Ibara no Naka no Hana

Title: 荊の中の花
Author: Kamo
Release Date: February 17, 2020
Publisher: Kadokawa Shoten (Fleur Comics)

This manga appeared on the free manga website Comic Fleur (and also on Pixiv) but I missed the last few episodes so I was meaning to pick it up when it was released.  I finally purchased it last month.  I was really curious how it ended and was surprised how the story progressed.  This is actually my first time reading a manga where the seme is totally obsessed with the uke to an insane extent.  But I didn’t hate it.  I would be open to read more stories like this as this one was not as extreme in my opinion.

The story starts with Asagi Sakuraba (working at a cafe) spilling coffee on a customer named Kaname Hiiragi.  Seeing his business card Asagi immediately realizes he is the son of a distinguished family who runs a famous business.  Asagi was living a pretty tough life and was working to support him and his younger sister Aoi.  His mother had left with another man and his father hardly came home either. Asagi and his Aoi lived in a small apartment where he cared immensely for her since she was not in good health.  One day Aoi’s safety is at risk due to their father and he runs away with her on his back.  Kaname coincidentally passes by and invites them into the car.  He then arranges to send Aoi to a hospital.  Meanwhile Asagi goes to Kaname’s condominium where he brings up the proposal to pay for Asagi’s sister’s hospital fees and schooling fees.  This is in exchange for Asagi living locked up in the condominium and not making contact with anyone else, other than Kaname.  (He is allowed to see Aoi if accompanied by Kaname). Of course Asagi agrees without hesitation since he always thinks what is best for his sister first.  And so Asagi’s life living with Kaname starts.

As the story progresses, we learn that Asagi and Kaname were actually friends in junior high school who had their relationship broken up due to a certain incident by a jealous person. Asagi did not recognize him since his last name had changed and it was a bitter memory for Asagi.  This time he was willing to listen to Kaname and they make up.  In the meantime Asagi’s only friend Takeuchi is wondering why he can’t get a hold of Asagi and starts searching for answers.  These three are the main players of this story and it’s kinda like a triangle since Takeuchi is also quite attached to Asagi.  But Kaname goes several levels higher. He’s a yandare seme. Yandare is a term used for characters who are “mentally ill, and an attitude of extreme affection to other characters and unusual behavior.” Things start tying in as the story goes along and I was surprised to find out that Kaname had actually been scheming the whole thing. What appeared to be an accidental encounter actually was not.  There are other things that Kaname had plotted and he also gets revenge, but I won’t give away the details. These show what someone can do when they really want something and has the money to execute their wishes.  Asagi’s presence meant a lot to Kaname even after he had been taken in by the Hiiragi family.  It is with him that Kaname can find meaning in his life.  Asagi on the other hand is a pleasant and kindhearted character on both the inside and outside.

I guess you can say this manga has a happy ending.  Kaname acts like a kind and caring person in front of Asagi and Asagi does not suspect anything.  In fact, Asagi is very thankful to Kaname believing his actions were due to the fact that he is genuinely concerned for them.   And after Kaname confesses his love to Asagi, he seems to easily fall for Kaname, a bit too easily.  Well, I guess if Asagi is happy, everything is well.  But it would be interesting to see a sequel where he finds out the true face of Kaname.  Unfortunately there seems to be no sequel.

If you are not fond of questionable happy endings I would steer past this manga, but if you like semes who are madly obsessed with the uke and would do anything to get a hold of them and keep them, you may enjoy this title.  As I mentioned worse could have happened (like more smut related incidents) but in that sense it is pretty tame.  But for someone who had never read anything like this before it was quite a shock.

The title translates to “The Flower Inside the Thorns”.

Amazon Japan | CD Japan | Honto


Cover image from Amazon Japan.