I have a new addition to the general romance manga list that features older men: Kanemochi-kun to Binbou-kun by Hideyoshico. Honestly, I could have done a longer preview of this, but I’m mostly excited about this aspect of it. It’s not that the rest of the story isn’t good–this is just the juiciest part.
I’ve been only lukewarm towards Hideyoshico so far. I just didn’t have the enthusiasm that everyone else seemed to have. Yet I came back for more, hoping for more. And I found it–I think there’s something really beautiful in Kanemochi-kun to Binbou-kun. The surface plays out just as the title indicates–rich kid versus poor kid. Rich kid learns life and love lessons through poor kid and such. But by the second chapter, we see there’s more going on. This is a romance story at its core–and not just the romance between the two boys. We also see the shadow of an already lost love play out vicariously in the present.
Meiji Haruhito (Kanemochi-kun/the rich boy) just can’t understand Misaki (Binbou-kun/the poor boy), but quickly falls for him anyway. However, Haruhito’s love life (and staring role) is under threat. Not from a cute girl or ex-lover, but from his own grandfather. The boys’ grandfathers knew each other when they were young and Haruhito’s grandpa is delighted when he meets Misaki, who looks and acts like his late friend and (unrequited) love.
Just so you don’t get the wrong impression, grandpa isn’t a dirty pervert. Misaki’s grandfather saved his life during the war when they were both young students and is an incredibly important person to him. His past love was never spoken aloud or acted upon in any way. Seeing a young Misaki is just like reliving those old times and feelings and we literally see his appearance revert back to his younger self. This is a clever device–not only does it help visualize how he is revitalized and grasping onto these memories (and not young Misaki himself), but it also protects the unspoken rule in most BL manga where truly old people aren’t allowed to be in major romantic roles (BOOOOO HISSSS). So publishers/many fujoshi are still happy that the bishie quota is met and some of us get to enjoy an old man and his wistful love. Clever girl. Haruhito has to overcome this formidable opponent and do what his grandfather never could–fulfill his love in the present before it’s too late.
The oyaji: Chairman Meiji
Old enough to have a grandson in high school, who he is the chairman of. Successful, rich, and snappy dresser–he looks great in his pink suit. He would have likely died in the fire bombings if Misaki’s grandfather hadn’t pushed him to survive.