Name: Yachin Hanbun no Ibasho Desu (家賃半分の居場所です)
Author/Artist: Asou Kai
Shion’s score: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
Volumes: 1 (Complete)
Summary: Shiraishi has never bothered to hide his sexual orientation from his friends and is used to the reactions he gets after revealing it. However, Kanzaki is one unusual guy who didn’t shy away from or treat Shiraishi differently after hearing about it. When Kanzaki heard that Shiraishi has been trying to avoid his unfaithful lover, he offers Shiraishi a place to stay at his home. Will that be a temporary place for Shiraishi or will it become a real home for him?
I went on an Asou Kai spree a while ago and fell in love with her style of drawing and the charming stories which never fail to touch my heart. Yachin Hanbun no Ibasho Desu is a compilation of 1 main story and 2 other short stories; my favourites would be the main story and the third story, as both were really cute. I don’t remember much about the second story, so I probably won’t touch on it.
Yachin Hanbun no Ibasho Desu
When the artwork is pretty and the characters are so endearing, you can’t help but like everything about this manga. From the story to the characters to the way they interact with each other, this is one short story which is so heartwarming that I find myself putting it on the “reread when feeling down” list.
The protagonist, Shiraishi, has the character of someone who would try his best to not trouble anyone, hence the awkward plan to distance himself from his senpai. As he always put on a smile on his face to reassure others that he as alright, it pains me to think that he has always been suppressing himself in some way. There’s nothing really special about him, but you can’t hate (at least, I can’t) such a gentle effeminate man who always seems to be putting others before himself. On top of that, I find it really cute when he blushes so easily.
Kanzaki would be the perfect cool seme who never smiles but is a total softie when it comes to the one he loves. I was smiling to myself when he was contemplating whether to buy the pins for the Shiraishi with that expressionless face of his; the way he kept talking about how he broke Shiraishi’s rabbit pins was so cute too. Just imagining him touching Shiraishi’s rabbit pins and accidentally breaking them brought a smile to my face.
At the same time, he could be surprisingly gentle. I think Asou-sensei worked a little too hard to make him the perfect boyfriend in this case, but somehow I don’t really mind it. Because it’s not overdone? Yea, come to think of it, he does seem to be a little too perfect; not just Kanzaki, but Shiraishi too, unless you count his selflessness as one of his weaknesses.
Besides the main protagonists, the other characters in the story were very likeable as well, and I think that’s why Asou Kai’s stories are always a good read anytime; she doesn’t have any strong antagonists whom readers will dislike in her stories and that fits my style exactly. I really like stories where the bad person isn’t that hateful – just can’t stand it when the protagonist gets hurt so much by the antagonist.
About the story itself, there’s nothing much there; it’s just a short story narrated from Shiraishi’s point of view about how the relationship between Kanzaki and him becomes something real. Although this story wasn’t exactly long, I felt that the length was just right. The pace wasn’t rushed at all and Shiraishi had ample time to fall in love with Kanzaki, while Kanzaki seemed to be aiming for Shiraishi right from the start. If I were to be asked to improve on the plot, I think adding some details to how the two met would be good. I’d love to know more about how they met and see Kanzaki’s reaction, or lack of, when Shiraishi told him about his sexual orientation. And, and how the two of them interacted with each other before, when Shiraishi confided in Kanzaki about his senpai. Well, there’s always room for a prequel.
Besides all that, I enjoyed the narration from Shiraishi and hearing his inner thoughts. It paints a new perspective on the whole relationship thing and gives a bit more meaning to this seemingly light-hearted short story.
Sukoshi Yurume Demo
Although I don’t usually like stories with an established couple who are having their troubles maintaining their relationship, this would be an exception. It’s half comedy and half drama as Megumu ran off after finding out that Keiichi had been cheating on him again. Megumu was so determined to cheat on Keiichi to get his revenge, but he didn’t do it in the end. It was a pleasant read, but I don’t really get the feeling that things were resolved in the end; it feels like that Keiichi might cheat on him again just to “spice things up”.