Author: Sagano Hiwo
Release Date: February 24, 2016
Publisher: Gentosha Comics (Birz Comics Rutile Collection)
I recently got hooked on Sagano Hiwo’s works so I picked up this older work of hers. And because it’s Halloween tomorrow I figured it might be a good one to review/recommend. I really like this manga-ka’s light-touch artwork and her watercolour drawings. Isn’t this cover beautiful?
The story starts off with convenience store manager Aoi Kousuke coming home to his apartment at two in the morning in the snow and finding flowers on the ground. He assumes there was an accident. But when he goes into his room he is surprised to find a ghost wrapped in bandages and screams and faints immediately. When he wakes up the ghost is still there, bright and clear. He learns that this ghost is actually a spirit which has left its main body. The body is sleeping at a hospital. For some reason he appeared in Kousuke’s room and only remembers that his last name is Shirosaki. Kousuke starts calling him Shiro as he reminds him of the dog named Shiro he used to be friends with. And the two start living together, as the title states.
Unlike a lot of stories with disembodied spirits whatever the reason, Shiro’s existence is like that of an actual real person. In fact people can see him and touch him. He can even change into the clothes Kousuke gives him. He’s also quite a handy person to have around as he cleans up Kousuke’s room and even makes him meals. We soon find out that he was a clothing designer and is good with his hands so he can sew. As for Kousuke, he is kind, caring, responsible and takes very good care of Shiro. He is also very energetic and expressive but we soon find out that he is actually worried about his relationship with his boyfriend. In fact, he tries to make himself feel that everything is going fine. Shiro is also concerned if he can return to his body, or that he may just simply disappear. The two complement each other well and build up a good relationship turning their worries into a ray of hope. By the time Shiro remembers everything, they have become close and show inseparable affection for each other.
What I liked about this manga is that even after Shiro returns to his own body and wakes up, he remembers Kousuke. The storytelling is done beautifully that things fall into place without it feeling unnatural. Shiro’s work partner doesn’t show up until near the end, but becomes a key figure in the background story of Shiro’s side especially leading to the accident. Another thing I liked is that both the characters are gay and Shiro’s family is very welcoming of Kousuke when he is introduced to them. It’s nice to see an accepting family but I wonder what Kousuke’s family is like since he was never able to reveal that he had been going out with the same man for nearly 10 years. And just out of curiousity, I’d like to see Kousuke in the dress Shiro made as a joke when he made him a jacket as a present.
Cover image from Amazon Japan.