There Are Things I Can’t Tell You
There Are Things I Can’t Tell You is a single-volume M/M friends-to-lovers manga romance.
You probably know whether you want to read it just from that description. I found it charming, well-paced, and with two young men I was rooting for.
The blond Kyousuke is a popular, hard-working graphic designer. Dark-haired Kasumi is shy and clumsy. They’ve been friends since school, when Kyousuke looked out for the lonely Kasumi.
Now, as adults, they still care for each other. However, Kyousuke’s ingrained homophobia prevents them from getting together, until a work challenge gives him a new perspective.
The story is structured in a simple but effective fashion, suitable for the formula of the genre. We meet the boys and find out that Kyousuke won’t admit his feelings and Kasumi is dating a married woman. There are flashback chapters, with lots of pining, as each feels the other doesn’t return their feelings and they suffer in silence.
I appreciated the way Kyousuke’s career and his feelings were allowed to develop together. There are definite points of growth and self-realization. Because this is a single-volume story, things move quickly, but I didn’t find it too rushed, although at times I wanted to know more about Kasumi and what he did.
Halfway through, there’s an explicit sex scene, garnering the mature rating, followed by temporary conflict. Concern over what others will think of two men together disrupts their tentative relationship. I appreciated that the challenges faced here are primarily internal, worrying how the other feels and what others will think and what is “right” and “wrong”. It makes the challenges seem more realistic, less artificial, and the resulting happy ending is more satisfying.
(The publisher provided a digital review copy.)