Look, I know the title’s trashy, but the contents aren’t at all.
Adachi’s back at work the day after the heart-pounding near-kiss from Kurosawa in the last volume… and is a bit perturbed at how coolly Kurosawa’s playing it. His mind reading ability comes somewhat to the rescue, though, as he’s able to find out that the other man’s ratcheting back a bit thinking he took things too quickly. Luckily for Kurosawa, the company trip is coming up – and even as Adachi is privy to Kurosawa’s thoughts, it doesn’t prove to make him immune to the charm offensive. But as Adachi creeps slowly toward returning Kurosawa’s affections, he happens to spot his colleague arguing with a beautiful woman, and he’s no longer sure that Kurosawa likes him best… So what’ll happen when the two end up temporarily shacked up together?
Despite my prediction in my review of volume one, and also despite the “Explicit Content” label on the cover, things do NOT heat up much in this volume. It even manages to end on another thwarted kiss! Somewhat to my own chagrin considering volume three isn’t scheduled for release until March 2021! But if the two are going to be cohabiting, even temporarily, surely we might even get a lone kiss next time…
Despite my frustration here, this is a solid continuing volume, and I can’t really complain about how slowly things are proceeding given how much of a hang-up Adachi has over being a virgin and never having dated before. He has serious self-esteem issues that need some time to play out before he’d be able to start something seriously with Kurosawa. He only just at the very end of this volume cottons onto the fact that his feelings for Kurosawa have taken on a romantic tinge. As for Kurosawa, despite an early mental declaration that he’s going to wear Adachi down, his pursuit remains fairly innocent, sticking to the realm of asking for a photo together and buying him an inexpensive pin of a naval ship.* There’s a moment which encapsulates it pretty neaty involving karaoke in which Adachi is shocked to discover that Kurosawa thought he was in competition with someone else for Adachi’s attention – the someone else can’t even remember Adachi’s name for thirty seconds.
This volume isn’t quite as good as the first, but that may be more to do with my low expectations going into volume one. I hate to admit it, but the art gets a bit wonky at times, which I suppose betrays that this started its life on Pixiv (while uploading the cover above I noticed that the hands on the mouse are really, really bad). There are also a few truly cliche moments here whose mileage varied for me substantially. Some drunks harass a female colleague who Adachi and Kurosawa then rescue, which earned a heavy sigh from me – but even as I rolled my eyes a little over the “oh no now we’re living together!” gambit, I smiled. It’s silly and pretty contrived, but, oh, whatever, I can roll with it, Kurosawa’s well-established himself as not being a creep, so it doesn’t fill me with dread.
This is the third release I’ve read from Square Enix Manga & Books, and it seems safe to say that they’ve established themselves as a decent manga publisher, as this was as professionally polished as the other two.
The wait for volume three is going to be pretty painful. A live-action version is scheduled to start airing in October, but, having experienced bad live-action dramas in the past, I think I’ll probably skip it. Recommended to BL fans in general, and those who dig slow-boil stuff more specifically, although folks who like their stuff a bit more hot and heavy probably would be better off with a title whose contents actually match the Parental Advisory label. This is a fairly charming series and I’m quite pleased its gotten an English language release.
* This ends up with the two leads going to look at naval ships at Yokosuka, where there’s both a US base an a Japan Maritime Defense Force base. Adachi’s all excited because he’s going to be able to see an Aegis! A what? An Aegis Combat System! A what? It’s a weapons control system, specifically for missiles; both the US Navy and the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force have them on several ships. There’s also a variant called “Aegis Ashore”, which is the same system but on land. Going to “look” at one would really just mean looking at the radar arrays associated with the system, though, so I can’t really get the excitement Adachi has over making a trip specifically to go look at that.