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It is interesting, for me anyway, to note that I have now met three youri titles where one or both protagonists show signs of belonging to the asexual / demisexual spectrum. If this is representatively positive, it also raises a different question: is there an amalgamation of homosexuality and asexuality in manga about queer characters? If so, it is not very useful, because asexuality (no sexual attraction), demisexuality (a certain sexual attraction, often based on emotional closeness rather than for physical pleasure) and homoromantism (emotional / romantic attraction, but not sexual, to a person of the same sex) are not at all the same thing. In both cases of Donuts under a crescent moon and Whisper a love song to me, exactly the same “test” is offered by the people questioned by the protagonist about love: “Do you want to kiss them? And in both cases, the protagonist responds with confusion. Perhaps this is meant to indicate that they never considered such a thing to be possible with another woman, but again, this is a bit of a stumbling block and is certainly in danger of falling into the dark. terrible fallacy that people who have never fallen in love simply have. I haven’t met the right person yet. It might seem difficult to point all of this out, but it’s an interesting piece of the genre that seems to emerge (and it has at times been BL, too), and that can be a problem for some readers.

That aside, Donuts under a crescent moonThe second volume of s continues the slow combustion of its predecessor. (And, as the creator notes, is 100% donut-free.) Now that Hinako and Asahi have established what they are slightly hesitant to think of as a friendship, they’re spending a lot more time together outside of work. In fact, Hinako started eating at Asahi and Subaru a lot more often, which Subaru is very, very excited about. Her reaction isn’t just because she supports her sister’s potential love life, however; it is also a window into Asahi’s past in the same way we learned about Hinako’s insecurities in the previous volume. We knew the sisters’ parents weren’t there, but this is the first time it’s been made a big deal – because Asahi feels her role as caretaker of Subaru helps keep it going. ‘discomfort she feels. his relationship with Hinako. Despite the fact that until recently their grandmother was in the picture (and actually lived with them), Asahi feels a great sense of responsibility towards her younger sister and that her first duty is to continue to be more of her parent. than his brother. She categorically tells Hinako that she doesn’t believe she will ever fall in love (or rather, allow herself to do so) because Subaru will always come first for her, to the exclusion of almost everything else.

Subaru herself is more than aware of this, and she is certainly not happy with it. She doesn’t want her sister to sacrifice her own life on the basis of parenting duties that she doesn’t necessarily have – in fact, there’s no indication that Subaru sees Asahi as a “mother” figure; to her, she is simply his older sister. These crossed sons are most likely due to the fact that Subaru was so young when their parents passed away and their grandmother stepped in shortly after. Asahi may have felt responsible and like raising her sister, but Subaru viewed her grandmother as her parent figure, so in her mind Asahi is using it as an excuse to avoid being happy. Considering the way Asahi acts, it’s entirely possible that she is afraid to pursue a relationship or find love because she feels guilty that her parents’ life has been cut short; there could also be something about their death (or their life) that made her think that she doesn’t want this for herself. But as for her sister, this is not a healthy or proper way to live, and she is determined to push Asahi and Hinako together.

We are fortunate that Subaru is not written in such a way as to make this envy odious. She really seems to think Asahi and Hinako would be great together, and the behavior of the women in this volume certainly supports her assumption that they love each other romantically. They just go a long way to get there, and as it suits them, that’s perfectly fine. The emphasis (in the romantic sense of the term) of this volume is that they start using each other’s first names and holding hands, which is done very well. The grip in particular is a highlight of the volume, as Usui’s art focuses on their hands slowly coming closer or apart. There is a clear sense of fearful desire in each panel, and it feels intimate and beautiful in each carefully framed picture. It is as if they are using their hands to express what they are not able to do with their voices; their puzzling emotions appear clearly more than any babbled statement at work or awkward home visit – with the notable exception of the one after Hinako sprained her ankle and painted Asahi’s nails when she comes to visit him. But again, it is Usui who uses his hands to say what the lips cannot.

While most of the tension in the story is strictly between Hinako, Asahi, and their own inner monologues, we meet a new character who is going to shake things up: an old friend of Asahi who may have been his girlfriend, or at least made it clear that she would have liked to be. It’s an impressive tale because the book doesn’t immediately turn into a dumb rival storyline; instead, she’s open with Hinako even as Subaru and Asahi make it clear that they’re not thrilled that she just appeared on their doorstep as if they were certain of her welcome. We’ll have to see how that goes in volume three, but from this book on she might be more of a help than a hindrance as women try to figure things out.

Donuts under a crescent moon is the very definition of a slow-burning romance. Neither Hinako nor Asahi are the type to jump into anything new, and both have a lot of baggage to go. But that’s why it’s such a quietly rewarding read: There’s a real sense that we want them to be happy, even if it takes them a while to want it themselves.