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Lover's Flat by Hyouta Fujiyama

1Kアパートの恋 新装版 by: 富士山ひょうた
Lover's Flat by Hyouta Fujiyama

Rated: Mature
Price: 12.95
June by DMP - BL-Drama/Romance

Review May Contain Spoilers

Kouno and his close friend, Natsu, spend a passionate Christmas together. Kouno has a secret crush on Natsu, and now he's afraid that their friendship will be destroyed because they slept together. Natsu seems to take their sudden intimacy in stride, and soon Kouno's worried that Natsu only sees him as a convenient outlet for his sexual frustrations. To add to his problems, his next door neighbor, Naomichi, is struggling with similar confusion; his roommate, Kei, has just confessed his feelings for him! Will the two be able to work through their complicated emotions and find true happiness?

Through alternating chapters, the relationships between Kouno and Natsu, and Naomichi and Kei are carefully examined. Kouno, reeling from a devastating romance, has transferred schools and is living by himself. He meets and forms an instant bond with Natsu, but not wanting to repeat the mistakes of the past, he keeps his attraction for his friend a secret. When a little too much alcohol loosens his tongue, he finds himself in the same situation as before. His inability to confide his prior heartbreak with Natsu causes conflict between them, due to Natsu's jealousy. Discovering a letter from his former crush, Natsu is afraid that Kouno hasn't gotten over him, and demands answers. Kouno is infuriated that Natsu read his mail without his permission, and it seems that their relationship is doomed,. the victim of a misunderstanding.

Naomichi and his childhood friend, Kei, share a tiny room together. When Kei ardently confesses his love for his roomy, Naomichi is taken aback. They're both guys! Kei has a girlfriend! What in the world going on! At first he thinks that Kei is playing games with him, and then, when he sees him together with his girlfriend, Naomichi is overcome with jealousy. Can he be in love with Kei?

While I enjoyed the alternating looks at the couples' relationships, I thought that the book was a little bland. There wasn't any new territory explored, though the geography covered was a pleasant read, due to the characters. Kouno was a bit of a wuss, but Natsu was a real sweetie. Once committed to Kouno, he's very open about their relationship, and tells his other friends that they're dating. Kouno, still suffering from his last relationship, is more furtive about his love for Natsu. He doesn't even confide his problems to Naomichi, who's over at his apartment, crying his heart out about his own difficulties with his love life. It's sad that Kouno doesn't have anyone he can trust, not even Natsu, to help him work through his confused feelings.

Naomichi is having trouble committing himself fully to Kei. While he thinks he's in love with him, he's reluctant to consummate their relationship. His body might be ready, but his mind is still having doubts about the whole thing. He runs out on Kei when emotions get too high for him, and then he berates himself for being a coward. I've got to hand it to Kei; he's incredibly patient, and he never tries to force his friend to do something he's not comfortable with. Whoa! What a great combination of traits for a guy to have! Naomichi, don't toss this guy aside! He's a keeper!

The art is minimalist. There's enough detail to set the scene, and then Hyouta Fujiyama doesn't waste any time on extraneous backgrounds. The focus is on her characters, and the expressions that play out across their faces. There's nothing fancy about the art or the page layouts, but they flow together to get the job done.

Grade: B-

This review was written by Julie for the MangaCast. Please drop by the Manga Maniac Cafe and check out the menu. There's always tasty reviews on display!