Opposites attract in This Wonderful Season With You, a fun BL manga by Atsuko Yusen, the mangaka of Deko-Boko Sugar Days.
Enoki is both shocked and thrilled when Shirataki, a tall and handsome jock, decides to join the Electronic Engineering Club, which he’s also a member of. Enoki admires how manly and cool Shirataki is and can’t believe his good luck, since now he’ll get to hang out with him all the time for club activities. But Shirataki doesn’t seem to be actually interested in the club, and it soon becomes clear that he joined on a whim because a shoulder injury is preventing him from playing baseball. While he initially comes off as gruff, as the two get closer and Shirataki starts to open up more, Enoki discovers that there is more to Shirataki’s ennui then simply missing baseball. Enoki becomes determined to help his new friend, but he soon realizes that his feelings for Shirataki stem from something other then admiration or friendship.
So what exactly is eating at Shirataki, if it’s not loosing his ability to play baseball? Family drama, that’s what!
Shirataki, is upset, not because he can’t play sports, but because he misses his family. His parents have gotten a divorce and he and his sister have been split up, with his sister going with their mom and Shirataki staying with their dad. He doesn’t get to see either is mom or his sister as much as he’d like and it’s tense anytime his parents are in the same room together.
Enoki can’t stand to see his crush suffer and wants to help Shirataki, so he comes up with an idea. They’ll get his parents back together!
Well, not quite. Enoki is naïve, but thankfully not juvenile enough to actually think that it would be a good idea to try and interfere with the complex relationship between two adults. Instead, they focus on dispelling the cloud of hostility that hangs over Shirataki’s parents, so that, even if things can never go back to how they once were, everyone can move forward and maybe spend time together without it resulting in a fight. I was glad that the message of the story wasn’t that people should stay married for their kids, and I thought it was sweet that all Shirataki really wanted was for everyone to be able to spend time together again, not for his parents to try to force their marriage – which had always been fraught with conflict – to work.
As Enoki attempts to help Shirataki out, the two become closer as friends and their feelings for each other begin to become romantic. These two make an adorable couple! Enoki is kind-hearted and earnest and Shirataki is blunt, but protective and playful, once the two become close. I found their interactions to be very cute and thought that they were well suited to each other.
But wait, weren’t these two supposed to be in some kind of a club?
As precious as the main characters are, my favourite part of the manga is the side characters. The other two members of the Electronic Engineering Club are hilarious! They have near identical nerdy bowl-cuts and spend their time building winsome, little cat robots or, in the case of the club’s president, coming up with schemes to one-up Shirataki. The club president takes an instant dislike to our beloved normie-jock, but not just because he’s popular and confident. Turns out, the club president also likes Enoki! If you hate love-triangle plots, don’t worry, this doesn’t wind up becoming a soap-opera. Instead, the club president’s unrequited feelings are mostly played for laughs and his antics in the later part of the book had me in stitches.
If you’re looking for a funny and endearing BL manga, with a little bit of spiciness, this is the one for you. The romance is very cute and the side-characters add a lot of humour and hijinks to this heartwarming story.
Final Score: 8.5 out of 10
For more information on this manga, visit Tokyopop’s website.
What did you think of this manga? Did anyone else want the robot-cat to be a real thing? Let me know in the comments.
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