This review will contain spoilers for the manga and anime series I Love my Best Friend. 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 sexual assault, dubious consent, and possessiveness, as it appears in the manga.
Yoichi has been in love with Shige for as long as he can remember. Shige was the first person he came out to in high school, and though Shige was accepting and Yoichi also planned on confessing his feelings at the same time, Shige also made it clear he didn't understand why a man would love another man. Knowing that confessing to Shige would probably mean the end of their relationship, Yoichi buries his love. If he can't be with Shige romantically, he at least wants to maintain their friendship. It's painful, but being with Shige any way Yoichi can is worth it.
But his efforts are dashed when Shige approaches him with an odd request: “Let me eat your dick.” Apparently, after suddenly noticing the man in the porn he was watching, he wondered if the woman actually enjoyed giving oral sex or not. Wanting to see for himself if it's as enjoyable as it seems, Shige wants to try it out on the only person he believes he can trust and who might enjoy it: Yoichi. To say Yoichi is shocked would be an understatement. He's so shocked that he can't resist when Shige goes on with his plan.
After all is said and done, can Yoichi continue just to be friends with Shige? Or has this physical relationship gone one step too far? One thing's for sure. No matter how hard he's tried, his love for Shige has never once been buried.
The art in this is very consistent and nice to look at. Shige's haircut gets a bit mushroomy sometimes, but that's a very minor point. I love that they are both very manly men, which I feel is rarer than it should be in BL. Shige is the fun and ditzy type, and that really comes through in his design. Same with Yoichi, who is more reserved and calm. Their contrasting designs and personalities make the perfect pair, and seeing them together in the throes of passion is everything.
I love a good friends-to-lovers trope, and this is very much a quintessential that. I especially love when their relationship already gives off marriage vibes, which Shige and Yoichi have. Shige comes over from next door every day and has dinner with Yoichi. It's a very work-husband and house-husband dynamic that gives me all the feels. There is just something so romantic and fluffy about the simple domesticity of this dynamic. There are also subtle moments that help build out just how much they know and care for each other, like when Shige knows what Yoichi's favorite shirt is. It's such a small detail, but it speaks volumes about how much Shige pays attention to Yoichi. It makes my little heart flutter.
I also love that Yoichi isn't the perpetual virgin because of the torch he's carried for Shige all this time. I find that often, the friend perpetually in love with his best friend will hold back from getting any relationships or experience for himself beyond the friendship. All the while, he has to suffer and watch while the object of his unrequited feelings falls in love and dates without ever knowing he's hurting his friend. So, I am a big fan of the fact that Shige is the one to initiate the relationship and is the one to confess to Yoichi in the end. It really gives legitimacy to Shige's feelings for Yoichi, taking the onus off of him and onto Shige. Yoichi is perfectly capable and willing to move on, even if it means the end of their friendship, because Yoichi doesn't want to put himself through the pain of unrequited love or a friends-with-benefits relationship anymore. I love how strong Yoichi is and how it puts all of the pressure on Shige to step up or let Yoichi go.
The only major downside in this for me is the ending. The ending is happy, no worries there, but it ends on a sort of cliffhanger? Kinda? The two have finally gotten together, living their happy lives as an official couple. But then, after another steamy round, Shige proposes? Maybe serious? Maybe not? And then it just ends. Don't get me wrong, I am totally fine with the story and how it ended, but I was dying for a bonus chapter or a side story that shows what happened after that sudden proposal. That's just my greedy fujo-heart talking, though, and this is really the only “negative” I can think of, if you can even call it that.
I love this. It's a delicious morsel of fluff, drama, and smut. It doesn't get much better than this. The worst part is that it ends, which, as always, is my favorite problem to have with something. I highly recommend this as it is one of my faves.
Have you read I Love my Best Friend? If so, what do you think? Do you agree with my assessment? Do you not? Let me know, and comment below!