REVIEW: ‘Seaside Stranger Volume 2: Harukaze no Étranger’

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Seaside Stranger Volume 2 - But Why Tho

Seaside Stranger is easily one of my favorite BL stories both in manga and in anime (which was released under the name Stranger by the Shore). In it, we see the budding romance between Shun Hashimoto and Mio Chibana. What began as an awkward friendship ends up evolving into something more after Mio graduates from high school and returns home three years later. The crux of their story is about learning to love and accept yourself in the same way. The last volume ended with Shun and Mio in a happy relationship but with Shun’s parent’s calling for him to return home to them.

Seaside Stranger is created, written, and illustrated by Kii Kanna and published by Seven Seas Entertainment. Volume 2 picks up fairly soon after the first one. But instead of focusing on discovering themselves, it’s all about Shun reconnecting with his family, and opening up a new chapter in his life. To set it up, Shun has had no contact with his family since the day he revealed that he’s gay right before his wedding. Having been disowned, at least from his parents’ initial response, he’s lived alone unaware of the life his parents are leading and his new brother. Now he’s headed home to Hokkaido to visit his ailing father, and he’s taking his new boyfriend, Mio.

Mio acts as an anchor for Shun, a reminder that his identity isn’t something to hide, and ultimately that he is loved, even when it feels like he won’t be. In truth, Seaside Stranger Volume 2 isn’t really a romance, so much as it’s about two characters in a relationship healing old wounds. The only tension in this volume is Shun trying to find a common ground with his father, meet his new brother, and ultimately make sure he thinks about Mio’s feelings in all of this.

Like the first volume of the series, Seaside Stranger Volume 2 is heartwarming and loving, while still managing to have tougher conversations and even work in a couple of intimate moments between our leads. That said, this volume’s strength comes from Kanna’s ability to tell a story about family as much as a story about love. While Mio found himself last volume, it seemed that Shun knew exactly who he was. But visiting his family reveals that Shun wasn’t actually as content with his solitude the way he made it out to be.

While there are no large dramatic moments, there are small ones that build emotion over each chapter. The characters in the volume clearly want to understand each other, but lack the ability to be open to doing so. That doesn’t excuse Shun’s father, no, but it does allow the story to look at a good-faith discussion. This story is about healing and growing, as much as it is about love.

With that, Seaside Stranger Volume 2 has kept me in love with Sun and Mio’s story in a way that has me beyond excited for the next volumes and desperate for Blue Lynx to animate their relationship as it develops as well.

Seaside Stranger Volume 2 is available now wherever books are sold. 


Seaside Stranger Volume 2: Harukaze no Étranger
5

TL;DR

With that, Seaside Stranger Volume 2 has kept me in love with Sun and Mio’s story in a way that has me beyond excited for the next volumes and desperate for Blue Lynx to animate their relationship as it develops as well.