I Can't Take This Anymore!
Summary: Top-of-the-class Hiroya secretly wishes he could be cool like the popular Masaki Takashi, so when summer break arrives, he changes his nerdy image and the two become friends. But Hiroya's incredibly naive and doesn't recognize that Takashi's intentions aren't exactly pure. When suave "I'll never fall in love" Takashi ends up falling for Hiroya, he won't take no for an answer. But can they start a relationship without the entire school finding out?
Makoto's Notes: Yattera is yet another schoolboy romance. But it's got a mangaka dreamteam as its creators, and their collaboration is one of the most honest and believable Boy's Love manga you're likely to find. I found it enthralling, and once I start reading I can't stop until I've reached the end. Seriously, I've lost sleep over it, even though I've read it dozens and dozens of times already.
Hiroya's complete innocence at the beginning is startling, but there'd be no story without it. Akizuki-sensei gives the audience a wink; we know what's waiting for him in the real world that he so longs to enter. Violence, jealousy, rape, abuse, gay-bashing, suicide, AIDS... enough to make anyone lock themselves in their basement and wait for the coming apocalypse. But Hiroya is stronger than he lets on, and Takashi redeems himself many times over.
I still don't feel like this is an angst-ridden series... the characters go through periods of introspection, but they don't spend long hours wailing and cursing at the godless sky. Some of the plot points are downright cutesy, like the school festival, Hiroya's suspicious (and June-loving) little sister, and poor confused Tokunaga-kun's nosebleeds. Volume 5 is an amazing, heart-wrenching book, but deep down you know everything will be fine just as long as they're together. Who would have thought Ebola could sound so romantic...
Reading difficulty? Medium. Chara has furigana everywhere, but there's a lot of winding narration. It helps if you know a LOT of euphemisms for sex, because they're pretty much all in here.
Warnings and Suggestions: Depictions of dangerous lifestyles, including the consequences. AIDS. Homophobia. A couple non-consentual close-calls. Now happy warnings! Lots of heavy petting (infirmary kissing, my favorite!), a handful of love scenes, and the boys watch a couple hilariously bad porno movies.
ISBN 4-19-960016-7 (Volume 1)
ISBN 4-19-960021-3 (Volume 2)
ISBN 4-19-960041-8 (Volume 3)
ISBN 4-19-960057-4 (Volume 4)
ISBN 4-19-960077-9 (Volume 5)
ISBN 4-19-960102-3 (Volume 6)
ISBN 4-19-960126-0 (Volume 7)