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Konohara Narise & Ogura Muku: Castle Mango V01-V02

I thoroughly enjoyed this. The pace was slow, but necessarily so, and then it jumps a year and some months at the end. As much as I like couples who start out at odds with each other, those stories aren’t always the most interesting. Not that a case of prejudice as never been used, but Konohara’s choice to have Yorozu volunteer to substitute himself for his brother and do so without provocation from Tagame changes the dynamics the relationship between the leads and how the prejudices are dealt with. So rather than the love rivals or the seme who says “I’m going to bully you, but oops I fell in love with you” or “I’ve always loved you, but you misunderstood,” we have the uke taking on the mantle of manipulator and steering the relationship with his actions fueled by his ignorance.

And about those roles… There are often tell-tale characteristics that identify the uke or seme role, but here, both leads are tall in stature and sturdily built, so that’s not it. Ogura’s character’s bodies are becoming more round–a little pudge here and there–but they’re still lanky; I’m loving this fusion. There’s an age difference, but that means nothing. They both have rather melancholic dispositions, so there’s no asymmetry there. However, I did notice that Tagame has leg hair and Yorozu doesn’t. But honestly, for this story, it doesn’t matter, because I think their dispositions lend themselves to a reversible future.

The development of their relationship was peppered with enough obstacles that it took a while for them to really get together, but not so many that you’d find yourself thinking, “here we go again.” I got all kinds of fluffy, sad, and grrr feelings from this and I wish there was a third volume so I could get some more.

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