So for today’s post, I’ll be reviewing the following by Hideyoshiko: Kare no Barairo no Jinsei (彼のバラ色の人生), published by Cab, Tokyo Mangasha in 2012. It’s a sequel to the title story of Ringo ni Hachimitsu. Kanemochi-kun to Binbou-kun (金持ち君と貧乏君) , published by Gateau, Ichijinsha in 2012. And gateau volume 10 which has special chapters for her three “??-kun to ??-kun” titles – Ikemen-kun to Saenai-kun, Negative-kun to Positive-kun, and Kanemochi-kun to Binbou-kun. (Sorry for the blur photos.)
Starting with Kare no Barairo no Jinsei, we’re back to Natsuki and Komano for one whole volume! The first three chapters of Usotsuki wa Koi no Hajimari looks like a direct follow-up to the Ringo ni Hachimitsu chapter as its mainly revolves around Natsuki’s insecurities, which derived from his past. While Komano notices this, he doesn’t pursue it too much as Natsuki always insists that everything’s fine. This may be frustrating when dragged for too long. Thankfully, though Natsuki’s recollection of the past can be depressing, it also gives us a deeper insight since his past is something that has haunted him since he was a kid – remember that Natsuki once told Komano that before he knew it, he just happened to like guys since he was a kid.
Komano isn’t given as much panel-time though – except for the last part where he totally steals the scene in the most amusing way. It appeared as though he’s angry with Natsuki as he abruptly left the room. Natsuki chases after him and finally says his feelings honestly (and for the first time I think). It turns out that Komano went out to ‘cool’ himself down ‘cos he was holding himself back from jumping onto Natsuki, who was sleeping then pffft. It is also suggested that the cute Nagisa no Aoi Parasoru chapter follows after this.
Next is Kare no Barairo no Jinsei, told from Komano’s point of view. To be honest this just affixes the bakappuru stamp on them – okay more on Komano’s part since he’s incredibly attracted to Natsuki, something Natsuki has still yet to figure out since Komano wasn’t homosexual to begin with. It ends off with two chapters of Oishii Karē no Tsukurikata. As suggested, it does involve some curry-making – the very topic that brought them together in the prequel. It seems like a nice, full circle in that aspect. It also flows nicely from Nagisa no Aoi Parasoru ‘cos here, Natsuki has no qualms about revealing his lover-relationship with Komano to a friend of his. An unexpected visit from Komano’s mother acts as the main trigger though, since they are still apprehensive about coming out since this relationship isn’t necessarily going to carry on for the rest of their lives. But Natsuki, finally comes to learn to embrace such a relationship without constantly being afraid of “the end”.
It is ironic since all along, he told himself that he can’t expect a perfect relationship with a happily-ever-after ending. Yet his relationship with Komano really seems like the best one he has had so far and the thought of losing it makes him most afraid. More than anything, the whole volume of Kare no Barairo no Jinsei seems to describe Natsuki’s growth in character with the help of Komano. So was Ringo ni Hachimitsu but I think one of the differences is that the subtlety in that didn’t really appear in this one. Another thing to note is that unlike the rest of Hideyoshiko’s works so far, this one has her drawing numerous sex scenes between the couple. Just saying~
Next is Kanemochi-kun to Binbou-kun. It’s the third in Hideyoshiko’s “??-kun to ??-kun” titles and again, Hideyoshiko gives this its own special flavour. As suggested by its title, we have the rich kid (Meiji Haruhito) and the poor kid (Misaki). Plot point: their grandfathers knew each other, in fact Misaki’s saved the life of Meiji’s during the war. Misaki’s died young though so Meiji’s never revealed his feelings and mainly admired him from the side. The main charm point (?) is that it’s the telling of two concurrent stories. Meiji grandfather sees the person he likes in Misaki the high-school student, and this is clearly shown when Meiji’s grandfather is drawn back and forth from the old man to a young 16-year-old boy. He basically kind of never grew up from his blossoming feelings as a youth. Even though Meiji grandfather asks Misaki to be his ‘lover’ in return for helping with his mother’s hospital fees, they only accompany each other and even Misaki can tell that he’s still in-love with his grandfather.
On the other hand, we have the story of both grandkids. Meiji Haruhito is the most adorable thing ever: an honest crybaby who works hard in his own way. Misaki acted a bit too cool for my liking, but he eventually warms up. His sister though, is another awesome female character by Hideyoshiko as she hits all the 10-mark points regarding their relationship. I can’t describe the overall developments well as this story isn’t very linear to begin with. But let’s just say that in the end – they kinda get there after 10 years. And yes, Meiji Haruhito is adorable.
Another interesting point to note is the twins which follow him around in school. They appear like the typical lackeys upon first sight, but you can soon see that they’re truly concerned for him. Also, Meiji grandfather has the fanciest accessories – from NERV to Haro to Laputa lol.
Lastly, I got gateau volume 10 for Hideyoshiko’s special chapters. I don’t actually follow the other stories told inside it so I’ll only be going through Hideyoshiko’s stuff. First is Negative-kun to Positive-kun, which is a cute story about them deciding on their future career paths. True to their personalities, Fujiwara starts worrying over all the possible career options of the other. Tachibana doesn’t really worry though since he’s so simple-minded and optimistic about everything. But in the end, he gets asked to rewrite his application pffft.
The one for Kanemochi-kun to Binbou-kun is the longest, which is also good since it didn’t have as much of a conclusive ending as the others. This takes place 10 years later and is basically an awkward date that does not go quite as planned by Meiji Haruhito. I basically enjoyed reading more of the couple since they didn’t always get time together in its title volume.
Ikemen-kun and Saenai-kun’s is a very short two-page special involving the two watching a horror show. So I guess you would mainly be interested in getting this for either Negative-kun to Positive-kun or Kanemochi-kun to Binbou-kun. But to be honest, only if you are a huge fan of either of the couple ‘cos Hideyoshiko’s stories only make up a fraction of the entire volume. On a more general note, I still think Ringo ni Hachimitsu is my favourite volume by Hideyoshiko. But the two which I reviewed above are enjoyable reads too (especially Meiji Haruhito /kicked for constantly mentioning him).