Hiiragi Nozomu: Same Difference

It was almost funny. In the title story, Tsuburaya and Ozaki are two perpetually fawned over and lusted after elites working for the same company. Before a spark was even lit, they fall into a game of cat and mouse, each with the intention to conquer the other. It had some good moments, but I think too much time was spent building up the “who’s on top” atmosphere; especially when I could already tell from the cover.

The second story, which separates Tsuburaya and Ozaki’s story from its end in the last chapter, is “Glasses Love.” It’s a story about a trio of meganes: Uta, Kai, and Nao; Kai and Nao are twins. After finding out his new friend, Kai, has a twin, Uta wants to meet the other half. In his quest for balance, he sets out to become friends with Nao as well because he can’t just be friends with half the set. Though shorter than the main story, the development usually moved at an appropriate pace and contained some cute surprises along the way.

One thing the volume as a whole did well was illustrate the theme of balance.  The idea of things, people, or feelings being the same or different was woven into the fabric of the stories and the characters wore it well. I never felt that that concept was being shoved down my throat. That in itself is an interesting balance to be struck when you consider that I wasn’t completely impressed by book.

For all of its flaws, it’s still worth a glance if you’ve got the time.

Side note: As a typophile and fan of clever design, I was charmed by the use of  (mo from the Japanese title, Docchi mo Docchi) as both the first “E” in Difference and as an axis or the fulcrum of the title when viewed as a tipping scale.

Notes [2015.05.08]: I just found out that DMP wasn’t aware of the continuation of the story, but now that they are, they are considering picking them up. Someone will have to tell me if they got any better, because I don’t plan to get them.

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