After We Gazed at the Starry Sky Manga Volume 1

After We Gazed on the Starry Sky Manga Quantity 1 Evaluation

There should always be representation in our fiction, as it is crucial. It can offer consolation and foster imagination to those of us who don’t quite fit the definition of “normal,” demonstrating that we can all have experiences regardless of who we are. Subaru, the lead character in Bisco Kida’s BL romance After We Gazed at the Starry Sky, is a wheelchair user; he was born disabled below the knees and has spent his entire life in a chair. In the global genre of romance novels, this kind of impairment isn’t as uncommon as it formerly was, but it’s still crucial to put it on the page.

Having said that, there are a few significant “buts” with this volume that should be addressed. Tougo occasionally gives off the impression of being an athletic rescuer, proving to Subaru that he is just as capable of venturing out and accomplishing goals as anybody else. Beyond the fact that it exists in the novel, it isn’t particularly bad; before he meets Tougo, Subaru is enjoying a full life, and it is said that his parents offered to take him on trips, but he turned them down. This may easily lead to the conclusion that Subaru’s physical health is what’s preventing him from moving forward, even if anxiety can occasionally be lifted by the assistance of a supportive person. The bigger problem, in my opinion, is the way Tougo physically engages with Subaru; he lifts him out of the wheelchair without asking permission and transports Subaru’s wheelchair, along with Subaru, without consent. Even if Subaru doesn’t complain and it’s obviously intended to be a white knight moment, it’s still unpleasant and comes off more as Tougo infantilizing Subaru than as a romantic moment. I wouldn’t say that it spoils the entire novel, but it’s something to be mindful of. If you’re searching for a more realistic portrayal of a relationship including a crippled lead, Perfect World is a better choice. (And if you’re unsure of why this isn’t acceptable, read A. Andrews’ A Quick and Easy Guide to Sex and Disability.)

Now that those concerns are resolved, the first volume of After We Gazed at the Starry Sky is incredibly charming. As a successful graphic designer, Subaru’s friend Akari is well aware of his intense fanboy crush on astrophotographer Tougo. When Akari’s employer, the planetarium, is getting ready to collaborate with Subaru on a project, she asks Subaru to design the promotional pamphlet for the show. When Akari shows him Tougo in person during the show preview, Subaru is ecstatic and finds it difficult to speak. Meeting someone who shares such a passion for his work astounds and embarrasses Tougo greatly. The two soon become friends, which naturally develops into much more.

The narrative effectively illustrates how Tougo and Subaru support one another’s personal development. Since his mother passed away, Tougo has avoided taking pictures of people. The story cleverly frames this as a sign that he hasn’t yet totally dealt with his grief rather than a real obstacle to his achievement. It’s true that he likes skyscapes over human subjects, but there’s more going on behind that personal choice. Subaru just listens, encourages, and becomes excited about whatever that Tougo wants to snap photos of, which helps him realize that and go past it. It’s beautiful to witness how his unwavering affection just deepens as he comes to know the other man as a person rather than simply as the artist he looks up to. Tougo, on the other hand, makes an effort to provide Subaru with assurances that having a wheelchair doesn’t prevent him from visiting far-off areas in addition to opportunities to explore additional places. Even with some of the problems mentioned before, Tougo shows signs of understanding Subaru’s situation and making an effort to be accommodating without coming across as patronizing as their relationship grows. Both men learn to care about each other’s personal lives rather than defining each other solely by their occupations or modes of transportation.

Kida creates visually appealing and easily readable art. Without having to write it out in block letters, it does a particularly good job of depicting the men growing closer to one another. Even though their body language isn’t always flawless, it’s simple to see them transition from friendship to love. The volume ends with one nonexplicit sex scene, but other than that, it’s extremely subdued, with almost any kissing and the majority of the love activity occurring through their words. Overall, this is a really gentle and endearing novel, and if the issues raised at the opening of this review don’t bother you, it’s a comfortable read.

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