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Tetsuo Aoki is a 4th year oil painter at a fine arts school. While working in an art supplies store, he meets an older woman named Akira Aizawa, who is the manager of an art gallery. Akira becomes interested in Tetsuo and she begins to pursue him when she catches him painting on the riverside. After such, their relationship begins to develop romantically. Will it develop smoothly? Or will there be unforeseen events?
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About time we get a realistic view of human relationships
This manga is tops and does something right and that is giving realistic flaws to characters, which is a very rare thing. I'm going off on a tangent here but A lot of these comments about Aoki being an ass is bollocks. The guy is honestly searching for himself and his path with which he demands perfection from, a very standard and relatable human characteristic. Anyone who has tried to do similar can agree that it's very confusing and never straightforward. Simply being hot, talented, socially fulfilled is not his goal for his work or personality, to judge his character simply on what he has is preposterous. The people who say he is cheating are obviously missing the human side of him.
I don't know how to do spoilers as I made this account purely for this review so be warned reading this para. The truth, as it is apparent to me is that Aoki is coming to terms with himself and his view of reality. Akira is on one side of the coin which is reality, in reality Akira has shape, wit, feelings, definitive tastes, a delicious body, urges, character. The other side of the coin is Hanami? She embodies abstract beauty. Aoki obviously has a crush on her but it's not so simple. To him she is the personification of painting. Since he doesn't know her personality, her name, her age, any defining characteristics, he is drawn to that undefined beauty and I think he relates it to his painting, which is to him ungrounded in reality. I see nothing wrong with using her to expand his painting. That's also why he doesn't paint faces, they represent reality to him, he is not yet ready to come to terms with it. That also explains his proud need for no restrictions, his distaste for help which would only tie him down into dependence, and his solitary demeanor. Can't wait to find out whether he chooses reality with Akira or semi-abstract with Hanami.
Anyway this manga kicks ass. Very Adult oriented with complex social structures and abstract undertones. Akira is fucking adorable with her simple childlike faces, mischievous banter, and smart demeanor, which is never petty. While Aoki is thoughtful, willful, and a breeze of fresh air when compared to the usual single minded, sex oriented, coolness and attraction being taken for granted male lead that is so predominant these days. Hell I relate the guy intensely, might even go so far as to say I admire him. It's not often a regular guy like me can read a manga and experience such beautiful raw emotion from a story without regretting it 5 pages later when the male lead gets a stupid fucking nose bleed or sudden ego stab. The art is great, nudity and sexuality is handled well and with taste. Female isn't crazy proportioned while the male isn't ripped. Sex feels raw and realistic, while the characters' personality doesn't evaporate either, a nice touch of reality there. Seriously if you are tired of teensy angst and crave a realistic human story read this shit, like now... It's chill enough to read while hohum and spicy enough to make you crave more. Definitely recommend.
If all manga was like this...
...I would probably give up reading normal fiction. The quality of the art here is so naturalistic but in a very precise sort of way. I'm completely in love with the crosshatching and the shading because it lends such a careful intimate delicacy to the images. My tiny internal artist is swooning all over the art in this. It just fits the story so well!
I love the characters. I totally identify with an artist's finding their inspiration or their lack of it in everything going on around them. Tetsuo is in that sort of lost stage; that place where you hate everything you do and whenever you have a picture in your head it comes out wrong wrong wrong. He's so internal and then all that internalization just sort of bursts out in little spurts. It's adorable. I love Akira, she has the same sort of intensity for her passions that I do. A little bit of a tease but mostly to hide the insecurity.
... Last updated on April 28th, 2010, 11:13am
So much depth
From the first glance at one of these pages you can tell you're in for so much more than just some smutty romp through the flippant life of a hungry young male. There is some flippancy and some hunger, yes, but that's part of how you get to know Tetsuo.
