Can you fall in love in just one week? There may not be an easy answer, but Yuzuru Shino and Toji Seryo are determined to find out.

This is the premise of Seven Days, the latest yaoi, or “boy love” manga, from author Venio Tachibana and artist Rihito Takarai. The story centers on two high schoolers, third-year Shino and first-year Seryo, who attend a posh academy in the high-class Yamate District.

Seryo, an irresistibly handsome rich boy, is infamous for his week-long dating escapades. And while the girl may be different each time, the end is always the same. By Sunday, the whirlwind romance ends in a breakup as he continues to search fruitlessly for his soulmate.

Things begin to change, however, after archery phenom Shino asks Seryo out on a whim. When the halfhearted joke turns serious, the two begin to explore their unexpected feelings for one another, their own insecurities, and what it means to be in love. Will their attraction have what it takes to last more than seven days?

The book’s main conflict centers around the misunderstandings that happen when people aren’t able to say what they really feel. After the unlikely couple begins to realize they truly do care about each other, their lack of communication makes things complicated. Shino’s insecurities about disappointing others comes across as careless mockery, while Seryo’s quest for someone who truly gets him is confused for a playboy mentality.

Complicating matters is Seryo’s former flame, a beautiful girl who continues to lead Seryo on while also pursuing his brother. Interestingly, her name also is Shino, and both namesakes bring the drama as their jealousy of one another leads to conflict. Luckily, Seryo likes the dominating, possessive type, and readers will be kept guessing as to what will happen next.

Throughout, I enjoyed watching the characters evolve. While a week is definitely not a long time, the characters show a lot of growth as they explore what it means to date, and possibly love, someone. Both young men are known for their good looks, but they soon learn that true connection goes beyond the physical. Falling in love is complicated, and when their feelings disturb the normal dating “protocol,” they begin to question everything.

Perhaps Shino sums it up best as he notes “No one can understand what they can’t see. Like a person’s heart…”

Thematically, archery plays an important role. In fact, the characters for Yuzuru’s name are “bow” and “string.” It seems to come naturally, then, that he is a standout archer on the high school team. Seryyo, on the other hand, is notorious for not showing up to practice despite his clear talent for the sport. As their relationship progresses, we see a clear parallel in their performance. From steady and strong to confused and off-target, their shooting is a metaphor for their inner feelings.

Stylistically, the artwork is strong. The main characters standout with their elongated, flowing bodies. Background shots boast dynamic and strong lines, while close-up portraits reveal intense emotion with just the turn of a smile or curve of an eyebrow.

Overall, I thought the romance was really sweet. It captures the awkwardness, confusion, and giddiness of a new relationship. While I am still skeptical about a seven-day time limit to finding love, it did add suspense and a sense of urgency. With that said, the relationship still unfolds somewhat slowly. Some will find this pace boring, while others will enjoy the subtlety. I am definitely in the latter.

I do wish the supporting characters would have been explored a bit further. While they are great for providing background information, they do not play much of an active role. For example, Koike, a girl who previously dated Seryo, seems to have a lot more going on under the surface. I wish we would have gotten to know her better, especially since she is one of the few female characters in the story.

This book is appropriate for teens, and the publisher recommends ages 13 and up. Unlike other yaoi, this book does not contain sexually graphic content. In fact, sexuality does not play into the story much at all. It is more focused on the individuals, and their connections with one another.

Seven Days: Monday-Sunday
By Venio Tachibana
Art by Rihito Takarai
ISBN: 9781974709274
SuBLime Manga, 2019
Publisher Age Rating: Teen (13+)

Browse for more like this title
NFNT Age Recommendation: Teen (13-16)
Character Traits: Pansexual

  • Johanna

    Past Reviewer

    This reviewer is not longer actively working on our site, but we would not be here if not for our many dedicated contributors over the years. We thank all of them for their reviews, features, and support! Johanna Nelson is a full-time graduate student pursuing her MLIS at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Through her studies, she discovered a love for the graphic novel format thanks to the likes of Raina Telgemeier and Art Spiegelman. While the two may seem like opposite ends of the spectrum, both masterfully combine narrative and picture to create a compelling, rich story greater than the parts alone. As an aspiring school librarian, who will soon be on the path to teacher greatness through dual certification in education and library media specialization, Johanna also loves to explore the seemingly endless possibilities graphic novels hold when it comes to teaching and building literacy skills, helping English language learners, reaching out to reluctant readers and matching each and every kiddo with just the right book thanks to the wide range of subject matter available in this format. Prior to leading the “glamorous” life of a toiling student, Johanna served as features editor for a cheese and dairy trade newspaper that helped to cultivate her writing skills as well as her love for deliciously unique artisan cheeses – triple cream anyone? She also has held several library positions including page and library specialist in the children’s department of a public library. In her free time, she enjoys embracing her inner nerd through watching Jeopardy!, doing crossword and jigsaw puzzles, bird watching, hiking, sketching, and of course, reading whatever she can get her hands on.

Liked it? Take a second to support us on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!