Author: Moriyama Kae
Illustrator: Kazusa Kakeru
Kumon Sei came from a strange family where his family members disappeared one after another. First his parents vanished 7 years ago and then 4 years ago, he also lost track of his elder brother. Since his father used to be a famous UFO researcher, he thought UFO must have come and taken his family away. Someday, he would be taken away too. Left all alone Sei found a secret door inside his warddrobe and when he opened the door, he found himself in an unkonwn apartment and alone with a handsome young man. He quickly recognized the young man resembled the child genius pianist Oribe Hiroshi whom he just saw on TV a moment earlier. The young man said he was Hiroshi but only the 18-year old Hiroshi. After going through some conclusion, Sei finally realized that he time slipped and came to the Japan 6 years later, i.e. 2004. When Hiroshi went out to work the next day leaving Sei behind, he managed to organize a few facts and generated some interesting questions: (1) Why was Hiroshi NOT SURPRISED when he found someone in his house all of a sudden? (2) It seemed Hiroshi knew him (because he gave him money and was kind to him but he had no idea why Hiroshi would know him. (3) Hiroshi was a genius pianist, yet there was no sign of piano at his house. Sei was confused but Hiroshi did not really help him to sort out the pieces. The only thing he knew was that Hiroshi stopped playing the piano because his middle finger could not move very well. The next day, Sei went back to his old flat and was surprised to find it was still under his name and the apartment was exactly the same as he left it. Even the newspaper was there and pointing to 1998. A fourth question emerged … who was paying the rent?
All these puzzles were soon solved as Sei found himself once again in 1998 when he returned to his house. Through the news, he also learned that the 12 year-old Hiroshi and his parents were involved in a car crash and only Hiroshi survived, but with serious injuries. Sei then went to the hospital to meet 12-year old Hiroshi but the latter would not want to meet any of his fan. After waiting for a month, he finanlly managed to meet 12-year old Hiroshi and cried because he knew Hiroshi could no longer play piano. Hiroshi was touched by Sei’s kindness and from then on, Sei visited Hiroshi everyday and spent the summer vacation with him. When summer was over, he was sent back to 2004. There, he understood why Hiroshi wasn’t surprised to meet him again. Hiroshi had been waiting since 12 to meet Sei again. All these years, Hiroshi paid for Sei’s apartment’s rent so that he could return to it when he wanted to should they meet again. However, since Sei’s body could easily time slip (not necessarily returning to his own apartment). When Sei returned, Hiroshi’s manager asked Sei to become Hiroshi’s manager (basically to drive Hiroshi around and to run errands). This is because Hiroshi seemed so much energetic and happy with Sei around. Sei agreed because he had no other means of survival. In reality, he was only 17 but he was treated as 23 by the world. What’s Hiroshi’s work then? By now it’s apparent that Hiroshi actually is an actor. After the accident, he could not play piano anymore but his good looks, coupled with the fame he earned during his pianist era, he became a pop star. However, he was a pop star who would not form relationships with anyone. That’s because in his heart, he had only one person – Sei. To Hiroshi, Sei was “his piano” and for Sei who loved his Chopin, he would play Chopin. In short, this manga is really a romance between a pianist and his living piano.
There is a small side story in the end of volume 5 and beginning of volume 6 about Sei’s brother Shuuichi which is probably the BEST PART of the story so far. Shuuichi, like Sei could travel through time. He slipped from 1994 to 1999 and fell in love with the woman who saved him – Shima. However, the girl perished in an accident in 2005 and he was heartbroken. So he traveled through time to stop her death but she still died in 2005 again, for a different reason. No matter how many times he returned to the past, she still died on the same day. Apparently, the Kumon family’s power could travel in through space and time but could not alter the life span of another person. Worse, the next time when Shuuichi traveled back to the time when they first met, he no longer found her. So him changing her life also altered history and as a result, he was punished by not being able to be with her ever again. He could only watch her from afar 😥 When he met Sei and found Sei wanted to change history to prevent Hiroshi’s accident, he then warned Sei that could result in tragic consequences. Sei and Hiroshi forced Shuuichi to explain and he finally told them the sad truth about his disastrous past. In the end, Shuuichi requested Hiroshi to play a Fantasia for his lover before she would meet her death again. Shuuichi then attended Shima’s funeral and traveled back to the past. He would never meet Sei again, probably because he could not exist in a future without Shima. Still, after listening to the Fantasia recital by Hiroshi, Shima seemed to remember the someone important to her that she failed to remember. When Shuuichi returned to 1999 this time, Shima was there…finally…in the spot where he first met her. Even though he could only exist in the past, perhaps Shuuichi would not have to live ALONE.
