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Review: Ordinary Crush (Vol. 02)

Manga-ka: Hyouta Fujiyama
Publisher: DMP/June
Rating: Mature (18+)

Synopsis: “Nanase and Heiji are back, and this time the only thing standing in their way is Nanase’s brother, Yoichi. Something about the overgrown, over-bold Heiji makes big brother’s blood boil – and that’s before he founds out about their secret pact! Yes, it’s true that at Kinsei High, ninety percent of the all-boys school student body are gay (or bi), but Yoichi’s hardly ready to face those facts.”

Ordinary Crush, volume two, continues where volume one left readers. After an initial ruse led to their going out, Nanase and Heiji are now happily involved and join the ranks of the 90% of gay or bi population of their all-boys’ school. A problem arises in the form of Nanase’s brother, Yoichi, a previous student of Kinsei High. Yoichi is well aware of the behaviour of Kinsei’s students and was hopeful his brother had avoided those kinds of complications. Along with the fact that Yoichi has no like for Heiji, and that’s before even discovering Heiji’s dating his little brother, Yoichi was bound to cause some problems.

The bulk of the story in volume two follows Nanase and Heiji dealing with Yoichi’s brother and the partially resulting fascination by Nanase of his wish to be dominant over Heiji during sex (something they had yet to fully engage in). Yoichi, and his dislike towards Heiji and his relationship with Nanase, is a nice change from this often used twist in a story. Instead of the big brother going out of his way to stop the relationship as in other yaois, sometimes in ways so blatantly interfering it borders unbelievable, Yoichi merely expresses his dislike and distrust towards it, often taking the time to question it himself. This leaves it up to Nanase to draw to his own conclusions and thus wishes to find a way to have his brother accept the relationship in order to have everyone be happy. Heiji, in turn, is bothered by how the dilemma is hurting Nanase and seeks to deal with Yoichi himself, as well as find a way to appease Nanase’s desire to take the dominant role sexually.

The interactions in Ordinary Crush feel pleasantly down to earth and the issues are dealt with in understandable and believable ways. Nothing comes off as too over the top and there manages to be enough humour to keep the whole thing interesting and good fun. As a change of pace, the second story follows the sought-after Yamato and his interesting developing relationship with the school doctor, as first seen in the previous volume.

With nice artwork consistent with volume one and follow-up stories that are actually more enjoyable to read than their predecessors, volume two of Ordinary Crush is definitely recommended to those who read and enjoyed the first. It’s a well-paced story with life-like characters that makes for an entertaining read.

Written Feburary 13, 2008 by Lissa Pattillo for MangaJouhou
Book provided for review purposes by Digital Manga Publishing

About the Author:

Lissa Pattillo is the owner and editor of Kuriousity.ca. Residing in Halifax, Nova Scotia she takes great joy in collecting all manners of manga genres, regretting that there's never enough time in the day to review or share them all. Along with reviews, Lissa is responsible for all the news postings to the website and works full time as a web and graphic designer.

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