Hey guys! Can you believe I haven’t read a BL title since around the beginning of the year I IMAGINE. I know, it’s like a crime! But for some reason, nothing has really caught my attention outside of a few webcomics I’ve been “keeping track of” (aka I bookmarked them months ago and haven’t returned to them). So to remedy this, I actually went to this website called Edelweiss, which works similarly to Netgalley but has a hint of Goodreads
Basically, I can go and request some books to read and then I review them for the publishers. I actually found That Blue Sky Feeling on there and wow, I really enjoyed it!
That Blue Sky Feeling is a short read about Noshiro, a new transfer student that makes friends easily and when he sees Sanada being a loner, he decides they should be friends. What he doesn’t know is that Sanada is being ostracized by his classmates because he’s gay. Deciding this doesn’t matter to Noshiro, he persistently pursues Sanada
I think I already mentioned this just about everywhere I post book reviews (Goodreads, Instagram, Litsy) but this series is different from your typical BL titles and that’s why I love it. Usually, when you read a BL series you automatically know the story, you know who’s going to top, the endgame is usually sex (even in the fluffy ones), and gay portrayals are of the toxic sort. But this series is the complete opposite. I knew this was a BL title going in but I was so focused on the developing friendship between Noshiro and Sanada that I completely forgot about the romance (until they were kind enough to throw in some cute BL goodness)
Yes, being gay is a focus here but it’s a different focus from usual. We have Sanada who knows he’s gay and he’s being treated like the plague, but then you have Noshiro who genuinely wants to be his friend, only to find himself at a loss on how to act when Sanada being gay goes from “rumored” to “confirmed”. I felt that this made Noshiro very relatable for me. I think it’s one thing to want to be someone’s friend and assume they fit a mold and defend them from insults to wanting to be someone’s friends and accept they don’t fit that mold you gave them when you’ve never known anything else
While Noshiro has good intentions, it’s clear he’s never had a gay friend before, which makes all his awkward moments embarrassing but realistic. He unknowingly hurts Sanada but I loved how he never gave up. He realized he was in the wrong and tried to fix his approach, with a helping hand from Sanada’s ex (HA, god, that first meeting was HILARIOUS). Instead of assuming things, he wants to learn and I just love his curiosity and openness
But Sanada isn’t left in the dust. While he seems like a very apathetic character, I feel like he genuinely wants someone he can trust by his side. Yes, he has his friend from elementary school at his side all the time, but he can’t really be truthful with her (I think she believes him being gay is a rumor). Yes, he can smile with his old group of friends, but he’s not completely himself. Even with Noshiro, who he clearly came out to, Sanada is still weary
I think that Noshiro didn’t just help Sanada out by being there for him, but he also helped their classmates realize that being gay doesn’t make someone different (ie. a pervert as is usually the case)
It’s only been the first book but already this series has so many points going for it! It’s a new take on how BL titles are usually structured and I’m praying the development continues at the pace it’s going. While my tolerance for instalove in yaoi is more open, I really do prefer stories where characters fall in love more realistically, which is what we’re getting here. We also get a few moments of things you expect high schoolers to be worried about like girls, body hair, and just growing up/being mature. And it’s not only themes and pacing that have me impressed. Noshiro also doesn’t really fit the mold of your typical BL protagonist. Usually, they’re all super tall (or petite), built with muscle, and look like models. While Noshiro is active, he’s still on the chubby side and I love it!
The first book does end with some emotional scenes and I’m really excited where book two will lead us! You can buy this on Amazon or like me, borrow it from the library (because darn, I didn’t download my e-copy on time). Book two is scheduled to release March 2019. I know, a terribly long wait but I still recommend checking it out! Even though I’m currently on a book buying ban (until further notice), I have added this book on my list of manga to buy ASAP
But I’m curious, if you’ve read this, what did you think? I also read in the author’s note that this was a webcomic before it was printed as a manga but I’m not sure where or if it was very popular (it should have been! it’s so good!). Or if you weren’t a huge fan, why?