4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Finally, a boy-boy manga I like!,
This review is from: Seven Days: Monday - Thursday (Yaoi) (Yaoi Manga) (Paperback)
Finally! A guy-guy romance manga I like!
I like the idea of guy-guy romances, I almost never find good stories with them. Most of them are too cliche or have too 2-d guys in the roles. Yaoi tends to be written by women and it shows, most yaoi writers I don't think can do convincing males. One of the my favs, Princess-Princess, isn't even a true romance, just a convincing friendship with undertones.
So, the other day when I picked up Seven Days by Venio Tachibana on a lark, noticing it had better art style than most, it was much to my surprise that I began to like it, and found myself grinning wide as stuff developed. Actual chemistry! These characters were drawing me in!
Ok, I'm getting ahead of myself. Rewind a bit. The concept: Seven Days, as the back of the book will explain, is the story about how the main character, Shino, asks Seryou, a schoolmate who's known for dating girls for exactly one week then dumping them, and on Monday agreeing to date the first girl who asks him, to be his date as a joke. Seems like a bit of a contrived set-up? On the surface yes, when described it seems silly, hence my low hopes going in, but pretty soon it made the situation work, from why he got asked (for the one week, he's actually really fun. And a lot of the girls at their school are something of the rich spoiled types looking for princes, which he can do), to why Seryou does this in the first place.... which would be a spoiler to say, but does make a lot of sense :) Not at all what I expected from the brief description.
I also expected Shino to really be secretly pining for Seryou when he asked, but no, it really is a lark he decided to run with, leaving the cliches of one or both falling in love at first sight, or a crush's dream coming true, in the dust, which in itself cuts away 90% of the cliche list. Nope, this is about two character who, through willingness to try new things and the guidelines they've set for themselves, develop and grow as they've decided to have fun with their week dating. Like a good relationship, it has some uncertainty and doubt, but it's not confusing heavy levels of angst with drama or good storytelling, it's... organic. Realistic. Like I can really feel these two people's interest in each other growing.
Both Shino and Seryou have their own motives, personalities, and histories that inform what they do, and even if they weren't involved I think I'd enjoy reading about them, the mark of a good romance story. The side characters, what few there are, also give the impression of depth, although so far there's only two of note.
Narratively, it has another interesting minor twist. The title's Seven Days Monday -> Thurday for a reason, the story is told day by day and is planned to overall follow the course of one week. The pacing's quite solid as a result.
Finally, there's the art by Rihito Takarai. While not the most breathtaking I've ever seen, it's definitely well above the curve for a romance manga and is quite capable of conveying all the emotion the writer needs, the character designs each stand out from each other and are attractive and distinctive, and I'm not just talking about the two mains. I solidly give it a thumbs up.
From top to bottom, this is a well-done manga and definitely one of the biggest surprises I've picked up from the shelves in quite awhile.
Summery: Even if you aren't big into boy-boy stories you might find this worth a glance. If you are, it's one of the best I've seen.
Oh yea, and while it's sold as yaoi on the cover, it's better described as a relationship manga, almost slice-of-life, as of volume one nothing remotely explicit has happened.