Apple & Honey by Hideyoshico
Published by Digital Manga Publishing
Volumes 1 & 2 currently available in English
No further volumes currently planned.
Genre: Yaoi, LBGTQ
A sweet story of a blossoming relationship between two very different young men, Apple and Honey is a great addition to the world of translated yaoi manga.
Natsuki and Komano are opposite sides of the same coin – dark and light, introverted and outgoing, overlooked and popular. Komano is immediately drawn to the lonely Natsuki, and pursues him relentlessly. Even after they start dating, Natsuki prefers to hide the relationship, while Komano wants to open up about it and show everyone how much he cares for his boyfriend. Eventually they do come out to their friends, who are not at all surprised, and they are much happier for it.
While this sounds like the basis of most of the yaoi manga I’ve read, the dynamic between Natsuki and Komano is anything but typical. Ko is very respectful of Natsuki’s boundaries, and doesn’t pressure or force him into anything. There is no forced kissing in a dark corner of the hallway, no pressure to have sex in a semi-public place, and no secrets hidden between them about other lovers or relationships. The boys are very open with each other, very honest, and refreshingly tender and caring.
Unfortunately, the sweet romance is ruined by the sudden inclusion of a sex scene at the very end of the volume. I was not expecting this scene, and its graphic nudity. No offense taken – I’ve read gay sex before and it’s not a problem – but this scene really didn’t fit with the tone of the rest of the novel and felt very gratuitous.
Complementing this tender romance between two college boys is a different short story, following 2 young men who haven’t spoken for almost ten years, since high school. Many translated yaoi manga feature this format of alternating between chapters of 2 different stories, and I was very pleased with the differences between the characters in the two stories featured in Apple and Honey.
I would highly recommend this series to anyone looking for a different kind of romance, or who is a fan of yaoi manga.