Hangover #59: Ani no Senaka (義兄の背中)

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In this world, there are people you can’t fall in love with…

…like your late sister’s husband.

That is how Yuki opens the story followed by his normal everyday life living with his sister’s husband. A story with that kind of introduction -slight angst brought by one-sided love is always my cup of tea.

The forbidden feelings

Yuki spends his days juggling housework and university. As much as his brother-in-law Komura appears capable at work, he is such a slob at home. He is a bishie even but he acts like a grandpa at home. lol

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Every day, Yuki’s feelings grow. So as his self-hatred. He sees his love for his brother-in-law an act of betrayal for his sister. The more he yearns, the more he despises himself. Sagami Waka created a perfect setup for Yuki. The circumstances he is into makes him questions his values. Yuki’s relationship with his sister and Komura is enough to corner him. He faces one of life’s toughest choices: to let go or to try harder. That dilemma is enough to tug at my heart. It makes me want to cheer him on his love and support whatever decision he makes.

One step forward, two steps back

The second half of the story is told from Komura’s point of view. Komura tries to reach out to Yuki but the latter withdraws and runs away. The older brother sorts his feelings and searches for his resolve. While in terms of pacing, it’s not fast nor slow. Each character finds their resolve as season changes. And every little thing that happens in their environment synchronizes with the progress in their relationship. Like how there’s heavy snowfall during their fight or when the flowers bloom. Through it all, it still feels like Yuki loves his brother-in-law more. Komura does not exactly fell hard for his brother. More like it just happens. He goes along with the natural flow of events.

So the title roughly translates to My Brother’s Back. Everyday Yuki watches the scene where his sister would give a slight push on Komura’s shoulder before he goes to work. It’s nice how this simple gesture also served as a push for him to finally have a resolve. It’s as if the sister indirectly cheers them on.

Ani no Senaka is a short read, filled with light angst and melancholia as Yuki and Komura struggle with their feelings. It makes you want to root for them until the last page.

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