Back to the MM rodeo And what better than one set on the J-Pop world?
This has to be read as a J-fanfic. Meaning, it doesn't have a beginning, and the author did not bother in description, which is, we don't know who the hell Takahashi (who then is just Hiro), nor Ryuu, nor the other dozens of characters are. They just come in and with time, we get to know who is in which band. There are no description of faces, nor looks, nor places. Just like a fanfic.
I like that the author knows about J-world. It really is like reading a fanfic about Johnnys, because their world, although is called Talent Forge or something, is obviously J&A. There is also a Johnny-san Roku, sempais and kouhais relationship, several bands... Could it be that H20 is HSJ? Also, there is a TV segment where all bands are together and one has to answer the question of a X member. Just like we used to see in Shounen Club. The author also mentions Tamori, Beat Takeshi and Sanma, kings of the variety show, as well as brands like Docomo and Takarazuka.
In truth, this is not a MM romance at all, more like, a bromance, a shounen-ai. Obviously Ryuu and Hiro know each other since teenagers, but it is only in the first chapter, due Tetris game, where they get closer. Still, Ryuu thinks Hiro is a dork, but with time, they are inseparable. They eat together, they talk and message over phone, they go shopping together, they make the silliest challenges to each other. No sexual tension at all, just friendship.
In fact, it is super clean and no sexual innuendos at all. Except in the last chapter or so, where Ryuu starts to feel attracted to Hiro, and because he attributes it all to his celibacy, he goes and gets laid twice with a nice girl. Reason why I took half star of my final rating. I mean, I understand it had to happen since Ryuu is "straight" and is confused and does not want to ruin their friendship and is somewhat horny, but still. And the girl was nice and did not deserve it (true, it was a one-night stand, but still). I want my MM romances to be that, no other guy nor girl sleeping with my MC, but well, Book 1 is hardly a MM romance... But still
Impossible not to continue with the 2nd volume. It is like a book split in 3 parts. This was Part 1 only, which is friendship. Part 2 is (so far) better, since it really is a MM romance (I am currently reading it, and loving it).