Not everything is about steamy sex and uncensored goodness. We sometimes like to enjoy a nicely paced story where a group of boys learns and grows together. Koimonogatari: Love Stories is a BL manga by Tohru Tagura that shows that you can find friendship and love in the most unexpected ways.
Of course, it’s not that easy for the main characters of this story to let go of all their worries and fears, but they definitely try their best!
A Tale Of Camaraderie
Something seems off about Yamato: his smiles appear to be fake, and it looks like he’s hiding something. He is always surrounded by people, but at the same time, he’s not that close to them. When Yuji notices this, he starts paying more attention to his classmate, trying to figure out why Yamato looks sad and guilty even when he’s smiling. One day, Yuji overhears Yamato talking to Natsume, a girl from their class, and everything starts making sense.
Now he knows Yamato is gay, Yuji understands that this quiet boy is in love with Kyousuke, Yuji’s best friend since middle school. Torn between not wanting to get involved and being ready to intervene if Yamato decides to make a move on Kyousuke, Yuji decides to tell his classmate that he found out about his secret. Yamato is surprised as Yuji doesn’t seem to be disgusted, always willing to hear him out whenever he’s troubled. And so it begins, a strange relationship—not quite a friendship in the beginning—constantly changing as Yamato and Yuji spend more time together, learning things about each other.
The Perfect Pacing
In Koimonogatari, every character has a personality, a background, and a reason to behave the way they do. And we're not only talking about Yamato and Yuji, the main characters, but the supporting cast too.
Instead of going for the in-your-face approach, Koimonogatari takes the time to make you actually care about the characters and their struggles. It sucks you in, and you'll find yourself always craving for another page... and another one. Will Yamato ever be able to stop feeling guilty? Will Yuji always be there for him? If you're only interested in the hot side of things, however, you'll have a hard time as this is not a sex-focused manga...
You’re Not Alone
At the beginning of the story, Yamato is both reluctant and scared to even suggest he’s hiding a secret from his closest friends. He soon learns that he can trust the people around them, and so Yamato becomes more and more confident, trusting Yuji to keep his secret and help him out when he’s stressed out. But he’s not the only one who discovers that friendship is a powerful thing. Yuji begins to open up a little more, leaving his comfort zone, becoming friends with some of his classmates, and hanging out with them.
Let’s not forget about Akito, a boy who’s also gay and who becomes friends with Yamato in cram school. Anyone would say Akito lives his sexuality freely, but in reality, he’s scared of being rejected by his friends. For that reason, Akito keeps his sexual preferences a secret. He might look and act tough, but he finds comfort in knowing that Yamato is just like him, knowing he can trust him if he ever needs help.
Koimonogatari: Love Stories' art is notably pretty and fluffy, but the story is far from being corny. It’s not easy for Yamato to accept himself as a gay man, always hiding his true feelings, so there's a lot of angst involved. Fortunately, it seems like he has really nice friends who are more than willing to help him and hear him out.
To be honest with you, we like our BL stories a little bit more spicy and raunchy, but we won’t complain about this one. Pure love is like a breath of fresh air for our rotten souls!