I had a lot of fun reading this series. There were a lot of great story development moments. My favorite in volume 1 was when Tanihara, being the playful and somewhat capricious guy that he is, tries to rattle the Doc by taking him out of his element and much to his disappointment, the Doc actually turns out to be subtly suave. The bonus is that Tanihara’s plan and subsequent disappointment is exposed and he has to kind of wallow in it for a minute. But that’s it, he doesn’t try it again.
In volume 2, my favorite part was when the Doc is getting walked over like a doormat by his ex and Tanihara steps in and chastises Yukihisa about it which leads to conflict between him and the Doc which eventually turns into yet another attempt by Tanihara to “break up.” But the best part is that he wanted to do it without hurting the Doc’s feelings too much but ended up telling him the reason straight out. And it’s one of the best reasons to break up with someone. The whole scene isn’t gold, but the important parts are.
It’s kind of a drag at points, but mostly sad; the Doc wasn’t treated well by his previous partners and it really shows. He has a serious inferiority complex. Tanihara kind of picked up on its manifestations at times and those moments inadvertently clued him in on his own feelings. These things don’t go away so easily, even after they become an actual couple. So in volume 3, Tanihara feels suffocated when they cuddle after sex. He rejects the Doc and in turn, the Doc has an “I’m not good enough” moment. What I liked is that rather than say, “oh well, if it’s you…,” Tanihara’s pretty firm about his decision, but still manages to find a compromise when he decides to be the big spoon, so to speak, instead of the Doc.
It’s not a perfect story; there are somethings that I could have done without, but if I have to pick one thing that I’d most like to be different, it is the magical subtraction of the child out of the equation. I’d like to see more single fathers explaining their relationship to their children and perhaps going through the process of becoming a blended family and not have their kids be blissfully unaware.
But all in all, it’s a pretty good read.