Manga  > Yaoi & Shonen-Ai

Awkward Silence vol 1

Awkward Silence vol 1 back

Hinako Takanaga


Page 45 Review by Stephen

"I-I don't mind… going out with you."

Hurrah for ringing endorsements!

Against all shy Satoru's meagre expectations and beyond his wildest daydreams, crush-worthy Keigo - captain of the school baseball team whom he has been doting on for terms at a time - has actually asked Satoru out!

It's not a trick, a predatory power-play nor a dare. (All three of those have popped their ugly heads up in yaoi before now.) It's not even a case of "Will they? Won't they?" which can go on for entire series. Theirs is a genuine, mutual, healthy and wholeheartedly requited love, plus the shy guy gets asked out on page two! It's just as well since Satoru was never going to be the one doing the pulling.

"Ahh… Why am I… so terrible at sharing my feelings?"

And why am I so late to this series? At the time of typing there are already four books and it's the most popular yaoi in years! It's not as if its fanbase - male and female alike - is remotely as reticent as Satoru. I am pestered months in advance for each new volume.

I credit some of its popularity to an empathy with Satoru, not to the extent of vocal paralysis, but in worrying about whether you are adequately expressing yourself, whether you've just said the wrong thing so early in a relationship and whether the strength of your love is indeed reciprocated. Clue: here at least, it really, really is and neither of our dreamboats is remotely tempted to stray. The rocky roads come from misunderstandings due to an endearing lack of presumption, a yearning during time spent apart, a little understandable jealousy about others' attentions, and umm, yes, there is a certain degree of danger from without.

I'm a big fan of the art. It's neither fey nor flowery and Hinako Takanaga's body language is adorable especially during the canoodling for Satoru is very willing putty in Keigo's manly hands but, hey, we have already established the guy is easily embarrassed. (Canoodling is a euphemism, yes.) Takanaga's also nailed Satoru's doe-eyed dithering: he does look pretty vacant even though there is a great big butterfly in his stomach and a lot going on in his tufty-haired head.

Brilliant! This is what yaoi should be about: actual love. However, if I have made this sound all-too plain sailing, I can assure you that there is enough dramatic irony to have you on the edge of your seats.

Also on the popularity front: who doesn't love a dream come true?
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