I LOVE THIS SERIES VERY MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Why didn’t I know of this series before? Time slipping is not too common in BL and the most famous of all is Flesh & Blood I believe. However, in F&B’s case, Kaito only slipped once. Here, Sei continuously time slipping and in order not to alter history, everyone tried to be careful and not to reveal extra information. As a result, it’s almost like a sci-fi mystery because Sei has to decipher what’s going on and guess how to act to avoid changing history. If history’s altered, he’ll not be able to meet with Hiroshi again (probably). The story is a right balance of comedy and drama. The comic part is Sei’s tennenburi. He speaks his mind and he smiles VERY BEAUTIFULLY. For that matter, he’s like a little angel amongst actors and artists in the idol world. The drama bit of this story then is the time slip and Sei deciphering where he is and how he can get back to Hiroshi’s side. Since this story is about time slip, it naturally faces a very big “logical problem”. For example, if 17-year old Sei came to 2004, then where is the real 23-year old Sei? Does it mean that Sei’s age is just delayed for 6 years, as if he went into a coma? What OTHER SECRETS do Imai (the school president) knew about Sei and Hiroshi? Well, the series is still running so the future may reveal all the answers. Tennen uke I usually dislike but I like the “detective” part of Sei. He’s actually using his little grey cells and not just panicking (though he CRY TOO MUCH) >__<. I guess Sei’s important because for Hiroshi who’s got no one left in this world to be with (after his parents’ death), Sei became the spiritual support for Hiroshi. In front of Sei, Hiroshi could be the whinning little brat (like he was at 12) but in front of others, he was composed, mature, and elegant. I also like the way Sei sometimes pour out passionate speeches without thinking. The part when he explained why he liked Hiroshi at the party or the part where he forced an apology from Hiroshi’s fans … very nice! Also, I like Sei’s passion for Hiroshi’s chopin… rather than saying directly “I love you”, I think by saying he loved Hiroshi’s Chopin, he let his emotions across in a much more natural and strong manner.
Hiroshi actually did not say much throughout the manga (sweat) because he’s the cool, princely type? To be frank, like Sei, I think the 12-year old version is MUCH CUTER and wouldn’t mind if the author features the 12-year old version more (SHOTAKON TvT). However, the story is centered on the 18-year old and so I’ll talk more about the 18 year old Hiroshi. What can I say, he’s your normal GENIUS seme who’s obsessed with Sei and though he is capable of everything, he only lived for Sei. That’s the romantic bit. Later on, he started playing the piano again for Sei and I thought that was very beautiful. A romance that is painted with the colors of Chopin and music… lovely.
Imai kaichou (the club president from Sei’s school) knew Sei from school and it seemed to me he had an interest in Sei (couldn’t help it as Sei was more beautiful than a girl…and probably cuter too). So far, he played an “assisting” role in this series and he was also the person Sei would turn to whenever Sei time slipped. Sei himself was careful to avoid altering history but Imai seemed to know plenty of secrets between Sei and Hiroshi. He’s also a Christian behind a pair of shrewd glasses.
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this manga if you have a chance to read it. There is NO H in it and I would say it’s closer to shoujo than BL. The manga artstyle is also closer to shoujo but the story is very sweet, warm, and interesting with touching moments as well. BRAVO!