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Ai ga Areba Toshinosa nante
Forget the Age Difference, as Long as There's Love


Cover ImageAuthor: Koide Mieko
Publisher: Biblos
Series Length: One-shot
First printing: January 2003

Five-second plot: "Do you take requests?"


Summary: Yoshimi is a nicer-than-average high-school kid with a part-time job at a convenience store. His life gets disrupted by a chance meeting with Yukito, a host with a voice like an angel and the maturity of a ten year-old. After a few false starts, the two find an odd friendship, but Yoshimi finds it increasingly difficult to deal with Yukito's growing crush on him...


Makoto's Notes: The title story is from the original "Teacher" Zips back in 1998. That's rather misleading, as that installment is really just tacked onto the end of the book and made for cute cover art. The main focus of the book is the (completely unrelated) story of Yoshimi and Yukito, as well as club owner Nagaya-san.

Yuki is like a little kid, cute and energetic, overly emotional and unreliable. When he passes out from hunger in front of Yoshimi's store, Yoshi-kun does the responsible thing and takes him home. "Home" turns out to be a huge apartment owned by Nagaya-san, who hired Yukito to sing in his club (after the two had a rather unusual first meeting of their own). Yukito falls for Yoshimi, and Yoshimi likes Yukito too, just not "in that way". But as Nagaya knows well, it's hard to ignore Yukito's "stray kitten" demeanor for long. The characters are solid, but I had quite a few unanswered questions at the close of the story. Maybe Koide-sensei wanted Yukito to be a bit mysterious to the reader as well.

Two other short stories fill out the book. The first is "from Rain", which is painful from the inappropriate title to the end. (Koide-sensei is an active doujinshika, and one of her favorite vices is pairing Sakamoto and Go from the boy band V6. "From Rain" is the title of one of their duets. It's definitely best not to think about that while reading this story. In fact, I'm sorry I told you, try to forget about it.) Mikoto has been trapped in an abusive relationship with childhood friend Takuya for years. When Mikoto's older cousin Shou finds out, Shou does what he thinks is right to protect Mikoto from the violence. But Mikoto is far more damaged than Shou could possibly understand, and before he knows it... wow, I don't think I'd want to read the book that this story would fit in, but it's definitely out of place here.

Perking things back up is "Summer Time". Haruhiko is stuck having a crappy summer babysitting his sister Kana at their cousin's beach house, after being dumped by his girlfriend, no less. Worse is having to listen to Kana squeal about the Super-Hot waiter at the cafe. But maybe getting to know said Super-Hot Guy wouldn't be such a bad thing...? It's a bittersweet story, but seems like a dream compared to the previous.

Reading difficulty is medium. The story can be followed without much reading, but probably wouldn't be very interesting. There are furigana in all stories except the Zips.


Warnings and Suggestions: "from Rain" alone makes this an adults-only book, not only for sexual content but extremely intense themes. Otherwise, it's pretty standard BL fare. And not as slutty as the cover may imply.


ISBN 4-8352-1412-9