To compare him to the black panther as Akira does is entirely accurate: he is strong-willed, capricious, and proud. Although there were times when I could not understand his reasoning I never hated him for it. It only made him more real and more interesting- he can't be summed up entirely by the simple term of "tsundere." His pursuit of a goal and the feeling of discovering that goal is something that any person can relate to, artistic or not. Aoki's thirst for inspiration is as much of the story as the blossoming romance.
Akira is a wonderful character. She can be strong at the same time as precious and you want nothing more than for her to attain happiness because she deserves it. I absolutely loved her moments of spunkiness when she was entirely her own and knew exactly what and how she wanted something.
The movement between romance and artistry begin to blend until one becomes the other. The scenes of intimacy are both fiercely passionate and heartfelt so that no part felt like unnecessary fanservice. The rich style is poignant enough to assist the reader in learning the characters at the same time they are learning each other. Outside of the bedroom (and still sometimes in it) their interactions develop so naturally and are shown to be so honest and real that it's satisfying even before it is finished.
A clear favourite
Natsu no Zenjitsu...
After reading 3 chapters, I must say that this manga is intriguing. I've always like older woman x younger man's relationship. That way, (perhaps) the woman is not a crybaby who clings and whines. And (perhaps, too) the guy will want to become an "adult" faster, so to speak. I don't know. It's just my theory anyways.
That aside, this story has a long way to go, unless if this is a short manga. *shrugs* I would love to see how the relationship between Akira and Aoki develops. Although that sunflower girl is a bit of a distraction for me. I just love how Akira describes the reason on why she doesn't care if Aoki's playing with her -- "All I want to see is him... and the world that he sees.."
God, it must be one hell of a gift to be an artist!
I still find myself re-reading the scanlated chapters. Only to be drowned in that sense of loneliness and obstinacy which belong to Tetsuo, and the hidden insecurities of Akira. And everything in between... and judging by it, I think I know why
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
they broke up in the end.... No!!!!
... Last updated on January 3rd, 2012, 9:25am
It was surprisingly enjoyable. I wasn't expecting anything much from it... But it turns out to be such a good manga. It was a story about self discovery, or maybe more like rediscovery. He has lost his passion and soul for art somewhere along the line of living everyday life. His encounter and subsequent relationship with Akira, the owner of an art gallery, and his experience since then had helped him slowly open up and appreciate again. The male lead is very unique. He is sort of a tortured soul, yet he is always persevering: he knows his faults. And he s always striving to be better for himself.
The story was a bit confusing in the beginning fo me, but that might just be because I was absentminded as I was reading it at first. But... As I read it, things become more clear. Character developed so smoothly that I almost didn't see the moments of transition. The pacing was really good. The love is interesting also. Not the typical boy meet girl. It's a mature story, referring to some explicit scenes as well as the topic of the story itself. It touches some deep topics. Not a typical story at all. I love it.
I don't care too much for the art. I personally prefer a cleaner style. I do think however that this style is also nice. It's more...mature, in a sense? It's more expressive because its rough and looks unfinished in places. Anyways, I have no strong feelings about the art work itself.
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
more about the romance. The male lead, who is an artist, pisses me off at times. He is basically two timing akira!! He loves her when he is not focused on his art. He likes the other girl, too. even obsessive about her. He views her as his muse; she inspires him to draw and paint. It's frustrating because i want him to be only devoted to Akira. Urgghh!!
What an intriguing story... very intense, I think. The love making scene is beautiful: partly passionate and partly endearing. I love that. Don't quite know what it is about this manga that makes me want to read more and more. But the fact is, it's very easy to get addicted to this. Maybe it's the art style. The drawings look like they're taken right out of a sketch book. I like that too. It's a lil rough around the edges, but looks incredibly good as a whole. Character wise, I really love Akira. You seldom meet a female who's so open about her sexuality and honest about her feelings. The whole older women, younger man thing works wonderfully in this manga. Great execution. Aoki is really a lovable guy: kinda moody and temperamental, but also endearingly innocent and inexperienced.
All in all, a great read...Hope there'll be many more volumes of this.
