Zekuu's Reviews ＆ Ratings
How can you describe a manga which leaves you breathless, crying, and yet, sweetly optimistic all at the same time? Where past trauma threatens to crush any budding romance blossoming between the main characters? Where there are such bittersweet, hopeful moments that make your heart ache while fearing that neither of them will be able to move past their fears. Two desperate souls who don't think they're worthy of the salvation they seek, but can't help being drawn to each other because they just might find redemption together. If you're looking for a manga which takes time to develop the characters, provides poignantly written backstories to help you understand what each main character has suffered, and leaves you aching for the day when they are finally able to truly love each other - this is the manga you should be reading.
I would agree with another reviewer that this manga appeared to have a rush ending that was not very satisfying to resolve all the tension built up. It ended somewhat "happy", but I didn't feel like the characters expressed their feelings for each other very well and we don't get a strong declaration for Kazuaki which will relieve Yuko's insecurities. Yuko's internal conflict is fairly well portrayed. She wants a connection with someone which originally equated to physical intimacy before realizing that she needed the emotional connection as well. I think Kazuaki's initial declaration to NOT fall in love got her really thinking about what she wanted and also set her up to fall in love with him. Kazuaki was a hard character to like and at the same time hard to dislike. He's one of the first characters I found somewhat inscrutable, perhaps because the mangaka didn't get a chance to fully realize his character (rushed ending left some loose ends). I don't feel like he got the time/opportunity to develop as the mangaka would have liked. I think there is some past hurt which has really affected him and made it hard for him to open up to Yuko despite what I believe is his true, deep love for her. However, we never really know what that past hurt was, thus a loose end I really would have liked to see resolved. Also, his feelings are quite passionate, but we don't get to see the more tender emotions he's perhaps capable of - again, possibly due to this manga getting cut short. I'd be interested to read a more complete story by this mangaka - I feel like they grasp the real challenges with relationships and can build up some good tension without creating a lot of unnecessary drama.
For a three chapter story, the first story, "Better Pay Back Your Debt Soon" makes this well worth the price. Koya and Aoi are great characters. Quiet Aoi has a bit of sass to her which is adorable to see. Koya is a great leading man whose brusque, sometimes childish, manner hides a real kindness and of course, a deeply passionate side. Aoi sparks his interest and it goes off like a powder keg from there. The story develops quickly, but I think the pacing goes well with the plot development. I would have loved to see more interactions between Koya and Sasaki. Honorable in their own right and both care for Aoi which brings out Koya's jealous side in humorous, passionate and sweet ways. The story is re-readable and I still chuckle at all the humorous points. The art is well-drawn, clean and easy to follow - I'd love to see more from this author if she can keep the quality consistent with what she's done with this first story.The second and third stories are related to each other, but both are fairly flat. I didn't particularly care much for either of the characters. They were extreme examples for female archetypes. The tomboy, rough and tumble girl who wanted to be girly while the other was the soft, frilly girl who wanted to be more aggressive. The art is a little less polished here - hinting these might be earlier efforts by this mangaka and included to fill out the rest of this volume. Perhaps if the stories had the opportunity to develop the characters, I might have liked them more, but I can easily skip them each time I re-read the first story.