“I don’t think I’d mind if it were with you.” They thought it would just be casual, but one passionate evening between high school friends Nakano and Tsuda changes everything. Unfortunately, neither knows how much that night meant to the other. Afraid that Nakano regrets what happened, Tsuda accepts the romantic confession of a female classmate and goes away to college. Nakano doesn’t understand why Tsuda has stopped pursuing the relationship and feels betrayed. Ten years later, Nakano, a frontrunner for the Bundam line of the Randai Corporation, is reunited with Tsuda for a collaboration project (fans will recognize the Gundam/Bandai pun). Tsuda is ecstatic to see his old friend — Nakano, not so much. Nakano tries to put the past behind him and focus on his work, but being with Tsuda brings up feelings he spent years trying to bury. Tsuda is too cheery, too flirty, and too eager to make Nakano happy. Nakano struggles to see Tsuda for who he really is and not the person Nakano thought he was when Tsuda left him. Can they rekindle the spark they once felt after so many years of false memories?
At its core, False Memories is the story of childhood friends who get a second chance to become something more. The back-and-forth dialogue between Nakano and Tsuda is believable, funny, and sweet; the writing is strengthened by their expressive faces and will make readers smile and laugh out loud. Unlike most BL plots, both characters fully consent to the relationship, and while Tsuda is clearly the one who is the most sure of his feelings, neither character falls into the typical “dominant” or “submissive” archetype. A short sex scene makes this worthy of a Mature rating, but it is not as hardcore as other BL manga. Libraries looking to add quality BL titles to an already-established collection will not want to pass up False Memories. Volume 2 will be released in August.
Manga-ka Isaku Natsume is well-known for her BL manga and doujinshi, but very few of her titles are available in the U.S. Published by SuBLime, Viz Media’s Boys’ Love line, False Memories is Natsume’s first series to be published as a bound manga. SuBLime has also published the first book in her popular Devil’s Honey series, but only in digital format. Her standalone manga Dash! was published by DMP in 2007.