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.
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Usually I review book by book but since the Cold Series is actually one big story split into three parts, I decide to review all three books together. Since Digital Manga Publishing released an English version for Cold Sleep, I will not go into details for Sleep and concentrate more on Light & Fever. As usual, my summary is filled with SPOILERS so if you decide to wait for DMP to publish the rest of the series, then please do not read any further.
Please note that aside from the main story, there is also a side story with Kurokawa and Taniguchi. There are several parts to that story (Boku no suki na hito – recorded in Sleep, New Year Snow Light in Light, and an extra doujinshi titled “COLD…”. I won’t review that couple because they’re not related to this main plot (they’re interlinked because of the advertisement “Love & Hate” in Fever.
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Naoya (CV: Hirakawa Daisuke) and Keiji (CV: Fukuyama Jun) are half brothers (same father, different mother) so blood-related. Naoya has been living with his mother until a month ago, he returned to the main house and started taking care of Keiji, especially when Keiji’s mother was hospitalized. He appeared to be very gentle to Keiji but Keiji acted indifferent. Keiji wanted to be strong so he could inherit the kendo school of his family. However, his skills was far from the level of Naoya. To make matters worse, his mother kept pressurizing him. On the other hand, as Keiji started to live with his brother, he soon began to realize beneath the gentle surface, there was something more…
One night at the dojo, Naoya used his knife to cut Keiji’s hand. Naoya disliked Keiji because his mother always pressured him to beat Keiji and that pressure was tormenting him. Years ago, he came back to the house to see what Keiji was like but when he saw Keiji’s innocent face who was so kind to a stranger like him, his hatred toward Keiji became something else. He probably wanted to love Keiji but he couldn’t. He wanted to torture Keiji but he couldn’t. At the same time, as Keiji stayed longer with Naoya and was subject to his "torment" both physically and mentally, he also developed this neither hate nor love syndrome. In the end, Naoya watched Keiji winning the kendo competition and he wanted to leave Keiji forever, letting Keiji inherit the dojo. However, Keiji confessed his feelings to Naoya and made him stay by his side forever 😀