... Last updated on November 5th, 2009, 12:03pm
This is how you wite an "adult" manga
After the recent rush of "borderline" porn in seinen magazines i find it so nice to see an author use nudity/sex for artistic purposes and have an actual narrative in an adult focused manga. The art school angle also comes of as natural too. The common criticism that Tetsuo is a bit of a narcissist in first 2 volumes who undervalues Akira is true but character progression takes place and the relationship matures from the comfort-sex direction. I think that that was the whole point all along and the others characters are well integrated into the story which is important as they increase in importance in the later stories by the author. The series also works as a Mono no Aware if you are into that to a degree and there are a few well done moment of surrealism. Now it only need a satisfying ending which Mizu to Gin (7/10 but Gin no Tsuki is better) didn´t properly address, a length of less then 10 volumes and i will be wholehearted satisfied. Her previous series Koi Kaze (8/10) is also recommended but is bleaker in comparison so be prepared. Update: The ending was met with the expected negative reaction amongst readers but is just what i was expecting as the series is a story about the failure of communication and putting passion in front of everything else so another conclusion would have been a betrayal to the overall narrative and themes. "Sequels" exist in form of the "Mizu no" series but i would frankly like to read new short form anthology to some of the character's stories in here and her other works to tie the bow for good.
... Last updated on May 15th, 2015, 7:16am
I don't regret reading this manga. To me, it's truly a tranquility.
Art-wise, the sceneries drawn in this manga are all beautiful. And it captures the 4 seasons nicely! Aside of that, I really like the body gestures shown in this manga as well. When it comes to the adult scenes, there is no single unnecessary fan-service. It's romantic. It's mature, in a good way. And there's some little cute part as well XD
Story-wise, it's kind of "divided" to 2 path; romance side, and real-life experience side. I like how the mangaka portrays the male character who wavers between his future path as an artist. I also like the development of the characters, both Akira and Tetsuo, and even the secondary characters....
..........until the love triangle thingy starts. DAMN DAMN DAMN DAMN........ If only Hanami stays an "inspiration" until the end, things would have been better. It is such a nice thing that Tetsuo saw the book and cried during the last 3 chapters. It is a good thing that they confront each other for the last time before they say goodbye for real. If there is a continuation of this manga ever, I can only hope that Tetsuo can stay with Akira forever.
Speaking of Akira, I really like the character of this woman. She's gorgeous and mature. But sometimes she can act cute and a little bit over-confident. Still, she is a very strong and understanding, gentle at the same time.
Despite of its ending, it's still one of my best mangas ever. I am quite sad with the ending, but I won't say it's a bad manga just because of that. Why? Because I feel like when their story keeps continuing like this, one day, they might be together for real XD
Lovely characters with REAL life experiences with love
I love it! Plain and simple. This describes the epitome of a seinen romance, its clear cut, yet wayward, frustrating, but yet it explains the true description of a "real" life beating heart of a human! Akira is my favorite character, there is just something about her that makes you want to read more about her. Though she may look like a kid and tend to act gentle towards others, she's very adamant and steadfast in her decisions, long story short, she is the epitome of a well structured "seasoned" character, who knows when to say when. I didn't like Aoki as much, not because of the fact that he was obsessed with someone else, it was that he acted like a brat through out the whole manga. Arrogant and pretty selfish, not once have he thought about Akira's feelings when he was carelessly thinking about another person. Though he has some good points like that fact that he's ambitious, strong willed and sturdy; not easily moved. All in all, I'm not really looking for a happy ending for this manga, a logical or an acceptable one will do just fine, as this manga tend to rely heavily on real life experiences with common and everyday relationships. So a card board ending will definitely send this manga downhill.
... Last updated on July 23rd, 2013, 11:33pm
One of the Best Seinen Romance.
As the title of my comment says,It is one of the best(Mature,if I may add) romance manga. The plot is not only original,it is well planned out. Characters are lovely and realistic as well. The art is completly different from what we usually see in our mangas. Comments below mine have already said much about the series,so I dont need to say the rest. Its definately worth a try if you like original,realistic and mature romance.