Alone in his quiet country retreat, struggling novelist Haruya is annexed from the city and its people in an existence that is fast becoming bereft of ambition and inspiration. Wracked by the creative crisis, his editors fall into despair as the career of their top talent comes to a standstill. Just when it seems that all is lost for Haruya, a chance for change washes in with the tide in the form of a Maki, a boy with his own story to tell.
When the young runaway winds up on his local shores, Haruya's creative outlook suddenly opens to the hope of new horizons. The tragedy and fragility of the young man adrift and alone, awash with insecurity spurs Haruya from his slump into chivalry as he seeks to support the melancholy Maki.
Two of Hearts reveals the lives of two very different men, lost in their own personal solitudes who might just find their way to a better future together.
Publisher Deux return with another release from the natively prolific BL mangaka Kano Miyamoto.
This is a poignant, psychologically driven piece that benefits from the mature hand Miyamoto has used to craft her characters. Their separate scenarios have great significance to both the movement of the story and to progression of their lives together.
Despite a setup that depends on some generic components common to the genre, the story shines with an uncommonly sensitive treatment of these elements.
Two of Hearts' Haruya is a familiar figure, a seme who is a sedentary soul, stuck in the stagnancy of his lacklustre life. He feels that he knows himself, his sexuality and is thus trapped within the limits of his own designated domain. His caged mind sits compromised by the constancy of being and thus he welcomes the straying Maki into his life without hesitation.
It is by initiating a connection to the complexities of the boy that gives them both a new lease of life. For Haruya, his creative flow returns, his writer's block recedes and his constancy becomes the rock for Maki to cling to. By contrast, standing on solid ground Maki is able to build upon the foundations of their trust to overcome his painful past. It is from this point that the story grows and completes its journey rhythmically without meandering.
The sex is instrumental rather than sensationalistic, so naturally it lacks the simple sensuality of other explicit titles but for this I can only respect Miyamoto's choice. After all, Two of Hearts is a tale of the complexities of human contact of which sex is but one of so many means of connection. Through Haruya and Maki, Miyamoto shows another side to Boys' Love, one where sexual solace is not always so easy.