Sasaki and Miyano is a standout shounen ai BL series that captured my heart last year and again when the anime premiered. Now, Sasaki and Miynano Volume 5 is here and things are developing, even if they aren’t necessarily taking off fast. The series is created, written, and illustrated by Shou Harusono. The series is published and localized in English by Yen Press. It’s translated by Leighann Harvey and features lettering by DK.
Last volume ended with Sasaki and Miyano extremely close. Initially against entering the school’s drag competition because of his insecurities about his looks, Miyano is taken aback when Sasaki voices that he doesn’t want him to enter. Already aware that Sasaki likes him as more than a friend and wants to become boyfriends, this validation of his masculinity from Sasaki and reassurance that he likes him for more than his looks allows Miyano to move forward. Sure, he pushes forward with the drag contest, but more importantly, he begins to tackle what his feelings for Sasaki actually are.
In Sasaki and Miynao Volume 5, Miyano has to answer for himself: what is Sasaki to me. After their charged exchange leads to absolutely no developments, Miyano has to make his own decisions. Sasaki is respectful of Miyano’s boundaries, giving Miyano the space to learn what he needs and what he wants. Looking to BL, Miyano begins to learn how to express his love and care for his senpai, slowly breaking down the stigmas he held, or rather, fear of those stigmas, despite his fudanshi status. Except Miyano feels like he’s going to explode because he can’t stop thinking about hugging Sasaki and taking care of him in the nurse’s office.
This volume directly confronts the fine line between respect, admiration, and love in a way that is immediately recognizable as testing the waters not just with another person but for yourself as well. While this slow-moving high school romance has had misunderstandings and bumps in the road, it has all been worth it. The two boys are learning more about themselves this volume and that means a lot. Not only that, but they’re communicating through it all as well.
If there is one thing that Sasaki and Miynao Volume 5 does that could use a little more focus, it is how Miyano is using BL to explore his romantic feelings for Sasaki. While there are glimpses of that, it seems that Sasaki has done this more than Miyano. For the former, he started using BL as a way to get close to Miyano, only to start learning romance tips from it. And for the latter, this volume’s trip to see a live-action adaptation of a BL story seems to be the push he needed to understand each other.
Sasaki and Miyano Volume 5 is perfection because it showcases a healthy budding romance with a support system around them. Our two leads are open with each other, even if that vulnerability has been hard-won. The focus of this volume is on learning to be earnest about their wants, their boundaries, and seeing how the other responds. Sure, Miyano has finally realized his romantic feelings, but the fact that the two have been on this journey in an open and honest way is what makes Volume 5 a standout in the series.
Sasaki and Miyano Volume 5
Sasaki and Miyano Volume 5 is perfection because it showcases a healthy budding romance with a support system around them. Our two leads are open with each other, even if that vulnerability has been hard-won. The focus of this volume is on learning to be earnest about their wants, their boundaries, and seeing how the other responds.
Kate is co-founder, EIC, and CCO of BWT. She’s also a Certified Rotten Tomatoes Critic, host, and creator of our flagship podcast, But Why Tho? and Did You Have To?. She also manages all PR relationships for comics, manga, film, TV, and anime. She has an MA in Cultural Anthropology and Religious Studies focusing on how pop culture impacts society.