This is my long overdue Ogeretsu Tanaka post. I re-read this quite a few times and I always go, “Gosh, this is good.”
Nao is set to have a new beginning: meeting new friends and possibly snagging a girl as well. After having a disastrous relationship back in high school, he wants to have a blast in his upcoming university days.
Everything is going well, until Taichi appears – his ex-boyfriend.
While their parting in high school was heartbreaking, Taichi and Naoto go back to an easy friendship almost right away that you’d wonder why they even broke up in the first place. They are really good with each other. Their high school friends even mentioned that they are in the boyfriend-girlfriend level.
Nao knows that he can only be friends with Taichi. They’ll fall apart once they crossed the line. Their vicious cycle goes like this: friends –> lovers –> fuck buddies. What happened here!? Despite being compatible in bed and in personality, they are still the polar opposites of one another. It’s not a matter of making love anymore and more on just plain fucking. While the smex scenes are hot, they feel empty.
Some people say that communication is the key. But not for these two.
These two have lots of fun and sex but never the most important thing: communication. Their honest feelings, worries, and insecurities are all unspoken. They never really address their issues in being in a homo relationship.
Show. Don’t tell.
Instead of the usual, “We can’t be together forever because I’m not a girl” kind of line or something along the lines, Ogeretsu Tanaka shows how their insecurities make the characters respond to their situation. For Taichi, it’s overcompensation down to borderline possessive and abusive qualities. Nao, on the other hand, denies reality and never truly faces Taichi’s feelings.
Taichi the Jerk
Nao introduces us to his ex-boyfriend by painting him a bad image. I was thinking that Taichi is a big and total jerk and Nao should stay farrrr from him. In the last chapters though, Taichi won me over. Sometimes, I find myself blaming Nao for their break up.
Taichi is a socially awkward guy. Without Nao, he probably would not have friends nor social life.
Based on Nao’s flashbacks, Taichi wasn’t really the best boyfriend. Yes, he is sweet around Nao. But he gets jealous easily and picks fights even in the most trivial thing. Once you look at things in Taichi’s perspective, his insecurities stem from Nao’s character. Nao is a charai type of guy. He flirts with just about anyone especially girls. And those girls are the biggest threat in their relationship. Taichi knows that. Nao doesn’t.
Best Girl Friend
For most BL stories, girls are the guys’s nemesis. Even here. But the biggest threat in the story is also the biggest support the two could ever ask for.
Fumi has a big crush on Taichi. But instead of taking advantage of her gender and the situation the couple are in, she supports and understands them. It actually made her sad that those two can’t be honest with each other. She pushes Naoto and Taichi in the right direction to fill the gap in their relationship.
Volume 2 is currently being published. While I initially thought that there’ll be no need for another volume, I’d like to see a more solid proof of Nao’s feelings for Taichi. That is, if he could fix his charai ways or not.
Title: Escape Journey Vol. 1
Mangaka: Ogeretsu Tanaka
Available at Rakuten Kobo