This review will contain spoilers for the manga and anime series Dekoboko Sugar Days | Dekoboko Bittersweet Days | Dekoboko Sugar Days - Extra: Boys, Enjoy Your Youth!. While the manga may vary slightly from all other forms of media, it may have similar story elements and could be considered spoilers.
Yuujirou Matsukaze and Rui Hanamine's lifelong friendship began when they were small children. Rui fell into a drain, and Yuujirou was there to rescue him. From that day on, Yuujirou was always there to help defend and protect his soft-hearted friend Rui. However, protecting him has become a lot more complicated since Rui now towers over Yuujirou, and he's no longer that cute little bundle of joy always trailing behind Yuujirou. Regardless, Yuujirou still hangs out with Rui every chance he gets…
Until Yuujirou realizes that he still thinks Rui is cute – way cuter than any girl or any guy he has ever seen. Does Yuujirou actually like Rui? Faced with this realization, Yuujirou is no longer sure how strong the foundation of their friendship is. Could it withstand him confessing to Rui? Could Rui even like him back? While Yuujirou is grappling with his own feelings, his friendship with Rui grows tenuous. Can Yuujirou come to terms with himself before losing Rui's friendship altogether?
First off, the character designs? Top tier. Fluffy, tall, angel baby, bottom Rui is adorable. Love him. Then, we have a short, spunky, bundle-of-muscles top Yuujirou that is equally cute and sexy. Put them together, and you have a feast for the eyes. I love the tall bottom/short top dynamic so much, and this is the epitome of that. Rui, in particular, is absolutely everything. They are complete opposites design-wise, making them much more satisfying when they come together.
This leads me to the art. The artwork is adorable. This is a super wholesome story, and the artwork really helps emphasize that. Don't get me wrong, it isn't perfect every time, but it's close enough to perfection that it's not even worth bringing up. Once you see baby Yuujirou and baby Rui, you will not even think of any of the anatomy mistakes. The art gets better through the chapters and from volume to volume, so if you like it from the beginning, you are in for even better.
All the art and character designs aside, the story is excellent. It's all the fluff with little drops of sexiness sprinkled in. The tension in Dekoboko Sugar Days is based on misunderstandings, but it's nothing unreasonable or crazy. It's just two high school boys coming to terms with their sexuality and questioning whether the other could like them back. I am not a big fan of tension relying on misunderstandings, but I don't find this offensive. It also doesn't last too long, either. They get together, then the rest of the volume is spent with them trying to navigate a relationship and what that means for them. It's an absolute treat.
As the name suggests, Dekoboko Bittersweet Days is lots of yummy sweetness with some really painful bitterness as our boys move from their precious high school days to adulthood. The tension is much more serious than in Dekoboko Sugar Days, which aligns really well with their lives. I am pleased we got to see them encountering adult issues and tackling them. It gave everything a much more “coming of age” feel and was a nice counterweight to the fluffiness of the previous volume. Now, the tension in the second volume is a bit more annoying since it hinges on Yuujirou not being able to express his feelings about Rui going to college in France and essentially breaking up with Rui for no reason.
However, what makes it all worth it is that when Yuujirou finally does rush out to the airport to tell Rui that he still loves him and that he doesn't want him to leave (cliche, but so super sweet), Rui says he loves Yuujirou, too, but he is still going to France. I can't express how happy I was that Rui didn't give in just to stay with Yuujirou. He still goes to France to achieve his dream. Even better, though, Yuujirou accepts it all and agrees to wait for Rui. Tears. So many tears. It is such a precious scene, and after all that hardship and struggle, we're treated to all the sweetness and fluffiness we had before.
Now, finally, there is the newest release, Dekoboko Sugar Days – Extra: Boys, Enjoy Your Youth!. As the name suggests, it's just a couple of extra stories in the setting of the first volume, Dekoboko Sugar Days. It's primarily sexy time and not much else. That's not to say I didn't enjoy it, but there isn't any real substance beyond more sexy and fluffy moments. So, if you're hoping for more concrete content about our boys, you might be disappointed. However, I am not one to look a gift horse in the mouth. I am so happy to have more because I love this couple so, so much, and I'll take anything to spend just a little bit more time in their world.
This is everything my cold heart needed. It doesn't get much better than this if you're down and out and need a fluffy BL pick-me-up. It has just the right amount of tension and drama to make things interesting and rewards you with all the fluff and sexy time. I highly recommend this sweet little bundle. I promise you won't regret it.
Have you read Dekoboko Sugar Days | Dekoboko Bittersweet Days | Dekoboko Sugar Days - Extra: Boys, Enjoy Your Youth!? If so, what do you think? Do you agree with my assessment? Do you not? Let me know, and comment below!