Kevin Komine “Bikkuri suru hodo Doji na Koi”
Bikkuri Suru hodo Doji na Koi is Kevin Komine’s debut tankoubon, compiling the series of stories she had running in Cab volumes seven through twelve. Ever since she originally started running in Cab, she’s been so popular that she hasn’t missed a single volume. (That is, until this next issue.) And this tankoubon pretty much tells the story of why—cute, endearing characters, fluffy plots and very sweet art.
Instead of being a collection of oneshots, though, this book contains two stories that are three chapters a piece. Though it ran later, the title story, Bikkuri Suru hodo, seems to be the more popular of the two. Nao and Tom have been friends since childhood, Nao being the caretaker and Tom being the clumsy airhead. Their high school lives have been fairly uneventful—that is, until Tom suddenly confesses to Nao one night. Though Nao points out the obvious “but we’re both boys…?”, Tom’s feelings don’t waver. Nao, unsure of what to do next, hopes they can just go back to normal but Tom has other plans: he decides they need to stay apart for a while. This exasperates Nao but Tom is serious, ignoring and pushing Nao away. While Nao isn’t sure if his feelings of love toward Tom are the same as how his friend feels toward him, it kills him to no longer have Tom in his life. How can Tom confess to him one day and then keep pushing him away the next?
A really cute story—I loved the end when Tom caved and came crying to Nao, literally. I love ‘top’ characters like him, so cute and sad and pitiful. His dedication to Nao was hilarious, considering it’s what kept him away from Nao for so long and ended up even hurting Nao’s feelings. Aside from that first chapter, there are two more in which Nao and Tom work toward getting closer physically, from kissing to actual touching. Except although it’s Tom who initially wants the contact, he’s just so awkward and clumsy that Nao (who starts out not wanting a romantic, much less physical, relationship) is the one constantly leading them. I’m vaguely disappointed that Kevin Komine cut off their story before they ended up actually having sex (it ended with an adorably rushed, clumsy mutual handjob) but that made it so the story was able to leave off on its innocent, silly note so it’s easily forgivable.
The second story deals with two college students who’re doing a room share. Shimizu Mikio is in his second year of college, and has started rooming with the fluffy, energetic Sawamura Souta. But the more they’re together, the more Miki starts to notice something: Souta seems to like him. Like, like him. Seriously like him. Souta stares a little too much when he thinks Miki isn’t looking, smiles to himself while they’re standing close, and gets embarrassed when he’s called out and frets and blushes. While this would possibly creep some guys out, Miki loves teasing Souta and seeing his awkward expressions—to him, it’s just too interesting to see Souta’s face turn bright pink . But even with Miki’s pushing, Souta won’t take the next step; he won’t complain when Miki talks about considering hooking up with girls, and he won’t tell him when he’s lonely and wants to hang out. He won’t push his feelings off on Miki at all. So perhaps it’s up to Miki to take the next step… whatever that calls for.
This couple, too, I reaaaaaally love them! Souta is just too cute—effeminate, gentle, sweet, awkward and shy, he is pretty much my ideal favorite character. My heart breaks for him when Miki pushes him, talking about women, and Souta can do nothing but back down with a pained expression. Poor thing! And even after Miki kisses him, Souta tries to run away from the situation—he’s just that awkward. It’s seriously adorable how Souta wants to be intimate with Miki, especially in later chapters, but he’s so shy and easily embarrassed. And it’s also so cute how Souta, though he’s a very excitable person, seems to be a source of relaxation and comfort for Miki. The gentle expression Miki has around Souta , even though it’s something very subtle, adds a lot to their relationship in an odd way.
The other two chapters for this particular couple deal mostly with Souta’s insecurity over (straight) Miki showing an interest in him. Miki’s friend Noguchi is always trying to bring Miki to singles parties and set him up with random girls so Miki can ‘live the college lifestyle’, but this just results in poor Souta feeling like Miki is going to end up leaving him for one of the pretty girls he meets. Luckily Miki will have none of this paranoia—obviously he wouldn’t randomly date a guy if he wasn’t serious about it, and Souta is the man he decided on. Though Souta is still too shy to even bathe with him still… Oh well, Miki, that’s your divine punishment for making Souta cry!
Overall, it’s a fairly slice-of-life type book—there’s never really any super deep, amazing plot. Mostly it just follows the characters and their concerns and the slow developments in their romantic lives. As for my favorite scenes, there are quite a few of them—Tom falling at Nao and Arata’s feet, sobbing and begging Arata to give Nao back to him (when Arata had never taken him away in the first place); Tom’s pitiful awkwardness over wanting to have sex with Nao for the first time. And then Souta’s adorable excited, blushing face whenever he’s around Miki; Miki sitting with that women at the singles party but spending the entire time thinking about Souta; the scene where Miki tries to give him a deep kiss for the first time and Souta freaks out (oh Souta, you adorable virgin); really, pretty much any scene where Souta is flustered (of which there are many) is just too cute.
The only thing I could see anyone taking issue with is perhaps the fact that Kevin Komine’s character designs look vaguely similar, but I don’t take too much issue with that if only because the personalities stand out so much that it’s difficult to mistake anyone for anyone else.Also, in some reviews I’ve seen people mention that they don’t like quite how pitiful Tom is in the first story. So if you prefer your ‘seme’ characters to be more ‘take action!!’ types, you might not like these that much. Luckily, ‘hetare seme’ is my favorite type so I absolutely adored it.
Anyway, in my opinion this is a very enjoyable book! If you’re in the mood for fluff then this one will definitely do the trick—low on drama and high on comedy and cute romance, Kevin has a good sense for making her stories lighthearted and fun to read. This tankoubon is definitely one of my favorites and I’m sure I’ll dig it out continually in the future whenever I’m in the mood to read something that makes me smile like an idiot. Luckily, Kevin Komine has already started releasing more stories in Cab so I hope she’ll become a permanent fixture and we’ll be graced with many more cute stories like these!