If this were a fairy tale, we’d have reached our ‘happily ever after’ by now. Adachi, day-dreaming. But our lives are just getting started.
Kurosawa and Adachi – the ‘wizard’ who can read other people’s minds because he was still a virgin when he reached the age of thirty – have made love. At last. And when Adachi wakes up next morning, he can no longer hear what his lover is thinking. When he confesses to Kurosawa that he’s lost his special ability, Kurosawa is relieved in a way but when Adachi says, “I thought, even without magic, that as long as I was with you, it’d be fine,” he’s moved to tears.
But their happiness is short-lived as Adachi has to make a decision about the Nagasaki job he’s been offered. He apologizes to Kurosawa, realizing that he really wants to test himself by taking on the opening of the new store for the company. And Kurosawa, good and supportive partner that he is, can’t find it in him to object, even though selfishly, he’d like to. Although he begins to scheme to see if he can find a reason to visit Nagasaki on work more often himself. And it’s not so surprising that, when doing the washing-up together, he finds himself suggesting to Adachi that they move in together when the Nagasaki transfer comes to an end. “Sounds good to me,” Adachi says with a dazzling smile and goes on to add, “That was almost a proposal just now” which freaks Kurosawa out as he meant to do the proposal thing properly. He’s bought them matching rings – and really, there’s no time like the present to give one to Adachi. “You don’t have to wear it all the time or anything.”
And then Adachi moves out of his flat and finds himself working all the hours that there are and then some to get the Nagasaki store ready for opening on-time. Out with his colleague from Nagasaki, they pass a church where a wedding is taking place – with two brides. Adachi pauses, impressed, and says, “It’s beautiful.” (The translator’s helpful note at the back of the volume tells us that it’s Oura Catholic Church, the oldest Christian church still standing in Japan). Has this planted a seed of an idea in his mind?
Meanwhile, Adachi’s novelist friend Tsuge (who also became a ‘wizard’ at thirty) is still trying to come to terms with his (unrequited, or so it seems) feelings for the aspiring dancer/delivery man Minato. Minato, encouraged by Tsuge, has gone for an audition in a live-streamed show– but doesn’t make the final cut. However, there’s one more chance in a week: the audience vote, although he’s already been told by one of the judges that all he has to offer is technique. It’s now or never if he wants to fulfil his dream; what has he got to lose if he doesn’t give this one last try? Minato sets out on his scooter– only to break down on the way there. Has he blown his final chance?
After six volumes of following the slow-burn relationship between shy Adachi and self-confident Kurosawa, it’s impossible not to be moved by their reactions on the morning after the night before. We’ve been rooting for their relationship to work for so long. And because Yuu Toyota (who is still, let’s face it, not always the most skilled in the graphics department) is nevertheless very good at creating believable characters, the heart-to-heart that takes place between the two men is probably the most affecting she’s written so far. So the Mature rating is earned, although there’s nothing very explicit here and as the relationship is consensual, it all makes for a heart-warming read.
Square Enix Manga brings us another attractively presented volume in this feelgood Boys’ Love series, well translated by Taylor Engel and lettered by Bianca Pistillo. As in previous volumes, there’s a colour page at the beginning, a preview and an extract from the first chapter of the next volume – due out in August 2023, although as this volume was a little delayed, that date might change – as well as a 2-page Bonus manga about Adachi and Kurosawa’s New Year.