[Review + Giveaway] Koimonogatari: Love Stories by Tohru Tagura


romance | contemporary | boy’s love

Hasegawa Yuiji accidentally finds out that his classmate, Yoshinaga Yamato, is gay. Eventually, he realises Yamato’s gaze is directed towards an unattainable love. From a study group together Yuiji finds out that Yamato is a “pretty nice guy,” and despite his awkwardness, starts wishing for his happiness.

It’s been so long since I read a BL manga, it just got to a point where I couldn’t deal with how toxic and problematic it was. There are so many problematic BL mangas out there but this one was a breath of fresh air. It is so wholesome and it deals with identity themes in a relatable way.

First of all, I loved the characters. I loved Yamato and the way he is trying to come to terms with his identity and his place within his friend group hit me so hard, it reminded me a lot of my own days in high school. He has a crush on Yuiji’s friend and it’s such a sweet and innocent thing, Yamato’s longing gazes and subtle blushes had me giggling even though we know it’s an unnatainable love. I related to him SO. HARD. We also have the other main character, Yuiji, he is who discovers that Yamato is gay and has a crush on his friend and classmate. However, instead of things turning hostile, he reached a helping hand and tells him that he will make things easier for Yamato. Even if he doesn’t know what that means.

And how does he do it? He is there for Yamato. Which I can say is something I would’ve loved to have at that stage of my life, someone that I could talk to about how I felt, the guilt and confusion that filled me up just like Yamato. And Yuiji not only listens, he is not only there in presence but he also provides actual counsel when he thinks he can help Yamato. The friendship between the both of them was my favorite part of this volume, because it is genuine and if it were to turn romantic (which is what I suspect will happen) then it gives a good base for the kind of relationship they will eventually have. One where they support each other and they seek the best for the other.

There are other characters, most of them are great. Yamato has a male friend who does not know about his preferences and that is one topic they address through this tome. It is still in development, but I hope that things will turn out for the good. There is, however, one character I’m not happy about because it is the stereotype I hate the most for the LGBTQ+ community. He comes from a a problematic (possibly abusive) household but I really hope his character gets better. There has already been instances that have made me upset with his actions, but it’s still early and considering the pace of the fist volume this could get a little long-ish compared to other BL mangas I’ve read.

The first volume is centered mostly on the relationships between the characters, both romantic and platonic. Both main characters are dealing with their own thing: Yuiji is trying to rekindle the flame in his relationship with his girlfriend, and Yamato is still coming out of his shell with his friends. There are some hints about what the relationship between Yamato and Yuiji can become, but for now both characters have a platonic relationship.

There is also the fact that Yamato is going through the process of embracing his identity, he also talks about how his personality is made up to fit what people expect from him, which in return also make him seem fake to some people. There is some internal monologue from him that I would also consider as internal homophobia but there are instances in which I felt he was becoming more comfortable with who he was. I feel everything is regarded in a respectful way and with the intent to have the reader relate with both Yuiji and Yamato. Which I did!

And, well, you can see I gave this volume five whole stars. I really want to read the following volumes, and if they do not appear on Netgalley then I will have to find my way to them in the vast internet.

This is the first time I decide to review a manga on my blog, and I don’t know if you guys are even interested in this type of media. But I’ve started reading manga this year, so you can expect to see some more of these in the future!

To celebrate Pride Month I’ve decided to host a giveaway on my Twitter account! So if you want to win a book of your choice (up to 15$) and Book Depository ships to your country, then go check out my tweet 💖 If you already follow my blog then you automatically have that extra entry.

4 thoughts on “[Review + Giveaway] Koimonogatari: Love Stories by Tohru Tagura

  1. This looks like a wholesome read! I am definitely putting this on my TBR 💛 By chance, are you familiar with Doukyuusei? It’s one of the BL animated movies I enjoyed and it centers between two classmates at an all-boys high school! It’s also pretty wholesome as well 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

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