What’s it about?
Kohei is hard of hearing and often misunderstood or has to ask the person he is talking to to repeat themselves. Therefore, he remains to himself most of the time. That is until Taichi – cheerful and energetic – literally bumps into him. The fact that Taichi’s voice carries in a way that is easy for Kohei to understand, he starts to hear the world outside his own little bubble again. Perhaps there is still hope for him to live like any other person?
What I think about it
I’m so happy I found this manga, like seriously! I rarely pick up yaoi mangas because often they are fetishising gay relationships and it’s always the same trope: dashingly handsome yet arrogant or brooding guy falls for sunny innocent guy who doesn’t know what to do with this affection. Mr. Brooding will dominate everything about Mr. Innocent’s life and they will have hot passionate sex.
Not really what I’m looking for in a love story to be honest. Works for some I’m sure but I want slow-burn and real feelings that develop into something more – slowly!
When I skimmed the first volume – I always do that to check the drawing style as well as the amount of graphic content – I sure was positively surprised by the lack of sex and I started seriously reading it.
Kohei lives a rather isolated life because he thinks it’s too much trouble to ask people to repeat themselves all the time or ask them to speak more clearly. Taichi won’t have any of it and drags Kohei along to meet up with his friends and basically pushes him (gently) into the world again. The reason Kohei likes to talk with Taichi is because his voice carries in a way that makes it easy to hear and understand. I really love Taichi because he is a helplessly oblivious guy who almost dies of happiness if someone treats him to lunch and I can relate to him so hard.
What I thought was super interesting was the apparent gap between completely deaf and hard of hearing. Kohei realises his hearing gets worse and he loses sounds as he gets older. In the manga there are institutions for deaf people but people who are hard of hearing are not accepted. Not ‘normal’ enough for the world, not deaf enough.
A bitter-sweet yaoi manga that focuses on their friendship before any other feelings start to develop. It breaks your heart once you realise how isolated Kohei is but Taichi will make sure you know there is still good in this world.
People with disabilities are still rare in media which is why I was delighted by ‘I Hear the Sunspot’. It tackles a topic few books or movies focus on?
- Mangaka: Yuki Fumino
- Pages: 200 each
- For Ages: 14 and up
- Publisher: ONE PEACE BOOKS
- Release Date: 2017 / 2018
- ISBN: 978-1-944937-30-0 / 978-1-944937-41-6
If ‘I Hear the Sunspot’ piqued your interest, check out my recs down below!
Sternensammler is a German manga that doesn’t focus on a sexual relationship which is rare for yaoi and I loved it!
A Silent Voice doesn’t have a romantic theme but rather focuses on friendship. One of the main characters is hard of hearing as well and she isolates herself as well. I highly recommend the movie as well (Koe no katatchi).
I think I don’t have to say a lot about your name. It has been one of the best anime movies of 2018. The manga is amazing as well! A romance and friendship across time and space.