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I Didn't Mean to Fall in Love Manga Review

I Didn't Mean to Fall in Love Manga Review

-Written by: Quinn | April 2023

Looking for a one-shot BL story that'll leave you with warm fuzzy feelings by the end? I Didn't Mean to Fall in Love ticks that box beautifully and, if you also like really steamy scenes mixed in with that sweetness, consider a second box checked off as well. What I wasn't expecting from this self-contained story was to find such an expertly crafted plot. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing earth shattering about this as it's pretty typical: Yoshino is a lonely guy seeking love, he finds someone, and his heart is tormented for a time thereafter. Yet, even with this same ol' setup, Yoshino is such a well-written, relatable character, you want to root for him. I definitely wanted him to find the untainted love he longs for… along with fulfilling his other vices.

Yoshino is near 30 years-old and having him navigate a gay world which he's both comfortable inhabiting, but is not overly familiar with when it comes to dating, is a refreshing treat. He's allowed to be both simultaneously confident and insecure within his world and that's something we don't see very often. Usually those roles are filled by two different people with two different personalities, but permitting him to exist in both realms, as one person at the same time, really adds a lot of realistic depth to his personality. Yoshino is more than a one-dimensional main character, he's a complicated human being, and that makes him a very genuine lead.

After steeling himself to visit a random gay bar, you can tell that a naÏve Yoshino is just stumbling through what he thinks should be the right way to handle most conversations with the regulars. He dove in headfirst, with little guidance outside of the media he consumes, so, of course, things aren't going to work out smoothly in real life right off the bat, right? Enter, Rou who, on the other hand, is the expected stereotypical counterpart. He's introduced as a young, smooth player who appears to have life all figured out. He's coy and teases his way into Yoshino's heart. Yet, from the moment we meet Rou, it feels like there's something fishy going on, but nothing dodgy ever materializes. Could Rou be just a bit misunderstood? Is that all there really is to him? Based on the newly formed couple's personalities it might be assumed that there'd be nothing but drama between them… However, each man has a strength that the other lacks and they're better together than apart. As each scene plays out there's a genuine affection that grows between them and it's so sweet. Even through the predictable heartache, by the time the story ends—with the full meaning behind the manga's title hitting home—their journey together earns an extra "Awe <3" from me.

I really applaud the author, Minta Suzumaru, for being able to add so much depth to these two characters through little subtleties squirreled away in each manga panel. Suzumaru has added so much depth to Yoshino and Ruo through small glances, gestures, and even cocktails! Comparatively, the backgrounds are pretty sparse, but that helps to keep the focus on the characters who speak louder through their actions rather than just their words. If you're a story-centric BL fan, I Didn't Mean to Fall in Love will scratch that plot-itch just like Jackass, Seven Days Monday-Sunday, and The God and the Flightless Messenger. All of these titles have one thing in common: they make me want to read more after turning that final page, and right now I want to see how Yoshino and Rou's relationship progresses! They're more than likely still stumbling around, trying to figure things out because, let's face it, we know they haven't. Not yet anyway. When will that story be told? Honestly, when a one-shot makes me want another volume that's a sign of a well-written, and highly recommended, gem.

I Didn't Mean to Fall in Love Manga

Inexperienced Yoshino is about to turn thirty. He's nearly given up on ever falling in love, let alone having decent sex—until one day he steels himself and goes to a gay bar. There he meets Rou, a charming, silver-haired college student who is everything that Yoshino isn't: mysterious, assertive, and experienced with both men and women. Yoshino finds himself hopelessly attracted to Rou, as their awkward courtship simmers into something more. But is it love?

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