So very cute.
I understand why people would have doubts pondering whether or not they should read this. I'm no different, I was suspicious. Age gap is no problem for me, but when you tell me one of the boys is 8 and the other one is 17, then I may have issues.
However, this story is not like I expected it to be. It's unbearably sweet. There are no graphic scenes, and no hint of sex until very into the series. I think the displays of affection truly begin when Ren is 15, and they are mostly kisses and hugs. So it may test the patience of more than one reader, but from my part, I'm hooked. The dynamics is so ambiguous, so significant but yet so very frustrating. It goes at a snail-pace, mind you.
Sometimes I wondered whether I was reading too much into this or not. Sometimes there is a big step forward that made my heart beat full force and my brain say "Awwww". Sometimes I just tried to go with the flow and try not to give labels, not to judge, not to expect this or that, not to focus on this on that, too much, or too little.
I found a new meaning to every little gesture. Maybe I think the world of them. Maybe.
The road is more important than the goal here, it seems.
Still, that wouldn't be enough to convince me, but I cannot in any way explain how this just 'clicks', how limits are so blurred you don't even get where that 'brotherly' affection ends and where the 'soul love' vibes start. It's so subtle, and so powerful.
And if it doesn't just stop reading it. No big deal.
There is a story beneath, even though it's not an epic story with big ups and downs. It's just the life of Haru, the oldest brother, with his two twin little brothers, Aki and Shima, and the youngest, newest adopted brother, Ren. Then we have Hary's mother, Haruko. And an unexpected guy so alike Haru, Natsu, who puts the things in jeopardy. Later, a Ren's nemesis, Akira, makes an appearance, and his imperturbable façade crumbles for once. Also, we have Ren's growing up, Ren's resistance at being considered a kid, and Ren's struggle to find his own place, to find his own space, and developing his own personality without being 'swallowed' by an overprotective Haru who may (or may not) see him as just a brother who needs to take care of him. On the other part, Haru's clueless loving behavior towards Ren was adorable but utterly annoying from time to time.
Slowly, they push each other apart but then they pull each other close, trying to find some leverage and balance. Trying to figure out what the other one means to them, what they do really mean to the other one.
This is a review of the whole series.
Read in Manga Rock.
Chapters and volumes:
Volumes in the series:
+ Volume 10 (ongoing)