Hachi hates school and would rather nap all day, especially if there's a nice bit of sun to bathe in. Nothing really interests him until the transfer student shows up. Aoi is a lizard boy with his tail hidden in a sleeve, and Hachi, who is a cat boy, finds his coloring and mannerisms to be interesting and soothing. The two start hanging out after school or sneaking away to an abandoned stairwell for lunch. One day, Aoi takes the sleeve off his tail, and Hachi is transfixed. It's a beautiful, bright shade of blue! Hachi lets Aoi pet his tail too as a trade off, and both promise not to share their secret with any other students. But Hachi doesn't really know how to have a friend, and he easily gets jealous when others start to become interested in Aoi. For his part, Aoi doesn't trust predators after a terrible incident at his last school that caused him to lose part of his tail. The two learn to be vulnerable with each other and navigate their (at times) uneasy friendship
This story was heartbreaking in a very different way from the mangaka's other works. The loneliness and need for acceptance is portrayed exceptionally well, and my heart ached for both Aoi and Hachi. This is labeled as a boys love story, and while it could be taken that there is a romantic entanglement by the end of the story, I more so enjoyed watching their friendship grow and both finding comfortability around another living soul. That part of the story will definitely resonate with teen readers, many of whom in a post-pandemic world are looking for a living soul with whom they can be at peace - friend or otherwise.
There is a heavily implied rape scene with Aoi where his pants are stripped from him, but they're animals, so there's no nudity per se.
Sara's Rating: 7/10
Suitability Level: Grades 10-12
Publisher: Seven Seas
Publication Date: August 23, 2022
ISBN: 9781638585671 (Paperback)
Tags: Rating: 7/10, Suitability: High School, Manga, Animals, Friendship, LGBTQ+, Romance, Seven Seas
I've been reading manga and comicbooks for years. Now, I write reviews and other helpful things for School Librarians, teachers, parents, and students.
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