TGIF! It’s that time of the week again, it’s Fangirl Friday!! WOOT! I know I said I’d write about Shunju Aono’s comedy slice of life manga series, I’ll Give It My All… Tomorrow, but I recently came across another manga that ignited my fangirl spirit, to the point that I just had to write about it, so, I’ll Give It My All… Tomorrow will have to wait until next week, which in and of itself is kind of poetic. *ahem*
So, for this week’s Fangirl Moments post I wanted to cover a BL manga I came across the other day. I know, I know, I can hear the collective groans of all you BL naysayers out there, sorry, not sorry. If you aren’t in the mood for BL, I highly recommend checking out one of my other Fangirl Moment posts (there are a ton to choose from) by clicking right, HERE, I cover a range of topics so I’m sure you’ll find something worthwhile over there!! For everyone else, let’s get this show on the road shall we?
This week I’ll be covering the Hamada Kamome’s slice of life boys love manga, Ohayou To Oyasumi To Sono Ato Ni (Trans.: Good Morning, Good Night and Then). The series was released back in 2015 and comprises of 4 volumes, as of this post, it has not been licensed for an English language audience, however it’s currently being fan translated Pink is the New Black Scans! So far only six chapters have been translated, but that was more than enough to get me hooked!
“Since it’s destiny, it can’t be helped…”
Tachibana Kaito, 21 years old, waiter at a restaurant, suddenly met, who he’d thought, was his destined lover. It was love at first sight for him, but this beautiful person ended being… a man.
Kataoka Isuke, 19 years old, student of digital arts.
So what’ll happen to those two? Is it really destiny or was it just a fluke?
I don’t make it a habit to start ongoing manga series, especially when they aren’t licensed, simply because there is no guarantee that the series will ever be completely translated. Over the years I have seen scanlation groups come and go, and with them many beloved series that I know I may never read to their conclusion. I’ve made peace with that, well, for the most part… I’m still pretty salty about a few dropped series THAT DESERVE TO HAVE THEIR ENDINGS TRANSLATED!!!!! *ahem* So, for me to knowingly pick up and ongoing unlicensed series either speaks to the overall quality of the story or my latent masochistic tendencies… at this point, I’m not sure which.
At the very least, I can say that Ohayou To Oyasumi To Sono Ato Ni is without a doubt one of the better BL titles I have read in a long time and that is due to Hamada Kamome’s portrayal of the main couple and the progression of their relationship. I’ve only read the first six chapters, so I can only really speak on the story up to that point, but I was impressed with how in the span of just a few chapters, Hamada was able to develop a stable romantic relationship between two complete strangers. Don’t get me wrong, this manga is not without it’s flaws and there are times where it falls prey to many common BL tropes (ie. feminine uke, convenient cohabitation, etc.), but where those things bothered me in other BL titles, here they just seemed so natural.
The first encounter between Tachibana Kaito and Kataoka Isuke is about as cliché as a BL manga can get: Kaito mistakes Isuke for a girl and falls head over heels in love, only to find out a short time later that the object of his affection is in fact a man… *end scene, cue comedic sound effects* This isn’t a new premise, not by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s the way they interact afterwards that really sets the pace for their relationship. Kaito does a complete 180 when he finds out that Isuke isn’t the “girl of his dreams”, he lashes out at the poor kid as a way to alleviate his own frustrations and to his credit, Isuke is a terrible part-timer. But, over time, Kaito sees just how hardworking Isuke is and he finds that despite being a man, he can’t help but want to look out for him, whether it’s cooking him a meal or just secretly helping him with his work, Kaito can’t seem to leave the guy alone. Like I said, one cliche after another, but strangely enough it works and a lot of that has to do with the characters themselves.
Isuke is a feminine looking guy that could easily pass for a woman, even I had to do a double take when I first saw the character, with his soft features and small frame, it’s an easy mistake to make. I am not a fan of feminine ukes, so, I didn’t expect much from Isuke, boy was I surprised. Yes, he’s kind of aloof, and yes, he’s a bit “soft”, but that doesn’t mean he’s one of those overly effeminate guys you typically see in BL. Isuke is quiet, he keeps to himself mostly, and like most folks who leave home to pursue their dreams, he doesn’t like to show weakness, if something bad happens he’ll just shoulder the burden all on his own. Kaito is similar in that respect as well, which is why he eventually warms towards Isuke, because he sees a bit of himself in the young student. Sure, Kaito’s interest in Isuke developed because he fell for his pretty face, but as the story progresses he falls for Isuke, the man.
My only pet peeve is that the physical relationship between Kaito and Isuke started up a bit sooner than I would have liked, but, thankfully it was a mutual decision. Also, the sex was much more intimate than I expected so all in all, I didn’t have any serious complaints about it…
This is just a cute story about how destiny can bring the most important people into your life in the strangest ways. While not the most original story in the world, Ohayou To Oyasumi To Sono Ato Ni still manages to depict a sweet romance without seeming forced or too cliché and I look forward to reading the rest of it when it’s released… soon (I hope)!