A Love Song For The Miserable
The characters in this manga confused me. The general concept might have been great--Nao is a baker and Akida a business man and they are thrown together by circumstance one night, then form a friendship. Nao leaves to study his craft elsewhere and then they're reunited by chance years later. Thrown in a ton of angst and you've got a good story, right?
Wrong. The beginning is wonderful. Their friendship develops and you start to get the sense that Akida is a great taste-tester for Nao (and that they're developing feelings for each other). But you don't really quite understand where they are in their relationship (both business and personal). Nao sort of fell into his line of work (having inherited it from his father) but sort of likes it; he must like it enough to want to go train professionally, but you don't really get that sense until he springs it on you (and on Akida). Akida reacts to the news with shock; he doesn't want his friend to go (for selfish reasons) but instead of just SAYING something, he doesn't. And Nao, the one who is leaving, just up and leaves without SAYING anything about keeping in contact or anything. Both men break ties after just a few lines of anger but I didn't really understand what they had to be angry about.
And then, suddenly, when they run into each other again and it's awful and awkward, Akida is the one who's blamed completely (Nao blames him, he blames/hates himself) when it was Nao who was the one who left without any warning in the first place. I personally think both men were responsible, but even so, the argument wasn't exactly huge. I just don't see where all this tension and angst comes from. If that had been built up more or even explained in a satisfactory manner to me, I would have bought it. But, as it is, it seems like it takes them 3/4 of the book to work through something I just didn't feel or understand. So it sort of lost me there.
The art is amazing. And the sex was exquisitely drawn. It was just the character motivations and progressions that completely threw me off.