Sasaki and Miyano is a delightfully fluffy teen romance manga. It falls under the Boys Love or LGBTQ+ genre and is loaded with typical romantic tropes: the bad boy upper-classman matched with a cute, but oblivious younger boy, who happens to be a secret BL manga fan at an all-boys school.
Older Sasaki is a tough older student who seems to fall hard for the innocent, awkward Miyano. The first volume is a sweet introduction to this slice-of-life, meta, romantic comedy. Sasaki starts borrowing manga from Miyano, calls him Miya-chan (a cute diminutive in Japanese), and visits the younger boy in his classroom.
This manga is a great introduction for manga readers interested in LGBTQ+ romance. It’s chaste enough for younger teens and artist-creator Shou Harusono touches all the bases for the genre. It’s a slim volume, and features the main plot with short pages following a secondary plot about the school cultural festival (a mainstay in Japanese high schools). Harusono’s artwork is very good, with well-drawn characters, solid background work, and the art backs up the slow, sweet burn of the burgeoning romance.
Sasaki and Miyano was originally serialized as an online comic on Pixiv—a Japanese-founded site for creators of anime and manga to upload and share their work. Picked up by Japanese publisher Kadakowa and released in Japan in 2016, it’s been licensed and translated in English by Yen Press for their growing LGBTQ series line. The English translator includes a very helpful explanation of terms common in manga and Japanese to clear up any misunderstandings about the forms of address, plot, or tropes used in the manga.
Sasaki and Miyano will continue in a short series of four volumes and I am already personally invested in their story. Miyano, as a fan of BL, doesn’t seem to realize he is actually IN one. Sasaki, with his growing regard, also seems determined to make their own BL plot line work out in real life. This is a great addition for a teen manga collection and it will be a hit with LGBTQ romance fans. All of the characters are male and none of them identify as LGBTQ. It’s recommended for ages 13+ by the publisher.
Sasaki and Miyano, vol. 1
By Shou Harusono
Yen Press, 2021
Publisher Age Rating: Teen (13+)
Series ISBNS and Order
NFNT Age Recommendation: Older Teen (16-18), Teen (13-16)
Creator Representation: Japanese
Character Representation: Japanese