The Loudest Whisper tells the wholly unremarkable tale of school friends Aoyama and Akabane as they experiment with acting like a couple (since rumors at school pair them up anyway). There’s nothing distinctive about the characters or the plot, resulting in a shallow and unsatisfying read.
Only 67 pages of this volume are devoted to the main series; the other two-thirds is occupied by unrelated short stories, which are all either bland, ridiculous, or icky. The only one that starts out semi-promisingly—“Cure for the Common Crush,” involving a business man who makes regular nightly stops at a pharmacy—derails into inanity when he accidentally receives aphrodisiacs instead of cold medicine.
The real problem with The Loudest Whisper, though, is the ick factor. In two linked stories, “First Stroll” and “First Help,” there are some story elements that I find disturbing, including an apparently significant age difference between the lead characters. Even “Cure for the Common Crush,” which contains a line that implies the pharmacist uke may actually be older than the seme, exagerrates his diminutive frame to such an extent as to invite misinterpretation.
Let’s recap all the adjectives used to describe this book: unremarkable, shallow, unsatisfying, bland, ridiculous, icky, inane, and disturbing. Need I say more?
Review copy provided by the publisher. Review originally published at Manga Recon.