This was a really endearing, one-off, mellow book. Despite the BL tag, it’s very…tame.
I appreciated how easy it was to get sucked into the story despite it being just one volume. You quickly get a feel for the characters and their backstories. I guess the book is kind of like a warm sweater..? It was just “comfortable.”
One thing that interested me was how people made assumptions about Kohei’s disability and the ways they reacted to it, both well-meaning people and not-so-well-meaning people. It makes the reader think without coming across as preachy. This sounds ridiculous but the author did a great job of making Kohei’s hearing the focus yet not making it the focus. The bigger issue was Kohei’s difficulty interacting with people–in theory, anything (or many things) could have been the cause of that. For the sake of this story, it was a hearing disability. But it didn’t have to be. So that gave the story a unique twist while still keeping it easily relatable.
One minor thing–at first the font was difficult to me to get used to. It kind of felt like I was reading a scan. Fortunately, the story was compelling enough that I got over it.
If you’ve come this far in the series, you likely know the pattern and what to expect. Takano is cool, Ritsu is neurotic; Ritsu freaks out, Takano seduces him; Ritsu thinks he’s going to leave, Takano proves him wrong.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
However, despite all that, this series still manages to have its moments that keep you hanging on, repetition be damned. In this volume we get a bit more of “awwww Takano” (though I’ve always had a soft spot for him) which means Onodera doesn’t stand a chance. And that’s okay–Onodera’s been in denial since day one so he doesn’t need to stand a chance.
Also in this volume we get a little more story about my favorite couple, Yukina and Kisa. I really enjoyed this, especially since it was from Yukina’s perspective, which freshened up the rest of the volume.
It’s been a rough couple of days and I really just wanted some sweet, mindless BL to read and kind of decompress. “Don’t Be Cruel” fit the bill perfectly.
While the series is based on an eye-roll-worthy premise and is pretty repetitive, I can’t help but love it. (Maybe it’s the mangaka’s enthusiastic love of tighty whiteys?) Plus+ is especially fluffy because it’s a collection of side stories/bonus stories/doujinshi meant to be read as “between chapter” happenings of the main series.
It’s an easy, light read but very cute and entertaining–and the art is beautiful and sexy as always.