August 1, 2015
Kou Yoneda – SuBLime – 2014 – 1 volume
I’m always so worried when I read a new series with a really common word for a title. Did I already read one called Nights? Will I have to do something fancy with the categories so they don’t get sorted together? Luckily, I haven’t had to cross that bridge yet. It is weird I haven’t read a series called Nights yet, though.
I’ve read another book by Kou Yoneda, No Touching At All, which I’m apparently going to have to re-read in the near future, since I haven’t written it up here yet. But I loved that one, and I liked Nights for the same reason – relationships between older men, and for the majority of both books, really adorable workplace romances.
Nights is technically a volume of short stories, so I’ve been putting off reading it. But it has a great cover, and it was on top of my stack of unread BL, so I gave in the other day. The first two stories in the volume are unrelated, but more than half the book is about a car dealership where mechanic Seki and salesman Takami work. Takami is extremely poker-faced and distant, and doesn’t open up to anyone, or even realize he doesn’t open up to anyone. Seki is a bit short-tempered, but a good guy. After Seki helps out Takami one night, the two get dinner together and become friends. After many more dinners and casually hanging out together, the two wind up getting tricked into a double-date by one of Seki’s friends. When he gets jealous at the woman paired up with Takami, Seki realizes he needs to take a step back from their relationship.
The stories are adorable. One of my favorite things was a technique Yoneda used with consecutive wordless panels showing the two eating at different restaurants, with time lapsing. Seki is majorly shy, and Takami is kind of clueless about himself, and everything is handled rather subtly and very well. The main story is in two parts, the first chapter is told from Seki’s point of view and ends with him confessing his feelings to Takami to drive him away. The second story is from Seki’s point of view, where he takes that into consideration, and is increasingly distraught over the fact Seki no longer wants to be his friend, basically. There’s some loving follow-up after the main story, but the meat of it are the two POV chapters. They are lovely.
The first story in the volume is a hard-boiled crime kind of thing, where a gang is setting up a delivery with a “famous” deliveryman. The latter insists on working one-on-one with the secretary to the underboss, and he eventually picks him up… there’s a bit of a twist ending, but not one that’s surprising to anyone that’s read these kind of crime-themed BL shorts before. It was all right… fairly addictive, but the rest of the volume was better. The second story is just a high school romance. That one was pretty cute, but again, I prefer the stories with older men.
Overall it was pretty great, and it overcame my hesitation about reading a volume of short stories, and even overcame the fact I wasn’t that into the first couple stories. It’s cheap if you buy it digitally on the SuBLime website (again, my links stopped working in wordpress, but it’s here: https://www.sublimemanga.com/reader/667), but the book is worth having. SuBLime books are always very nice, and this one has color pages in the front, too.
EDIT: SuBLime released a follow-up for 8/01 day! I’m reading it in about a second, but probably won’t review it here since it’s a bonus chapter for this book: https://www.sublimemanga.com/reader/693