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Neturai no Oto ga Kikoeru
I Hear the Sound of a Heatstorm


Cover ImageAuthor: Ranma Nekokichi
Publisher: Gust
Series Length: One-shot
First printing: July 1995

Five-second plot: The kind of sweet Summer Loving you shouldn't write songs about.


Summary: Michiya's summer break is off to a bad start when his boyfriend dumps him to marry someone else. His big sis encourages him to take a vacation to get over him and feel better. While hiking, Michiya runs into Ohno-sensei (literally, he slides down a hill and into Ohno), and the two become fast friends. But Michiya's still having a tough time forgetting his old boyfriend...


Makoto's Notes: Michiya is incredibly cute, but also incredibly mature. Or at least worldly. That being said, he's also around 13. So, you can stop reading this review right now, and I won't be hurt, but that's important to get out of the way.

I picked up this book because I'm a big fan of Ranma-sensei's Osakana ha Ami no Naka (Fish in the Trap). That series is a parade of every dark and twisted hidden emotion that humans possess; Heatstorm has a bright pink and green cover with Michiya and Ohno smiling giddily in the center. It's a welcome respite from Osakana's moody depression.

At its heart, it's a sweet summer romance suitable for reading one lazy afternoon by the pool. The other characters are bystanders at best, serving mostly to wonder "where on earth has Michiya gone again?" so we the audience can giggle knowingly. Michiya's equally worldly big sister Hiromi has a slightly larger role, with her earnest concern for her little brother's welfare. (One wonders, though, if he wouldn't be healthier in the long run if she didn't help him hide... but this isn't a story for such real-world concerns.)

Sweet story, happy ending, a happy little book. The rest of the tankouban is filled out with two shorts: an Osakana story (honestly, was Matsui just not unhappy enough for her?!), and an extremely odd "school" short called Darts-kun that I couldn't describe even after I'd just finished reading it. Cute, though, very cute... this book is a Super-Cute Sandwich with a bitter fish filling. XD

Gust doesn't generally have furigana, even for names. So that makes it a tricky read if you're not very familiar with the language of romance comics. The story develops in the relationship between Michiya and Ohno-sensei, which is primarily based in conversations. But at the end of the day, it's still a light summery book, so why fret over the details?


Warnings and Suggestions: Shouta warning, Shouta warning, Shouta warning. 3 entirely consensual love scenes, plus a naked-in-bed scene with Michiya and his old boyfriend. It bears noting that Ranma-sensei's love scenes are always rather vague and confusing. (She tends to make excessive margin notes apologizing for totally incomprehensible panels.) They are drippy, though, and if you have to ask, that means it's not for you. The Osakana clip is in line with the series, meaning deeply troubling and full of sex. Darts-kun is squeaky-clean, I think, even if I don't quite get the strangeness...


ISBN 4-7567-0924-9