Manga Review: I Hear the Sunspot by Yuki Fumino

May Contain Spoilers

This was a quiet little gem. Taichi is a college student, and he’s drifting through life. Raised by his grandfather, money has always been tight. Taichi has a bit of a temper, and he isn’t afraid to defend himself or others should the need arise. He has been working low wage jobs to help feed himself, and suddenly finds himself at loose ends. When Kohei, a student who has a hearing disability, offers to give him lunch boxes in exchange for help taking notes in class, Taichi thinks he’s died and gone to heaven. Kohei’s lunches are delish, and now Taichi has an excuse to go to class.

I Hear the Sunspot is a gentle story about two very different people meeting and becoming friends. Kohei is standoffish and distant, preferring to be alone than dealing with people’s reactions to his disability. Taichi is loud and obnoxious, but he’s genuine and likes Kohei. He’s drawn to the distant guy, and the more Kohei shuts him out, the harder Taichi works to be his friend.

I loved their bumpy relationship. Misunderstandings abound, both because Taichi is overprotective of his new friend, and because they don’t always communicate clearly with each other. Kohei’s frustration with his hearing loss makes him want to keep to himself, but Taichi won’t let him mope. They soon find a common ground of trust and respect that goes way beyond those tasty lunch boxes.

I Hear the Sunspot is a touching examination of two people pushing past barriers and getting to know one another. In doing so, they open up to the wider world around them, look past their restrictions, and learn to accept themselves just the way they are.

Grade: 4.25 stars

Review copy provided by publisher

About the book:

Because of a hearing disability, Kohei is often misunderstood and has trouble integrating into life on campus, so he learns to keep his distance. That is until he meets the outspoken and cheerful Taichi. He tells Kohei that his hearing loss is not his fault. Taichi’s words cut through Kohei’s usual defense mechanisms and open his heart. More than friends, less than lovers, their relationship changes Kohei forever.