I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Akihito is moving ever closer to an engagement that will put him higher on the social ladder. When he asks his friend’s father to be the go-between for the marriage arrangements, he’s horrified to find that Ishizaki wants Tomoyuki to come into his service in exchange. Meanwhile, a former houseboy finds documents that bring up some interesting questions about Tomoyuki’s birth. The relationship between Tomoyuki and Akihito remains turbulent, but passionate.
I was surprisingly more engaged by this volume than any of the previous ones. It’s common for a manga series to take a few volumes before it settles into a good pace. Often, the first two or three volumes are full expository material that can be difficult to trudge through. I admit being put off of a series by that before. I’ve been very interested in this manga series since the beginning, but I’ve noted the slow pace. It really picks up in volume 3.
One of the elements I think helped the pace is the changing dynamic of Tomoyuki’s relationship with Akihito. Until this volume, he’s seemed indifferent about all of it. Perhaps that’s simply due to his demeanor. Generally, he’s very serious and unsentimental. It’s made him seem somewhat unfeeling, and that’s certainly how Akihito took it most of his life. There’s a change in this volume. Tomoyuki is beginning to admit to himself that he actually feels something for Akihito. It’s refreshing because I’m never a fan of the one-sided yaoi relationship.
This volume was well done, and I’m eager to see where this one goes. My experiences with the yaoi that SuBLime is producing have been really great. It seems like they value a great story arc and original stories. So much of yaoi is clearly about sex and the stories carry no real weight. I think it’s important for me to make that distinction between what I would call the typical yaoi manga and this new, better crafted yaoi I’m finding.