Mangaka: Honjou Rie
Genre/s: Yaoi, Romance
Sonekawa Retsu, the high school karate club captain, has been in love with the student body president, Kaji Shogo since junior high. He even went as far as volunteering as the student body secretary in order to be close to him.
Retsu has never thought of confessing his feelings but his constant heated stares don’t leave Kaji unaware of his true feelings. However, this bashful late bloomer needs serious help…
Would love finally blossom between these two men from different worlds?
This is one of the manga that I read on a whim and never regret it. It is unusual for a BL story to have a timid seme, much less a strong and proactive uke. Actually, I don’t like the seme, Retsu in terms of art so I am a little skeptic about this at first. Turned out, the story will be cute, and full of fluff and it is all thanks to Retsu and his reactions.
Our uke, Kaji, is the typical shoujo manga main guy with his good looks, high grades, and having the presidential position in the Student Council. Undoubtedly, he is popular among the girls and always wins in the popularity poll. What’s missing is a heroine right? But instead of a cute girl, the captain of the Karate club and a big guy at that is totally smitten to Kaji.
That guy is named Sonekawa Retsu. He volunteered as the secretary in the Student Council. Kaji is aware that Retsu did that to be near him. However, the Pres just toyed with his feelings and flirts with his secretary half-heartedly. But then, Kaji realizes that it is him who is falling for the love traps he is making for Retsu.
I loved how Kaji initiates the first move and lead their relationship. Admit it, you don’t see it often. And while the story is about building their relationship, I see it as Retsu’s growth. He wouldn’t be able to confess if Kaji had not flipped the right buttons. Still under the uke’s plans, our Karate captain would not also be able to express his carnal desires.
The manga-ka does not also dwell to the arranged marriage thing. More often than not, it results to angst and other dragging drama. Fortunately, that’s not the case here. It just shows how the lovers are determined to fight for their love. On a lighter note, it serves as a comic relief as we are introduced to Kaji’s father.
Another thing that I enjoyed in this one is the side characters. I’ve mentioned Kaji’s father and while most parents in rich households are snob and detestable, he is such an adorable and supportive father to Kaji. Speaking of adorable, Retsu’s younger siblings are on the top of that. Those two cute creatures are in contrast to their older brother’s scary aura.
We also get glimpses of the Student Council Vice President Kojima who reminds me of Yukimura from Sakuraga-sensei’s Kirai Ja nai Kedo series (with that position in the student body and those glasses). He seems to have an unspoken BL relationship to one of his classmate. I believe that they have a separate book and I shall read that one too.
Kaji is an eye-candy with his bishounen look that I sometimes feel disappointed that he is the uke. The manga-ka draws beautiful faces and proportioned bodies. All of them look like a real man with good built; not too lean and girly. That even during the smexy scenes, Retsu doesn’t look too big (I was actually surprised to see him to have a body just like Kaji’s) and Kaji doesn’t become thin when naked.
There’s a small thing that I noticed though. On some panels when the shot is far from the face of the characters, their noses disappear. I know it’s a minor stuff but I can’t help but crunch my eyebrows whenever I see them.
I loved this book and I’m excited to read its sequels (yup, 2 sequels). KOWA is a light, fluffy romance BL story that is entertaining to read. No complicated plots or you-and-me-against-the-world drama yet I am drawn towards the characters. It is comical and it won’t disappoint you in terms of smexy scenes because they have it in every chapter though rather short. The characters are lovely in terms of personality and drawing. I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t be sorry that you read this.