Seven Days by Venio Tachibana, Rihito Takarai (Illustrator)
Series: Seven Days #1-2
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Shounen-ai, Romance, Contemporary, LGBTQ+
Publisher: Digital Manga Publishing
Now before I start babbling about how much I loved Seven Days, I need to say that I haven’t read much shounen-ai. Not because I dislike the genre, but because I always seem to be picking up the more… sexually explicit titles by mistake. These little mishaps has caused me to kind of avoid the genre except for on a few rare occasions.
But luckily, I stumbled upon a couple of raving reviews for this gem. And then I found out that the featured couple don’t do anything more than kiss a couple of times. So I started reading. I am so, so glad I did.
Seven Days first introduces us to Shino Yuzuro, a handsome boy who is described to have an air of perfection around him. But because of his blunt, kind-of-impolite personality, girls who date him become disappointed and dump him, and even his friends say he is a waste of a pretty face.
On a certain Monday, Yuzuru happens to meet with Seryou, a guy who is notorious for his habit of dating the first person to ask him out at the beginning of the week and then immediately dumping that same person on Sunday if he doesn’t develop any feelings for that person (which he normally doesn’t). And since Seryou makes that person feel absolutely special those seven days he is with them, he remains popular and well-liked.
After finding out that no one has managed to ask Seryou out yet, Yuzuru asks Seryou to date him. Awhile Yuzuru meant it as a joke, Seryou takes the request seriously and proceeds to stick with his habit. Thus begins a seven day love story.
Reading Seven Days was a bit of a surreal experience. I owe this to the fact that the seven days the manga covers starts to stretch into an amount of ‘time’ that feels longer than just seven days. It feels like Yuzuru and Seryou were together for more than just seven days. Which I feel is quite fitting since, crazily enough, it took three years for this short, two volume series to get completely published in a quarterly magazine.
Although the series is very short, the characters still manage to be developed. Seven Days balances the forwarding of the romance with the development of the characters. So at the very end, the reader know Yuzuru and Seryou well enough that they feel like real people with both flaws and good qualities. I do have a deep want to learn more about these characters, but given the shortness of the series, the creators did a great job at developing them.
The romance is really sweet. The kind of sweet that really makes a person giddy. The kind of way that makes a person go “awww” every few pages. Even though Yuzuru and Seryou are only together for seven days, the romance doesn’t seem to develop to quickly at all. The creators fit in that awkwardness that is present at the beginning of a relationship and everything after that. The growing feelings between seems very natural. Awhile it might be too early to say “I love you,” I didn’t feel like Seven Days had a bad case of insta-love.
One of the best things about the romance is how it is portrayed. It isn’t based on appearances, nor does it base itself on cliches. It is a very pure and captivating kind of love that develops between the two. They love each other, flaws and all.
It should noted that the story doesn’t revolve around the fact that Yuzuru and Seryou are both boys. In fact, their sexuality doesn’t cause them much trouble at all. Seven Days is more focused on people and their personalities more than what gender a person is interested.
Takarai’s art is pretty in a delicate way. The characters are especially drawn nicely, and the backgrounds are pleasant to look at, also. The art also does a fantastic job at giving a very peaceful, mellow mood to read with.
I was thoroughly endeared by Seven Days. The characters, the romance, the story, the art. Everything is painted in such of an eloquent way. I can really see why this manga has obtained so many loving fans. This is certainly going to be a seven day story I won’t be forgetting.