Title: Sasaki and Miyano Vol. 2
Author: Shou Harusono
Release Date: April 20, 2021
Publisher: Yen Press
After introducing the characters in the previous volume, Sasaki and Miyano Vol. 2 brings forth a clear step forward in the boys’ relationship. Sasaki already knows he likes his kouhai, Miyano, but it’s still not getting across to the BL fanboy. The younger boy can’t believe the plot of the kind of manga he reads could happen to himself at all.
He’s still struggling with the idea of liking another guy. Thinking back to a crush he used to have on a girl, Miyano denies it to himself when the thought arises in his mind. Though it may seem like slow development, this is a significant step forward. Miyano is finally forced to face his feelings for his senpai. Even though he’s dense, he now knows their friendship may evolve into something else.
However, their main enemy may be time itself. It’s now a new year, and Sasaki-senpai’s on the last stretch before graduation. It’s hard to gauge if they will be able to figure their relationship out before having to go their separate ways.
Besides the main plot, the volume does a great job at its comedy side, just like last time. Character reactions are funny, and particularly Miyano’s shy side and Sasaki’s difficulty to contain himself near the guy he likes are quite endearing.
The volume also plays with usual BL terms and the cliche “BL lenses.” BL fans (usually called fujoshi, fudanshi, or fujin) are often thinking of bottoms (uke) and tops (seme), and the stereotypes characters could fit in. However, this can sometimes influence how they see real people, which happens to the ones shown in the story.
Miyano was already shown to sometimes be forcing this mindset on how he sees another senpai of his, Hirano. So whenever the conversation mentions his roommate, for instance, he ends up thinking of those terms and letting it out.
The straight guys in the story also have girlfriends who are fond of BL, which makes them also tied to that world. This volume introduces a new one, Ogasawara, who is having love trouble about how his girlfriend seems to like stories with bottoms that resemble him.
Besides the main story, there are also two bonus chapters at the end. One of them shows a short interaction of the two main characters in the train when Sasaki forces himself to wake up earlier to ride it together. The other is about Hirano and his roommate and how their relationship goes.
The volume ends with a collection of illustrations of the characters, including short intros and height comparison. It includes some minor characters, which are sometimes easy to confuse with each other; it’s a neat addition.
Sasaki and Miyano Vol. 2 is a comfortable BL story that continues the story in a meaningful way. The relationship between the two boys is slow, but the cast is endearing enough to make it worth the time. With both of them facing their feelings now, I’m eagerly anticipating how things will play out in the next volume.
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