Slow Starter was a bit of a cop-out. It’s a tremendously short series, and with two manga titles left in the SoM, I jumped on it (no homo) to progress the event along faster. Can you tell I’m begging for freedom?
But (no homo) this entry isn’t about how burnt out I’ve become with the Summer. This is an entry about boy love.
The best kind of boy love.
Boy love that ends with some shake weights.
Suggestive innuendos aside, Slow Starter is pretty bad. This is definitely a title that is hindered quite a bit by its low chapter count. With only eight chapters to its name, there isn’t much build-up with the relationship between the two male leads. In fact, there isn’t much build-up to any character on their own. There are moments when the characters’ interactions induce a likable atmosphere, and the story began a good note. With the final chapter looming, though, the story sacrificed quality for closure.
The first four chapters feature the two male leads, their personalities, their first meeting, and how their blossoming romance takes root. The next two chapters focus on one of the males overthinking everything once he cannot contact his love interest, resulting in 1/4 of the series bringing nothing to the table but fantasizing without evidence and a near mental breakdown. After this is (inevitably) settled, the rest of the story flies by like a bullet train. They share a cute moment (Chapter 7 is six pages long), and a dirty moment (note gif above). Scramble it all together and you have half a story of decent, but not great, romantic development between two characters, and another half of little character interaction and joystick wrestling.
Way to prioritize.
The two male leads are the only people who matter. All the rest were tools. They don’t have parents. They don’t have (substantial) friends. They only have each other. Isn’t that cute? And stupid? Male lead 1 has black hair and looks like he could be into pussy. Male lead 2 has lighter hair and is completely gay-looking. Neither of them stand out much on their own, but are heightened when they’re around each other. If anything this story does right, it’s make the reader care about the relationship, if not for the people in it. They don’t have any real discernible qualities, either. Male lead 1 seems to be pretty insecure at first, but then we learn Male lead 2 is pretty insecure, too. It wouldn’t be too hard pressed to argue that they’re the exact same character. This story features a boy in a loving relationship with a carnival mirror. It looks different, but it’s the same person.
There’s so little to this story outside of their relationship that there isn’t even anything worth mentioning. There’s some highlighting of Male lead 1’s former passion for baseball that’s used well in the first half, but is all but abandoned later on. Male lead 2’s past remains a complete mystery by story’s end. Slow Starter lives to its name. It was so slow to start anything that most didn’t even start before it ended.
I thought that the art was a little lacking, personally. There were a lot of panels where the characters’ faces looked wobbly. Not to mention the amount of times the characters’ faces were missing their eyes. And like the characters, the art doesn’t really stand out in any regard. It just feels there. It doesn’t coax you with beautiful bishies or over-the-top expressions of love or passion. It’s a true to life adaptation of a boring romance between two tree branches, swaying in the gentle wind.
That didn’t make any sense, but it sounds more appealing than this.
With how short the title is, one would think that it’s worth enough to read. I’d be a little hesitant to recommend anyone this title. Perhaps to a class of aspiring writers who want to write good boy love. This is an example of what not to do.
- Character likability is vital.
- Build-up to SOMETHING THAT MATTERS is important.
- Art should be expressive, but still pleasant to the eye.
- Eight chapters is tough to work with.
- Sex scenes should be sexy.
- Pacing, pacing, pacing.
Personal Score: C-
Critical Score: D+