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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Vesely

Loving in a World Without Sound (Book Review: I Hear the Sunspot)

Review: I Hear the Sunspot

Yuki Fumino

Fiction, Manga

Cost: varies by book

Love comes in many different ways. Sometimes it’s a novel you never want to put down. And other times, it’s a manga series you casually order during quarantine, then get sucked into until you put down the last book and say, “There’s more, right?” I Hear the Sunspot is a gorgeous, subtle, slow burn of a friendship/romance/something-or-other that’ll even make you want to learn sign language so you, real person with nothing better to do in isolation, can communicate with these fictional characters.

The reader, learning to sign their feelings for this series.

First, you’ll be introduced to Taichi, who’s a college kid with total Chaotic-Good energy going on. Eccentric, fun-loving, very, very hungry—and eventually thirsty, if you know what I mean. *wink, wink*

Kidding, kidding. That’s actually a notable thing about Taichi’s character. He’s very outgoing, but when it comes to any romance, he’s shy and subdued—even to a point of being kind of frustratingly standoffish by the third book. Which is made extra annoying, because…

Kohei, who’s the second main character in these books, might be tall, but he’s got big soft-boy energy. Kohei is close to deaf, so hearing is very hard. He can read lips, but besides that he’s grown comfortable with the quiet. That is, until he meets Taichi, whose loud af voice can be heard like you’re standing front row as a heavy metal concert, and he’s the electric guitar.

Kohei, listening to Taichi speak at his normal volume.

You’ll want to protect Kohei At. All. Costs. He’s had a really rough childhood, losing his hearing and all, and his entire arc is really about coming out from “behind the curtain” as he describes it, and reintegrating with those who can hear just fine. You’ll want the best for him, and sometimes Taichi can be so standoffish in their blossoming relationship, that you really question: are they good together?

This is a question I would love to answer myself, but alas, the final book in the series hasn’t made its way over to the U.S. just yet. So, I sit, I wait, and I ponder life’s biggest question…can twinks ever just let themselves be happy? I’m looking at you, Taichi.

The reader, just wanting the boys to live happily-ever-after, please GOD.

One critique I will say about this series is how much of a slow burn it is. After four books, not many big plot points have really happened. You get maybe two notable moments per book, and the rest is spent developing the characters (which if you get really into the characters like I am, you’ll be perfectly fine with this).

The reader, flipping through pages of (still really good) character development.

Along the way, you’ll meet college friends, support groups homies, start-up douchbags, non-profit bromances, college students who have no idea what sex is, and a really cute camping trip that’ll have you blushing over those warm and fuzzy feelings.

The I Hear the Sunspot series is definitely a love for me, even though you’ll rush to the end of the books and hate that you have to wait for the last one to release, which who knows when that’s gonna happen. It a slow burn with lovely imagery, and it’s perfect for any lover of queer stories. Also, you don’t have to be well-versed in manga, as it’s a great entry-point into the form.

I give I Hear the Sunspot series 4.5 out of 5 stars.

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