Brilliant Blue 2 by Saemi Yorita: B+

brilliantblue2Brilliant Blue ends as sweetly as it began, offering plenty of humor and warmth along the way. At first, Shouzo continues to fight his attraction for Nanami, resulting in some nice chapters told from Nanami’s perspective in which his confusion over the way Shouzo’s treating him is both adorable and sympathetic.

Eventually, Shouzo can’t resist any longer and takes the relationship to the next level. Unfortunately, after so much internal debate over whether it’s a wise move to make, there’s not much insight into his thoughts when he finally decides to take this step, robbing it of some impact. His haste to make the relationship a sexual one is also a little off-putting; his dissatisfaction with simply spending time together seems at odds with his interactions with Nanami up to this point.

After a positive but rather anticlimactic final chapter, a side story affords us a glimpse of the couple six months on. Shouzo is trying to get used to the residents of his small town knowing about his relationship with Nanami, and is meanwhile dealing with a suspicious-looking apprentice who is also beset by people making assumptions about him based on rumors. It’s a subtle parallel, but a rather nice way to end the story. I might wish more had been made of the stigma of the lead couple’s relationship, but I can’t really fault the series for remaining relentlessly sunny ’til the end.

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

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