Please be advised this review contains *major* spoilers for Bad Boys, Happy Home Vol 2 by SHOOWA & Hiromasa Okujima, published by SuBLime.
If you read my review for volume 1 of Bad Boys, Happy Home, you know I was counting DOWN until volume 2 was released. I never put in a pre-order so fast once SuBLime posted that it was available! Once I saw my mutuals on Twitter were receiving it a few weeks ago, I lost my mind waiting for my copy to get in. Once it did, I reread volume 1 before jumping into volume 2. And boy, was volume 2 was soooo worth the wait.
Picking Up Where We Left Up
Volume 1 leaves us at a pretty big cliffhanger with Seven and Akamatsu on the verge of kissing but they are interrupted by Akamatsu’s twin, Shun. Of course, volume 2 is going to start with them being together passionately and finally coming into their feelings, right? I WISH! Instead, we are back to square one or so it seems.
Akamatsu and Seven seem to be inadvertently avoiding each other. Seven has started working night shifts at his job and Akamatsu is still in school plus working his own part-time job. The time apart leads to both of them spending a lot of time sulking that they miss each other (without admitting it.) This part was still so sweet because it lead to both of them having a lot of time to reminisce about each other.
After so many misses and awkward encounters, Seven and Akamatsu finally see each other and after admitting that they do miss each other, Seven kisses Akamatsu!!! (LET’S FUCKING GO!) Albeit, a very short and quick kiss, but a kiss nonetheless. Clearly, I was as shocked and excited as Akamatsul
Where Do We Go From Here
While Akamatsu is still mulling over the kiss and what it meant to him and possibly Seven, the boys go grocery shopping where Seven adds a box of condoms to their basket. This sends Akamatsu into a mental tizzy trying to decipher what this means. Are the condoms for Seven to use with someone else? Is he trying to use them together? Sir, please. Who else are the condoms for?!
After a rough encounter at the park, Seven and Akamatsu make it home and finally discuss “the condoms” but also where the relationship is progressing to sexually. Soon the kissing starts and then, of course, a very graphic (with some lightsabers) moment of the two fooling around officially for the first time.
Soon after, the pair decide to go on a date to the aquarium where they spend all their time being absolutely adorable with each other and having a good time. Even with Akamatsu falling into a penguin tank, both Seven and him are having a great time. At the end of the date, they bring up their “relationship” and how neither expected to be doing what they are doing now. Seven, being the best boy ever, sets the tone by saying Akamatsu can now expect all of the things now! (insert my happy tears here.)
After such an amazing date, Seven and Akamatsu have another opportunity for some sexy time, this time being initiated by Akamatsu. The scenes capture the magic of someone’s “firsts” including awkward moments and playfulness while also maintaining a level of sexiness.
Both Seven and Akamatsu are having such a great time and exploring this new level of their relationship. But things can’t always go so smoothly…
Let’s Backtrack to Eight
I purposely skipped retelling all of the side scenes with Eight because truly, this backstory needs its own section to unwrap. We see Eight dealing with both the organization he and Seven belong to as well as doing his own shady shit.
The moment I knew there was some extra crazy thing going on was when Eight harms the old man who used to be his customer. While not a lot is revealed at this time, we see Eight force-feeding the old man who is trying to sleep with him bugs. Then when his “dad” asks him about it, Eight denies having met with the man. We also see a flashback to perhaps a young Seven and Eight, with an older man being harmed.
(I’m going to pull over here for a content Trigger Warning!! This next portion includes a summary of a scene with mention of drugging, sexual assault, and forced sex work. Please read at your own caution.)
Fast forward to the present, Eight having befriended Akamatsu invites him over and drugs him. He ties Akamatsu up, and while Akamatsu is coming in and out of it, Eight details the sex work both Seven and him used to do. He tells Akamatsu how him and Seven used to sleep together. He also sends pictures of Akamatsu tied up to Seven, wanting to get a reaction out of him.
Not With My Man You Don’t
As Eight starts assaulting Akamatsu with a toy, Seven makes it in time to push Eight off him and starts choking him. Once Eight convinces Seven he didn’t actually do anything, he tells Seven to come back to the “business” as he owes Mr. Takanami for keeping them “safe” all those years. When Seven refuses, Eight mentions how appealing it would be to get Shun and Akamatsu involved. Seven again threatens to rape and kill Eight’s girlfriend if they touch the twins and makes his exit. As he’s leaving, Eight reminds Seven that Akamatsu is from a different world that he doesn’t belong with a guy like Seven who would speak that way.
After being taken home by Seven to sleep, Akamatsu wakes up to an empty apartment, all alone.
So What Now
This volume was an absolutely rollercoaster of emotions. I was so excited to see Akamatsu and Seven process their feelings for each other and move from just friends and roommates to lovers. I appreciate that the story is told from mostly Akamatsu’s perspective, so we get to see him fret over what their relationship truly is and how he’s processing the sexual aspects of the relationship as well. But the sweet tidbits from Seven’s point of view are the icing on top of the cake.
The parts with Eight and Seven’s backstory are heartbreaking as fuckkkk. While I know there are many stories with dark backstories like this (looking at you Banana Fish) it definitely does not make it easier to consume. I hate to think of how much this traumatic past has shaped Seven and even though he seems to be getting through it, how much of it does he still need to heal from.
I hate knowing Seven believing he doesn’t deserve to be with Akamatsu due to his background. While Akamatsu is still “innocent” and from a good family, he still accepted Seven despite not knowing his past. Seven is deserving of love and good things, no matter how fucked up his past is.
The next volume is going to pick up with Akamatsu searching for Seven and I’m just not emotionally ready. I know it’s going to come to Akamatsu learning about Seven’s past and I have no doubts he’ll be loving and understanding, but I know it’s going to shatter me.
Volume three is slated to be released in January 2022 so we will need to hold our breaths until then!
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