Title: After I Win
Creator(s): Kaname Itsuki
Genre: Drama/Romance (Boys’ Love)
Publisher: Digital Manga, Inc. (Juné Imprint)
ISBN: (Volume 1) 1-56970-777-4 or 978-1-56970-777-7
Where to Buy: Wherever books are sold
(Volume 1) Amazon
I bought this manga a while back in English and I ended up picking up in Japanese, not realizing I owned it in English. I also, for some reason, kept thinking the guys on the front cover were chefs. They’re not.
Roommates Kasumi and Hiyori both are crushing on each other and finally they tell each other. They both hold back, unsure about the degree of their love and being afraid of their own feelings.
Other than realizing that I owned this manga in English and thinking the guys were chefs, I don’t think I had any!
I could have sworn I’ve read this manga before, but perhaps it had been sitting on my shelf for too long and I only stared at its binding before I picked it up and read it. Or maybe it has just been so long since I read it, the content felt new too me. It felt actually too new to me though.
I thought the story was about two chefs who fell in love, but that was probably me judging the book by its cover. I also thought the back cover, with the two people eating ice cream, was also an indication of the story being about a chef AND were the two characters on the cover, but I was wrong. The story is about two school boys who fall in love and the back cover featured a teacher (the brother of the blonde haired boy, actually) and a student who ends up becoming a teacher at the school later.
The story itself isn’t anything special and is mostly non-existent. There’s a lot of worrying from the main characters about what to do and what not to about getting physical in their relationship. It kind of falls under this “typical BL” category. While it’s not necessarily erotic like some other titles, it still manages to hit a mediocre storyline and isn’t deep.
The main characters are both pretty nice guys, but not really interesting enough to whole heartedly care about them. My interest ran off else where with Hiyori’s older brother, a teacher at the school, who I found to be significantly more interesting (though, I tend to find the playboys more interesting characters in general, especially when they have their sights set on someone).
I liked the second story better that focused on the brother and the student he was interested in. It was much more comedic and had sweet edge to it. As I said before, I thought the brother made a more interesting character. I was hoping there was a sequel that focused on him and his relationship, but alas, there is not.
I really liked the artwork in the manga. It has a rather light feeling to it and isn’t hollow. The toning looks fantastic too. I was actually really surprised I liked the artwork; I thought I wasn’t going to care much about it. I’m glad I liked it!
I can also tell this is one of DMP’s earlier manga published; they use pure white paper, as oppose to recycled (?) one. The pages are stiff and bright white, which I think compliments the artwork rather well. I kind of miss when DMP published like this. And their large books. I miss that too.
Overall, the manga was a surprisingly good read. I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did!
Next up, After School Charmisa volumes 1 and 2 by Kumiko Suekane. Yep, a non-yaoi one!