REVIEW: ‘Sasaki and Miyano,’ Volume 2

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Sasaki and Miyano Volume 1

One of my most anticipated BL series of 2021, Sasaki and Miyano is knocking out it’s awkward high school romance out of the park. Created, written and illustrated by mangaka Shou Harusono, the series is published and localized in English by Yen Press, with Leighann Harvey serving as translator and DK providing lettering. The series follows the titular characters as they bond over BL and learn how to channel their emotions for each other beyond friendship. Sasaki and Miyano Volume 2 focuses on showcasing Miyano’s process of learning how he really feels about Sasaki and more importantly, finally realizing that his senpai’s advances aren’t just jokes.

If you’re unfamiliar with the series, Miyano is a BL fanboy, and not too popular. Enter the popular Sasaki who meets Miyano after school one day and begins to take interest in BL as well to get closer to his new friend and develop their relationship into something more. While Miyano is very aware that Sasaki’s one-liners are straight out of the BL series he’s lending him, it takes time for him to understand that this way of communicating is because Sasaki is trying to close the distance between them. With the jarring realization that Sasaki’s graduation is approaching, Miyano begins to confront his feelings.

Sasaki and Miyano Volume 2 does amazing work, not only showcasing the elements of romantic storytelling to make it a great shonen-ai but also points at how BL can be a way for young people to learn about themselves. And in Sasaki’s case, learn how to express his feelings for Miyano. While there are elements that come into play with other characters stereotyping BL fans, Harusono does a great job of balancing those moments used for humor with heartfelt interactions between our leads, using BL as a way for them to not only bond but learn more about themselves.

As a meta-story, Sasaki and Miyano Volume 2 manages to have conversations about BL archetypes like uke and seme without crossing into a cringey territory. A refreshing romance, Harusono has crafted a love story that is about the awkwardness of discovering your feelings and learning how to vocalize them. In fact, Miyano’s realization is not only wholesome but extremely relatable. And ultimately is used to push back against some of the stereotypes of BL fanboys that a new character injects into the story.

Additionally, Harusono’s art is gorgeous, with each character having their own distinct style. But their best art comes in the tender moments between Sasaki and Miyano – specifically when Sasaki is doing everything he can to hold back from confessing or transgressing Miyano’s boundaries. Truthfully, the yearning element of the series from Sasaki to Miyano is done extremely well and gives readers a love interest who understands the importance of boundaries and consent—even if it’s just for a simple hug.

Overall, Sasaki and Miyano Volume 2 continues a heartwarming story about the awkwardness of first love and finding yourself in it. It’s wholesome, heartfelt, and features leads who understand the importance of learning to understand each other.

Sasaki and Miyano Volume 2 is available now wherever books are sold.

Sasaki and Miyano Volume 2 
4.5

TL;DR

Overall, Sasaki and Miyano Volume 2 continues a heartwarming story about the awkwardness of first love and finding yourself in it. It’s wholesome, heartfelt, and features leads who understand the importance of learning to understand each other.