Author: Himawari Souya
Recently, I have been thrown into Himawari Souya’s world and have literally gone through all her works (aside from the hard-core shouta ones). I already introduced the Iromachi series earlier and this time, I shall introduce a completely different series: Otonari & Hiraga brothers series. It’s a series with three books: Koufuku no Susume, Kimi no Ondo, & Aruku Omoi. These three books feature two couples: Otonari Makoto and Hiraga Yukiharu as well as Otonari Minori and Hiraga Mizumo. Since I like Minori and Mizumo much more, I shall focus my review on this couple instead.
The Hiraga family is extremely poor because the parents vanished, abandoning their children. The grandfather could only take care of one child – the oldest Yukiharu and the other children were left to fend for themselves. Luckily for the Hiraga family, Otonari’s father was Hiraga’s father’s friend and so he rented out the place for the Hiraga brothers to live as well as helped them out. Although the eldest child was Yukiharu, he was living with his grandfather and knew none of the existence of his family until the day when his grandfather passed away. He thought he would be left alone in the world but soon he found out he had six younger brothers and his parents were still alive. When he came back to join his younger brothers, he found himself the focus of attention of the eldest children of the Otonari family – Otonari Makoto. Though he had no memory, Makoto said they used to play as children and he even had photo of Yukiharu! It’s a struggle to look after his brothers and at the same time also trying to keep Makoto from hugging him. However, in a way Yukiharu was happy because he was not alone in this world.
KIMI NO ONDO
Kimi no Ondo is the story between Minori and Mizumo. While Yukiharu was living happily with his grandfather, he did not realize his next brother, Mizumo had to work like mad to keep the family running. Since they were extremely poor and Mizumo was stubborn and did not want to receive financial help from the Otonari family because he already had caused them enough trouble, he resorted to shoplifting. He was caught and caused some trouble and on the surface, he seemed to stop. Minori (Makoto’s younger identical twin brother) offered to help and said Mizumo could pay him back little by little later on. Mizumo though managed to repay the sum in 2 years. He managed through prostitution. He was only in fifth grade (like 10-11?) when he started selling his body and that lasted into middle school till Minori found out when he saw Mizumo being bound to the bed by the P.E. teacher. Minori then said he would buy Mizumo instead and would pay to have sex with him. At first, he was just doing this because he did not want Mizumo to continue prostitution but soon he fell in love with Mizumo – so much that he became upset because he knew his love was one-sided and for Mizumo, he was no more than a customer. The truth though was that Mizumo also fell in love with Minori but he did not quite understand it. Yet, when he heard a girl had confessed to Minori and that Minori might get a girlfriend, he was upset and he started acting strangely. Finally, the tension built up and the two quarreled and Minori went back to the girl he just rejected and started going out with her. Mizumo also started going back to prostitution but neither could sleep with another person again. In the end, their feelings seemed to cross and they ended up being a couple instead of customer and prostitute.
The third book (and last in the series) Aruku Omoi still focuses on Makoto and Yukiharu though we also get to see Minori and Mizumo. In Koufuku no Susume, though Yukihara and Makoto seemed to become good friends, Makoto treated the relationship as a romantic one while Yukihara treated it as a normal relationship. That’s because so far Yukihara had been straight and had girlfriends like other normal boys.
It would be a bit difficult for Yukihara to suddenly enter into a homosexual relationship. Also, he did not quite understand his feelings, not until an “accident” happened. When Mizumo fell ill with a fever (39.3), he mistook Makoto as Minori (they’re identical twins after all and he was ill) and he kissed Makoto accidentally. Yukihara was very shaken by the scene and that’s when he started to feel puzzled at his own feelings for Makoto.
Eventually, the two’s feelings crossed and they finally had their first sex together (though with strange advice (?) from their highly experienced younger brothers ). Minori and Mizumo also got along well and gradually, Mizumo seemed to be able to depend on Minori (?)… or maybe.
Among the couples featured in this series, I like Minori and Mizumo the best … rather, I like Mizumo the best. I am really weak to uke like Mizumo who try his best and sacrifice himself for his family. I also like how Minori doesn’t mind Mizumo’s past and supports him all the way. The little side story in Aruku Omoi when Mizumo fell ill is the best of all :D. I don’t know how to put it in words but that really summarize all the hardships Mizumo went through but at the same time there is something to be happy about. It’s almost like putting condensed milk into a cup of bitter coffee – DELICIOUS!
Compared to Mizumo and Minori, I like Yukiharu’s couple slightly less because the life of Yukiharu is more typical plot you’ll find in BL. However, I like the interactions between Yukiharu and Mizumo as well as the rest of the family and I also like how Himawari sensei gradually let Yukiharu mature over the series.
If you really like family drama in BL, I highly recommend this series because the artwork is beautiful, the mood is great, and I like the part about the family as well as the romance.