something or someone once he has committed himself, and how honest he is even when it's difficult to figure out how he really feels, is something i admire in real life, and think awesome in a yaoi manga (because it's rare, at least in as thoughtful a manner). shou on the other hand, oi, shou! i feel sorry for him, but i also want to slap him verbally upside the head. communicate, shou! kanako i just want to kick to the curb. i know i might be harder on female characters in yaoi, but must they always be so conniving, dammit? i feel a little sorry for her, and she does once do the right thing at the right moment and it's a pivotal moment, but really, she could've done the right thing all along, so i don't forgive her. and especially not considering what she does afterwards. still; she is a good character; not a throw-away threat or airhead.
the art is clean and uncluttered, and quite good in dramatic moments -- it really grew on me, and the flow is excellent; the manga was extremely easy to read.
the sex is there, and it's well done -- it fits the story. it's not particularly graphic or drawn out, and that's fine; i am not reading this story to wank.
i think this ranks among my very favourite stories to date.
i want to buy it, but it might be hard to find. not licensed in english, published by tokuma shoten, volume 1: ISBN4-19-960075-2, volume 2: ISBN4-19-960115-5 (jpqueen has the second one!)
if you'd like to test drive it, here's the f-locked download.
should be about 91MB.( art samples; no sex )