Our Everlasting is a sweet, sexy story of love between two guys. Unlike many yaoi manga, where the relationships range from unbearably angsty (he could never love me! He’s straight!) to disturbing (older men with teenagers? No thanks), these lovers are people who might exist (and get together) in real life. While Our Everlasting is certainly not gritty realism, it’s believable romance.
In the first story, shy Shouin has been hurt in the past, so he has a hard time believing that popular, easygoing surfer Horyu could ever reciprocate his crush. Horyu is a love ‘em and leave ‘em type, but he discovers feelings for Shouin that are deeper than any he’s had before. How can he convince Shouin that he’s for real? While both characters talk about their feelings more than most guys I know (yaoi stories are written by women, for women, after all), Horyu and Shouin are appealing characters who behave in realistic ways. Unlike some male/male manga couples, they have to navigate a social scene that would not be receptive to their relationship and deal with their own inner questions about their sexuality. Still, their story never strays too far from the realm of fairy tale and is sure to leave yaoi fans sighing happily.
The second tale, of college student Takehiko and art teacher Momose, depends on the somewhat silly conceit that Momose has a heart condition preventing him from having sex. Can these lovers keep their feelings at bay, or will insecurity and desire drive them apart? Despite the premise, Our Everlasting’s second half is as sweet as the first and contains some hilarious moments as well as hotter love scenes.
by Toko Kawai