Please be advised I received an advanced reviewer copy of Would You Like To Be A Family? from TOKYOPOP in exchange for an honest review.
Those of you who have been tuning into my manga video reviews and blog posts are no strangers to the fact that I have been all aboard the Yaoi train this year. I hitched a ride sometime this summer and I have zero plans of getting off anytime soon.
While I definitely enjoy a long, ongoing manga series that keeps me invested, I’m also good for a quick one-shot that gives me the happy ending I deserve to see. Would You Like To Be A Family? By Koyama and published by TOKYOPOP was a treat I happened to enjoy 36,000 thousand feet in the air.
Part of TOKYOPOP’s LOVE x LOVE series, Would You Like to be a Family? is a collection of short boy-love stories featuring three different couples, all coincidentally featuring a dark haired lead who is uncertain of his feelings and a light-haired partner who is more open and easy going. Each story takes place in a different life stage: workplace, high school, and college.
The main story (and the longest) of the collection centers Takemura, a gay man who essentially shuts himself off to the world and relationships due to being bullied in the past for being gay. One day, Takemura ends up running into his coworker, Natsui, outside of work and thus begins their relationship. Natsui, a single father, is the complete opposite of Take: a charismatic person who gets along with his coworkers and is kind to everyone. As Take and Natsui grow closer, Take questions if Natsui is just being kind and treating him as he would anyone else.
It was hard not to root for Takemura while reading, and I found myself wishing for him to open up his heart to trust in his feelings for Natsui. The more Takemura and Natsui hang out, the more Take starts slowly changing. His coworkers find him more enjoyable to be around and his vibes just scream happiness. Take starts questioning why Natsui is being so kind to him, but almost as if not to get his hopes up, he quickly dismisses his questions and tries to reassure himself Natsui is this way with everyone.
Admittedly, I am not a fan of the “one person has a child” troupe that is common in Josei and Yaoi manga. However, I found that in Would You Like To Be A Family? it was handled in a way that wasn’t overbearing or child focused. The relationship Take forms with Mori (Natsui’s son) seems genuine and believable. Plus Mori really stays out of the relationship and does not cause any issues.
If it seems like all my thoughts are on the first story, thats because they are. While the other two stories are enjoyable and rounded out the collection, Take and Natsui’s story is deserving of its own full length manga. It is not the most unique boy love story line or the deepest, but it was still very, very cute and just filled with that lovely dovey goodness I can only accept in the form of 2D lines on a page. Take’s concerns are relatable and Natsui’s charm is irresistible. I was surprised at how quickly I finished this and immeditely went back to the beginning to experience this sweetness all over again.
If you’re looking for a cute fluff piece to add to your ever growing manga collection that you’ll want to keep revisiting, I highly recommend Would You Like To Be Family? Take and Natsui may do most of the heavy lifting in this manga, but the other two stories are worth a read too.
Would You Like To Be A Family? Is available now digitally and in print September 21st. You can find retailers here.