Yuki was born Deaf, and the hearing aides she uses allows her to hear some sounds, but not clearly. In order to communicate, she relies on Japanese Sign Language, her phone, notebooks, whiteboards, and her decent ability to read lips. On the train one day, a tourist asks Yuki for directions, and the charismatic Itsuomi-san comes to her rescue. Thanks to the encouragement from her friend, Rin-Chan, Yuki gets up the courage to ask Itsuomi for his number, and the two start texting, but not as often as Yuki would like. Both of Rin and Yuki crushes work at the same cafe, so they encourage each other to get to know the guys. Rin asks Yuki if she is having affectionate feelings for Itsuomi, or if it's love, and Yuki thinks she might actually be falling in love with Itsuomi.
This story was incredibly cute, and the first time I’ve read a visual story that includes Sign Language. The mangaka illustrates Sign Language very clearly and fluidly, but admits that it's difficult to capture the entire conversation. The conversations are also written out though, so readers won't have difficulty following along when Yuki and others are signing. At this point, Itsuomi is pretty aloof, so it’s hard to have a real solid opinion on him, but Yuki is very sweet and relatable. Readers will easily connect with Yuki as she sorts out her feelings for Itsuomi.
Kodansha rates this for 16+, but there's nothing in this first volume that would make it inappropriate for younger teens. I'll probably wait a few more volumes before weighing in on including it in middle school collections.
Sara's Rating: 9/10
Suitability Level: Grades 9-12
Publication Date: February 23, 2021
ISBN: 9781646511846 (Paperback)
Tags: Rating: 9/10, Suitability: High School, Manga, Romance, School Age, Disabilities
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