Mangaka: Kotetsuko Yamamoto
My rating: 3.5 of 5
Warning: Yaoi/Mature Audience
Rikiya has lived a quiet, reserved high-school life without being in any relationships. Now as he’s entering college, he decides to take matters into his own hands by signing up on a gay dating site. . . . And just as his luck would have it, he falls prey to the worst sorts of folks. Just when he’s in an extremely tight situation, a boy pops right out of the wall (very awkwardly!) and says he owes Rikiya a wish–saving him from the bad guys in the process. When Rikiya pure-heartedly can’t think of anything to wish for, he sends this boy–actually a powerful demon by the name of Endo–back home. Only, I’m pretty sure Rikiya didn’t mean his own home, which is where Endo ends up freeloading while avoiding his own troubles back in the demon realm. Well, it’s not all bad having some company around the apartment, even if he does eat a lot, take the futon for himself, and have an attitude.
So, for a short (3-volume) yaoi manga, I found Konya mo Nemurenai to be pretty cute and interesting. It’s one of those odd instances where I don’t find anything particularly original in it . . . like, I feel like all the major story elements are ones I’ve encountered elsewhere. But Yamamoto-san pieces these elements together skillfully and sweetly such that the story feels comfortable, familiar, and cozy rather than boring or repetitive. I know it’s technically yaoi, but it’s one of the most pure-hearted and innocent of the genre I’ve seen–there are only a few sexually-related scenes in the whole story, although do be warned that there’s one near the beginning that’s pretty bad and scary. The characters really make this story shine: Rikiya’s sweet and shy and accommodating in the extreme, while Endo is, well a demon although in the tamed-down manga sense. He’s unpredictable, relatively amoral, doing what he wants without regard to how it inconveniences others–but at the same time he’s capable of some pretty passionate defense of the things and people he cares about, which is pretty cool. Plus there are a number of other interesting characters who show up as the story goes along, just to stir things up. The art’s nice, expressive and attractive but not too overdone either–it suits the story. I guess I’d mostly only recommend Konya mo Nemurenai to those who enjoy shounen ai/mild yaoi manga, but for that group, I think this is a great read that will be much enjoyed.