Author: Aoi Aki
Release Date: September 1, 2020
Publisher: Taiyo Tosho (H&C Comics ihr Hertz Series)
If you are looking to read a slow paced but gentle BL manga, this is the one. It reads like a piece of literature and the art is purely beautiful and detailed. It is certainly a pleasure to look at and is like an artbook, especially the chapter covers. The manga-ka likes plants so there are plants sprinkled out throughout the manga. This manga would be perfect for a BL beginner as it has absolutely no explicit scenes. There is kissing, but it does not go beyond one character touching the other character in his dream.
The thing that had me curious was the choice of names for the characters. One character’s last name is Katsuragi and the other one Kuze. Sound familiar? They are the same last names from Shouko Hidaka’s Yuutsu na Asa (Blue Morning). I don’t know if it’s coincidence but this work is originally from 2012-13.
The story gives off a very nostalgic feel as it takes place in what looks like the late-Meiji period. It starts off with Shintaro, who is a fledgling writer, returning to live at the house of his former teacher for a short while. There he meets a talented young writer Shougo who is also a student of the teacher. Shintaro feels his presence to be uncomfortable since Shougo has a carefree attitude. He is then quite surprised when he reads Shougo’s passionate writings. He becomes attracted to his kindness and Shougo too becomes interested in Shintaro as he feels that he wants to understand the sadness depicted in his writings. The story is very calm and graceful and there is not much action, but there is a lot of backbone to the characters.
My favourite part is when Shougo talks to Shintaro about growing up in an orphanage with his younger brother. Shintaro then asks him why he is always smiling and Shougo explains that it’s a habit because when he would smile his ill brother would smile too. He then continues to tell Shintaro that he then started writing stories for him, and although his brother has passed away he didn’t feel like he should quit writing for him. Shintaro then sheds some tears and apologizes to Shougo for being envious of his talent and as a result was being harsh on him. Shougo then expresses to him that he wants to learn more about Shintaro and this is the first time he’s ever felt this way.
Just an interesting note that the manga-ka Aoi Aki is friends with the singer Annabel and sometimes illustrates her CD covers. She is also fond of plants and minerals so her Booth shop sells items with her drawings of them.
The title translates to “Venus Melts in to Indigo”.
Cover image from Amazon Japan.