When Ichikawa Kei named their manga Slow Starter, they weren’t joking about it having a slow start. But it is the kind of slow burn I loved.
I’ve just finished reading Slow Starter for the nth time and it never gets old! I still feel fluffy and fuzzy inside after all the re-reads that I did (and even after all that, I can’t believe I haven’t started on the sequel yet /facepalm).
“A picture paints a thousand words”
– that line really does fit Slow Starter. For the most part, Ichikawa Kei uses infrequent dialogues to show how Kiyo and Ino start having a connection despite not talking in their daily commute. They don’t have eye contact even if they are the only people on the train! While the two boys look like they can’t be bothered by anyone, I find it adorable to see them getting familiar with each other through subtle glances. Like when Ino rides the train with a friend for the first time and Kiyo watches and notes all of these new things about Ino.
In place of words are panels that focus and highlights the characters’ reactions. Those panels draw me in since it sheds light on how the two boys handle their growing affection. I love how the story doesn’t have to rely on convoluted dialogues. Instead, the simplest panel can do the sucker punch.
If you are having a bad day, Slow Starter can lighten up your mood. Seeing Kiyo and Ino fumble through the ups and downs of first love is enough to brighten anyone’s day. It’s just so cute and sweet to see them together. They look so at ease with each other that you can’t help but cheer for them.
I’m so glad that there’s a sequel to this because you just can’t get enough of the two! (Besides, I still don’t know who tops and bottoms between them! /kicked)