Boys With Tomorrow to Conquer 2
January 26, 2012
Satoru Ishihara – Digital Manga Guild – 2012 – 2 volumes
Yay! The wait was shorter than I thought for the second volume of this series! Because I sadly stalk eManga, I found this when it was posted on Monday. Also, I feel like plugging Ludwig II, which was also posted and can be read very cheaply (400 points buys you a 300 page volume). I love You Higuri, and that’s my favorite of her work.
Anyway, I was somewhat disappointed by the second volume of this series. It’s still very good, and my beef is a petty and superficial one. It’s a bit of a spoiler, and also a deal-breaker, so I’ll keep it to myself. But let’s just say it doesn’t finish like a good romance manga should. And not in the exciting and different way, either. It just kinda… stops. On the other hand, the romance isn’t really the point here, it’s all about the coming-of-age story, which is still very good.
We get two more stories with Kei and Atsushi, and two short works at the end of the volume. My Caged Beast, about yakuza, wasn’t great, but Indigo Blue was wonderful. It features two best friends who appear to be running drugs on a lark. One is the front man of the operation, and the other constantly watches his back from the shadows in case something goes wrong. The backup also has a sleeping disorder, and will sleep for days at a time. He sleeps so soundly that the front man gives him elaborate tattoos to entertain himself. The story follows their operations in Mexico, and then moves to Japan for the second half. Neither of the men appear to be bad people. The front man seems to be doing it for the money and the fact he loves the Caribbean and hates Japan, and the backup just seems to follow along. I didn’t quite get their relationship, or what happened when things went south in the end, but it was still a beautiful story, one of the best BL one-shots I’ve read. Actually, the BL was only lightly implied, but I still loved it.
The Kei and Atsushi stories were good, too. The first was the final chapter in the story about Kei rejoining the track team, and the second was yet another story about gang members beating up Atsushi and Kei rushing in to save him. I was a little disappointed with it as a wrap-up for the series, but even so, there’s a lot of good stuff in there, and both stories were a lot of fun to read.
I do like the characters in this series a lot. While neither are developed too deeply, they definitely aren’t the hand-hold-y type of couple that one usually finds in these stories, and their fights amongst themselves are a refreshing change of pace. It’s less about their relationship and more about the trouble the two of them get into, and finding their place in life and whatnot. It’s not too heavy, or romantic, but I tend to like tough-guy stories like this, and it’s very good for that.
Highly recommended! I did like the first volume better, but it’s hard to find fault with more of the same type of stories, and this volume is worth a read for Indigo Blue alone.