Gorou Kanbe is quickly becoming one of my favourite BL manga creators. Both, Don’t Call Me Dirty and Don’t Call Me Daddy contain touching and powerful stories that I deeply love. So, I was thrilled when I heard that Tokyopop had licensed another title by Gorou Kanbe: Like Two Peas in a Pod.
Classmates, Tanaka and Nakata, are surprised to discover how alike they are. They have the same taste in music, own the same brand of phone, and even their names are similar! At first, this is exasperating, but they soon find that they get along really well and wind up becoming friends. Then, Tanaka gets a girlfriend, and Nakata finds himself feeling strangely hurt that they’re no longer so in sync. Is it because he likes the same girl? Or, is there a different reason that he feels so crushed?
Like Two Peas in a Pod is an angsty tale of first-love and self-discovery. It takes Nakata some time to figure out the nature of his feelings of admiration for Tanaka – and Tanaka takes even longer to get himself sorted out! The realization that he’s in love with his friend is a painful revelation for Nakata, as Tanaka is dating Tanigaki, a peppy girl in their class. Even though it hurts, he can’t help staring at Tanaka while he’s with his girlfriend, which leads Tanaka to suspect that Nakata is also in love with Tanigaki!
A rift forms between them, and even when they manage to patch things up, things remain awkward. Poor Nakata is constantly feeling sick to his stomach, as he watches the person he loves be with someone else. He keeps this pain to himself, for fear of loosing what remains of his friendship with Tanaka.
Luckily, Nakata does have a sensitive friend, who tries to support him. While she doesn’t completely understand the situation, Futaba, the girl who works on the library committee with Nakata, can tell that he’s suffering from unrequited love, and she does her best to offer him what comfort she can. This, thankfully, doesn’t result in another love triangle – this series already has enough of those! Instead, we get an excellent and adorable example of friendship, and the level-headed and helpful Futaba wound up being my favourite character.
The girls in this comic are all pretty great, and I actually rather like Tanigaki, despite the fact that she’s standing in the way of Tanaka and Nakata being together. She’s upbeat and straight-forward, though there are a few times where she winds up being pretty careless with what she says. Still, she’s a fun character and it’s nice that she wasn’t vilified in order to clear a path for Tanaka and Nakata’s relationship.
Speaking of which, this love-story has a happy ending, and I found the conclusion of Tanaka and Nakata’s story to be very sweet. There’s a youthful charm to how these two fumble through discovering their true heart’s desires, and I was moved by seeing them finally manage to express their feelings for each other.
That said, I found that Like Two Peas in a Pod wasn’t quite as thematically deep as the other manga I’ve read by Gorou Kanbe, which explored how prejudice and discrimination impacted their characters senses of self. That isn’t to say that there isn’t any meat to the story of Like Two Peas in a Pod, it’s just a more straight-forward romance than what I’m used to seeing from Gorou Kanbe. Still entirely enjoyable, however, so please don’t let this put you off checking this book out.
I found Like Two Peas in a Pod to be a cute romance and an, overall, solid read. I’d recommend it to BL fans and I definitely think fans of Gorou Kanbe’s other works should give it a try.
Final Score: 7.5 out of 10
For more information on this manga, visit Tokyopop’s website.
What did you think of this manga? Which of Gorou Kanbe’s titles that have been released in English is your favourite? Mine is, Don’t Call Me Daddy.
Be sure to check out my reviews of Gorou Kanbe’s other BL manga:
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