I never expected to like Okubyou mono ni I love you but found myself reading it a lot of times and still falls in love with it.
I know that this is romance manga but what totally gets to me is how their friendship develops. Shougo has a scary, delinquent-like face that makes it hard for him to befriend people. Due to the string of events, he becomes friends with the cool Hina. Shougo initially idolizes him, and it’s cute how Shougo gets flustered towards him.
Hina has a condition where he breaks into hives when someone tells him they love him. At first, I thought that it is kind of silly to give this sort of condition to a character. But it provides a good tension in the story. Will Shougo confess his feelings or will they remain friends? Would Hina even try and seek out a cure to his illness or will he stay in the comfort of his allergy; not hurting anyone and not getting hurt either. This conflict had me glued to the book. I love their friendship, but they have this undeniable chemistry that makes you want to root for them.
The allergy allows them to see that, despite their physical appearances, they are not so much different from one another. For one, they both don’t have a lot of friends. In contrast to Shougo’s view that good-looking guys have it easier, Hina doesn’t have friends too due to his condition. People start getting uneasy around him once they hear about his allergy. The honest and straightforward Shougo remains and accepts everything about him, however. It gives off that warm and fuzzy feeling when they start opening up with each other and gets really at ease with each other’s company.
I also love how the manga doesn’t just show that Shougo’s falling for Hina but Hina as well. Some panels show Hina struggles with his new feelings and cares for Shougo more than friends. It creates a kind of tension where you see two of your friends looking so at ease with each other and is very sweet and then you go, “So when are you two going to date?” in your head. Yep, that kind of feel.
After all the unresolved sexual tension that is going on in the entire book, smex is just… bland. Meh. They just go with the flow, no build up whatsoever. It is neither hot nor sweet. It’s just nothing. Which is kind of a letdown. Smex scenes are great, but I can also live with just a kiss or even holding hands as long as it doesn’t break the momentum created so far. And no, not even the bonus chapter give justice to that.
Okubyou mono ni I love you is the kind of read you’d like to have at the end of a hard day’s work. It does not tire your brain cells more, and the atmosphere of the story can lighten up your mood.