You Will Drown in Love by Hinako Takanaga: B+

Part companion volume to You Will Fall in Love and part sequel, You Will Drown in Love gives Reiichiro’s perspective of events as he reconnects with his long-lost best friend, Haru, and learns of Haru’s relationship with his younger brother, Tsukasa. After Haru rejects his confession of love, Reiichiro talks it over with his employee, Jinnai, who’s been giving him advice on a variety of topics ever since Reiichiro came on board as the manager of the fabric store where they both work. When Jinnai tells Reiichiro he loves him, both men must overcome some of their own bad habits if they’re going to be able to make a relationship work.

You Will Drown in Love is the kind of sequel that enriches rather than cheapens the original. Although Jinnai does not appear at all in You Will Fall in Love, by dovetailing the two storylines together, his friendship with Reiichiro is allowed to grow while the events of the first book play out and develop into love when Reiichiro’s involvement in the tale of Haru and Tsukasa comes to a close. As a result, he didn’t feel like an afterthought, but rather as someone whose opinions informed Reiichiro’s actions in the earlier work.

Like the first story, this is one of the more romantic boys’ love stories I’ve read, free from outside obstacles to the relationship or angst that makes no sense. The problems Reiichiro and Jinnai face arise because of their natures—Reiichiro is both naïve and sensitive while Jinnai uses humor as a defense—and are far more difficult to conquer than a mere lusty rival. My one real complaint is that Reiichiro’s naïveté is overdone to the point of unbelievability—what grown man would utter a sentence like, “Guys don’t normally kiss each other, right?” I do, however, adore his final line of the volume, which I will not spoil.

With its emphasis on communication and trust, this boys’ love romance is a cut above the rest.

Review copy provided by the publisher. Review originally published at Manga Recon.

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