This review will contain spoilers for the manga and anime series Hand in Hand. While the manga may vary slightly from all other forms of media, it may have similar story elements and could be considered spoilers.
Trigger Warning: There may be references to harassment, stalking, obsession, sexual assault, and victim-blaming, as it appears in the manga.
Yuasa is beautiful, which has become more of a curse than anything. Yuasa can't make real connections with most people as they only see him for his good looks and nothing else. So, he's cultivated a close group of three friends and doesn't go beyond that unless he has to for school or work. While in the library, he ends up brushing hands with a freshman named Satoru, a jewelry craftsman. There's nothing remarkable about the situation, and Yuasa fully expects that any interest Satoru has in him is rooted solely in Yuasa's looks.
To his surprise, though, Satoru couldn't care less about Yuasa's face. Instead, Satoru only cares about Yuasa's hands, which he dubs his ideal, dream hands. As it turns out, Satoru has an intense hand fetish, manifesting in an obsession with touching, taking pictures of, sketching, and making jewelry for Yuasa's hands. While Yuasa is disturbed by this weird turn of events, he can't help but find it refreshing to meet someone who likes him for something other than his face. So begins Satoru and Yuasa's push-and-pull relationship of Yuasa keeping Satoru at arm's length while Satoru does everything he can to get close to those hands.
However, the more time they spend together, the more Satoru's love for Yuasa's hands begins to encompass all of Yuasa. Will Yuasa be able to accept Satoru's evolving feelings? Or will he run away in fear of another superficial relationship?
This is so, so cute. The art isn't perfect. Their faces aren't consistent and often look out of proportion for their features, but it's still super cute, and I must mention how pretty Yuasa's hands are. I don't personally have a hand fetish, but even I found myself admiring his hands (maybe I do have a hand fetish now). There's no question as to why Satoru falls in love with Yuasa's hands, which is what really matters in this particular work. Otherwise, though, the art is nice.
I absolutely love that this premise is based on hands. It gives me Sweat and Soap, Sign, and Please Don't Bite Me So Much! vibes because of the fixation on a particular body part or fetish, and they all happen to be some of my favorite things I've read. I love when a piece hones in on something so specific like this, and this one is incredibly successful since Satoru is a jewelry craftsman who wants to focus on designing and creating rings. There is this lovely detail because Satoru constantly makes rings that are sized specifically for Yuasa's ring finger. How romantic is that? It made my heart pound, and I love that he always designs rings for Yuasa's hands as a declaration of his love.
Unfortunately, while I love the fixation on the hands, I wish we could have gotten more smut to go along with it. There are really only two sex scenes, which is so sad for a degenerate like me. However, I would hardly call this a negative as I am sure some people will probably prefer it. I am just a pervert, and I like a lot of sex, especially when the piece's premise is on a specific fetish like this. I could read a book that was 100% smut and not be bothered by it, if that tells you anything.
While I wish there were more scenes, the scenes we get are awesome. As expected, hands play a huge role in it, and it's so fun to see Yuasa get jealous of his own hands. It was so cute but so sensual as Satoru constantly showed affection to Yuasa's hands during sex. There was something so intimate and passionate about that, and it made it all the more romantic when he'd turn his attention away from Yuasa's hands to other parts of his body. Also, Satoru is major daddy vibes. He doesn't give off that energy for 90% of the manga, but when he takes off those glasses or focuses on work, he becomes a sex magnet. Love it.
This is an enjoyable one. I highly recommend it to anyone who is a fan of the other fetish reviews I've done, such as the ones I suggested in this review. However, even for those not interested in hardcore fetish series, I still highly recommend this because it's a pretty tame fetish overall. It's super intimate, very romantic, and not overtly smutty for those who would prefer something tamer. It's a solid piece; I am so glad I read it.
Have you read Hand in Hand? If so, what do you think? Do you agree with my assessment? Do you not? Let me know, and comment below!