Too cute for words? Probably…will try anyway!
Okay, so most probably don’t know who Hashiba Maki is. The recent appearance of a couple of Bingo! chapters in English hopefully helped this, but for the most part, she’s still low profile. I own 44 of her books (thanks LibraryThing), so I’m a bit biased. Hashiba Maki has been with the publisher Tousuisha (think Silver Diamond) since the 80’s when they were publishing not shoujo, but very innocent BL. Recently, she ceased publishing works in their magazine and struck out on her own. At first I was heartbroken, but after reading Kids Log–I see it’s the same ‘ol Hashiba Maki, even better! Hopefully now she’ll reach a wider audience.
Izutsu Touki is a single, 23-year old writer with works ranging from cell phone novels to bestsellers. Being a young, good-looking, successful man, Touki enjoys his obligation-free lifestyle until one day, he suddenly gains a son. Touki’s estranged identical twin Kazuki died in an accident and left behind Ryouta, his 3-year old son. The authorities ask Touki to care for Ryouta while they search for the mother who had previously left the two. Being so young, Ryouta believes Touki is his own father and clings to him. And so begins their days as father and son…
… and their days get off to a very rough start.
Ryouta is anxious about his new surroundings; Touki is not attentive enough to keep track of an energetic 3 year old. This recipe for disaster quickly produces a few bonked heads (Ryouta), some scary bug encounters (Touki), and an enraged girlfriend (now ex-girlfriend).
Just when he’s doubting his own ability and obligation to care for Ryouta, Touki passes by a daycare and sees a young man engaging a large group of children. Touki is impressed with his watchful eye and how much the children seem to like this “Nacchii.” So before he accidentally kills the poor kid, Touki decides to enroll Ryouta in the daycare. And that’s just the beginning of the three’s–Ryouta, Touki, and Nacchii, errr, Yuuji–life together.
Touki is the type who puts up walls between himself and others and the best part of this work is to watch both Ryouta and Yuuji slowly tear them down. While caring for Ryouta, Touki even begins to once again feel a connection between himself and his dead twin, as if he’s just now realizing that his brother is gone. That’s the best part about Kids Log–it has some grace. While I generally enjoy them, these single father BL stories can sometimes be painfully unsubtle. Kids Log spares us ridiculous levels of idealistic fluffiness and gives us something that manages to be even cuter while still remaining somewhat grounded.
There’s probably one question remaining–are Touki and Yuuji like that? It’s tagged BL, right?! Well, they certainly enjoy nice banter and a good friendship. Touki likes to tease Yuuji, calling him “Nacchii” like the children, but he truly admires Yuuji’s skills. Yuuji is frank with Touki, but believes Touki could become a good father. He encourages Touki to become Ryouta’s permanent father, offering his support and help for a long time to come–certainly past the regular duty of a daycare worker and even a good friend. So.. there’s no definitive answer. Yet.
Will both Ryouta and Touki survive this adventure? We’ll have to wait and see–Kids Log is still publishing in Rutile.