Komatta Toki ni wa Hoshi ni Kike!

Mangaka: Miyuki Abe

Takara Fujishima has been living with his grandmother while his only other living relative (his dad) travels the world, taking photographs for the National Geographic. However, when his grandmother dies right as he’s entering high school, Takara finds himself essentially alone in the world. He moves into the guys’ dorm, Kaze no Mon–a place full of rich teenagers with eccentric personalities–only to find himself stuck with the most abrasive roommate possible. While Takara is bright, cheerful, talkative, quick to get angry, and remarkably vulnerable, his roommate Kiyomine Hosaka is dark, sarcastic, and closed to outsiders. Of course, it’s an instant clash of personalities. As they spend time together, however, it becomes clear that their personalities actually work well together, and they become so close that Takara doesn’t even know Kiyomine’s cell number–because they’re always together.

Komatta Toki ni wa Hoshi ni Kike! (In Troubled Times, Listen to the Stars, I think would be the English) is a classic example of shounen ai manga (so if that bugs you, just don’t bother). The art is really pretty/cute with lots of bishi boys (who look way too old to be in high school, but whatever). The plot is fairly straightforward–a school story featuring the relationships of people in the dorms, all very slice-of-life. I really appreciate that it doesn’t go all yaoi, which would have ruined it–as it is, other that the fact of Takara and Kiyomine having a relationship, the story’s basically okay for anyone 13 and up. The real selling point of Koma Toki is the characters: everyone, male and female, has a strong, distinct, and frequently an unexpected personality. I love that the women are strong, real characters (something that often gets missed in shounen ai, and frankly a lot of other shoujo, stories). Both visually and thematically, I would compare this story to CLAMP’s work, which is a huge compliment. I would give Komatta Toki ni wa Hoshi ni Kike! 5 out of 5 stars–it’s one of the best in its genre that I’ve read to date.

Note: This is another one that, to my knowledge, hasn’t been published in the states. Translators/publishers, please?

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3 Comments

Filed under Book Review

3 responses to “Komatta Toki ni wa Hoshi ni Kike!

  1. Pingback: Hana-Kimi | honyasbookshelf

  2. Ooooooooh. It’s by the great Miyuki Abe. Haven’t heard about this one, though. I wonder if it’s available here. . . .

    Liked by 1 person

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