Manga Monday: Koi Nanka Shitakunai

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For a quick reminder of what these posts are about, click here. What was not in the original post is a reminder that I’m a happily-ever-after person and that goes for my reading as well as my writing. While it spoils things to a point, in the same way my writing is spoiled (there’s always a happy ending of some sort), here, too, you will find happy endings. Yaoi and even shounen-ai does not guarantee it like Western romance does, but I will not be reviewing unhappy endings.

 

Title: Koi Nanka Shitakunai
Alternate Title: 恋なんかしたくない今日から兄弟になりました; Koi Nanka Shitaku Nai; I do not want to fall in love
Art: Itsuke Kaname
Story Tsukimura Kei
Publication date: 2000
Genre: Shounen Ai/Yaoi/Romance/Slice of Life
Length: 8.5 chapters
Availability: Mangago, Amazon

Summary

When Nakajima Yuuto’s mother decided to remarry he was afraid but everything turned out to be even better than he expected. His new older brother helps him and spoils him a lot and they’re getting along very well until the moment when Yuuto comes home earlier and sees his older stepbrother playing with another guy in bedroom. Now, Yuuto’s feelings are confused and he isn’t sure exactly how he can face Ryuusei. Determined to put distance and not mess up his mom’s new happiness, he goes to live in the dorms at school. During his years away, the distance shows him his feelings aren’t fleeting, but being apart gives him the ability to hide them. Everything’s fine until college comes around, his dad is reassigned to Hong Kong and now he has to live with Ryuusei. But how is Yuuto supposed to live with the man he loves and still hide his feelings?

Ratings

Scan: 5star
Translation:** 5star
Story: 4star
Art: 4star

**The translator changes in chapter 7 and, thus, the quality goes down significantly. Up until that point, it’s very well done. The rest is readable and you definitely get what’s going on, but some of the wording is off and makes reading frustrating.

 

Review

Art
This is the same artist that did Koi Ni Nare, with the student and teacher. Yet again, some of what pulls me in is the clean lines and facial expressions. And the eyes. They’re so detailed and beautiful. I could just stare at some of those panels for ages.
Story
So, Koi Ni Nare was really damned good. I got a bit annoyed with the Komatsu (the student) and even a bit at the Shindo-sensei, despite being such a “playboy,” being rather high and mighty about age and status. (I’m not saying he should have had sex with Komatsu while Komatsu was still a student, but he got a bit too perfect about it.)

Koi Nanka Shitakunai… doesn’t have that problem.

We don’t get a lot from Ryuusei’s point of view, mostly single panels here and there, though the ones we get definitely make an impact. Even so, what we see shows he’s no nearly as reserved when it comes to relationships as Shindo-sensei was. It might have something to do with his history and the fact that, unlike Shindo who is bi, Ryuusei is gay. That tends to color attitudes in men in Japan. He’s trying, though, so hard, and then when he tells his story, my heart just broke for him.

From Yuuto’s point of view, we get the struggle first that Yuuto didn’t even know he could be into guys. So, not only is he surprised at seeing Ryuusei involved with a guy, but it messes with him when it starts to turn him on. His struggle with his feelings and whether Ryuusei would accept them is so hard to watch. When it all comes down to it and you realize what Ryuusei was doing to keep Yuuto away and all they both went to, I just wanted to cry for both of them.

At the very end, one of the things I really appreciated from Ryuusei was a realistic response to their change in status (from brothers to lovers). I liked that he didn’t beat around the bush and that once he realized what he was seeing, he went for what he knew they’d both want.

All in all, though I definitely enjoyed both stories, I liked this one even better than Koi Ni Nare.

 

Favorite page:

Two pages, here. (BEWARE SPOILERS!)

Yuuto’s struggle here just punches me in the gut.

And the bottom left panel here. Ryuusei’s sexiness should be illegal.

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