REVIEW: Restart After Growing Hungry

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Restart After Growing Hungry - But Why Tho

Adult relationships are fuzzy, and sometimes they exist without any clear definition of what they are until something happens that makes you desperately want a name to describe it with. That’s the core of Restart After Growing Hungry. The direct sequel to Restart After Coming Back Home, this one-shot is created, written, and illustrated by cocomi. The one-shot is published and localized for English-speaking audiences by Seven Seas Entertainment, with translation by Anna Schnelland Ryan Parker, letters by Nicole Roderick. It features a cover designed by Hanase Qi.

Restart After Growing Hungry picks up three years later. Yamato and Mitsoumi are still in love; only Yamato has yet to say the words, while Mitsoumi has yet to label what they are. They kiss, are physically intimate, and want to spend every day with each other. But when their friend gets married, the two men have to decide what their next step is, even if it’s uncomfortable.

While the first part of Yamato and Mitsoumi’s story grappled with accepting your sexuality and finding the courage to pursue someone, Restart After Growing Hungry isn’t about that. Often with BL stories, the conflict raising thought processes against marriage or just stepping into the future together is one character believing the other would be better off and happier with a woman. It’s a trope that, when executed well, can explore heteronormative societal pressures. But in Restart After Growing Hungry, cocomi is focused on exploring the pressures that Yamato and Mitsoumi put on themselves, but more importantly, how their past experiences drive them to behave the way they do.

With an accepting family, Mitsoumi’s mother points out that their prefecture has begun recognizing partnerships between same-sex couples. At first, he doesn’t think it will change anything, but when he raises the possibility to Yamato and gets a verbal response in line with his thinking, he’s taken aback. For the bulk of the one-shot, Mitsoumi is trying to find the words to describe his love and relationship with Yamato and slowly realizing that an official partnership means more to him than he thought.

On the other end, Yamato is silently struggling with his past and how it’s pushed to the point of not being able to say “I love you” despite three years together. But instead of talking to Mitsoumi, Yamato decides to handle this on his own. He wants to find out why he can’t say the words when it’s clear in his heart how much Mitsoumi means to him. He wants to remain by his side for the rest of his life, but with no clear vision of what family looks like, he’s scared.

The reason Restart After Growing Hungry is phenomenal is because of how much time cocomi spends diving into the couple’s thoughts, fears, and hopes. We know who Yamato and Mitsoumi are as people alone as much as we know who they are when coupled together. Additionally, their love is one that is easy, but sometimes, well, a lot of the time, taking the next step into the future is hard. By the one-shot’s end, it’s clear what cocomi is trying to say. They want us to understand family, how it looks, and how sometimes it can just be one other person who we want to be with for the rest of our life.

Restart After Growing Hungry is wholesome, heartfelt, and rich with self-interrogation. It’s a stunning romance, and I hope we get to see what happens to Yamato and Mitsoumi next.

Restart After Growing Hungry is available now wherever books are sold.


Restart After Growing Hungry
5

TL;DR

Restart After Growing Hungry is wholesome, heartfelt, and rich with self-interrogation. It’s a stunning romance, and I hope we get to see what happens to Yamato and Mitsoumi next.