We all like little surprises, but more than the ones that bring on the warm fuzzies and uncontrollable blushing, I prefer the surprises that make me a bit uncomfortable or appalled even. I enjoy it when life-like bits of cruelty and ignorance exist amongst the sparkles and flowers. I never had high praises for Natsumizu Ritsu until now. I don’t think her work is awful, but the only reason I re-read her titles was because I couldn’t remember what they were about.
The main story in Good Morning is about Hayashi and Shinohara; two salarymen whose companies have them working together on a project. Poor Shinohara… such a cute crybaby who had every reason to cry. Why did you fall in love with such a bastard? Hayashi is an idiot and a mean one at that. His apologies are hilarious and rather pathetic. This makes him somewhat endearing and that’s a bit disconcerting because his insensitivity is oddly charming as well. No matter how you look at him, he’s trouble. It’s hard to escape the “gay for you” motive in yaoi and I tend to roll my eyes every time I encounter one—even if I enjoy the story—but I ate it right up this time around. I loved every minute of Hayashi’s fall (or ascension, depending on how you want to look at it). Notwithstanding my contentment with the ending, I have lingering concerns about Hayashi’s temper. I think his jealousy and avarice, if left unchecked by his daily dose of remorse, could easily wander off into dangerous territory. But that could be interesting, too.
Is someone being called a “strawberry custard danish” an insult or a complement? I don’t know and Fujino, the thinker of such thoughts, can’t seem to make up his mind about that either. In the second story, “The Melon Bread War,” Fujino, the unapologetic regular melon bread, is being harassed in the sweetest way by fellow employee, Kuraki, the aforementioned strawberry treat. Everyday, Fujino’s lunch includes melon bread and, for some reason, this bothers Kuraki. After an unsuccessful verbal attempt to convince Fujino to buy something else, Kuraki takes progressive action and makes a daily habit of bringing a different variety of melon bread for his new lunch buddy to try. Once he runs out of ammo for his melon bread attack, we find that he’s not just some lunchtime lunatic, but that his afternoon antics were part of his idiotic plan to break the ice with Fujino. Meanwhile, Fujino’s been a mess since Kuraki started imposing on his break time and he can’t figure out what Kuraki wants with him. I don’t know who I pity more: Fujino, who finds himself interested in a guy who’s really good at frustrating him or Kuraki, whose misguided attempts to indulge Fujino are more successful at unveiling Fujino’s well-hidden mercurial nature. Well, they’re both so awkwardly adorable, it’s impossible to choose.
This is the book of the apologizing seme. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many mea culpas in one volume; it makes me feel good. I think it’s great that the ukes actually have the upper hand in these stories, though one’s wave is more silent that the other. I loved all the characters and their quirks. However, I have a special place in my heart for Hayashi’s co-worker who was willing to help him out with anything save one. My emotions were all over the place while delighting in this new, immediate favorite and I can’t wait to read it again. If you haven’t already, give it a go and have your own good morning.
Story: 4.5 | Artwork: 4.5 | Translation:5.0 | Editing: 5.0 | Re-readablity: 4.0 | Final Score: 4.6
If you’re interested, you can also read about why this title is -0.4 points shy of perfection.