I like the thought Yorita puts into her characters. The first title I read by her was Brilliant Blue, which was brilliant. Compared to that Ametora isn’t as polished. I liked the story, but the execution was a little clumsy.
The story plays out like a whodunit and it’s the implementation of this that makes some parts feel a bit cumbersome or forced. In and of themselves, the backstories of some of the characters are interesting, but I think the timings of their reveals could have been better. Also, the story ended with one or two things remaining unresolved or without explanation, so that was a bit of a let down.
Aside from that, the characters are great. Nishiro isn’t just a dam otaku, Amane is not what you think and more than you think, and Satou, Satoshi, and Aiba earn every panel. But I do wish that some of their stories were developed a bit more, just a bit.
There’s one part where two of the characters are working themselves up and getting hot and bothered while replacing the more common, I like yous/I love yous and other sweet nothings with various categorizations of prime numbers. Yes, prime numbers. I was so giddy with that saying to myself things like, “Yes, nerd love!” and simply reveling in the geeky goodness.
I appreciate the manner in which Yorita balances, heavy themes, absurdity, comedy, drama, and romance in her stories. I am also pleased that she isn’t afraid to make a bad guy. A lot of BL mangaka write the troublemaker as a character who ultimately makes you think, “if they could only find someone to understand them…” Or even if you don’t think that at first, you’ll read the extra chapter which features the bad guy finding his true love and then you find yourself thinking, “awww…” And that’s fine, but not every character can redeem themselves. I enjoy reading characters that you’re supposed to dislike and not feel sorry for regardless of their past or what they’re going through in the present. For me, that’s good writing.
Just for a minute I just want to gush about how Shou-chan (from Brilliant) and Noshiro are practically my real-life types; visually (the glasses and especially Noshiro’s hair… AHH!) and personality/habit-wise. I’ve read a lot of BL and all kinds of fiction and I’ve never quite come across characters that come so very, very close that I want to wish them into my life. I feel like a giggling schoolgirl every time I think of them; I’m almost embarrassed.