A collection of intertwining stories covering four not-quite lovers as they find what links them together. Akiha plays the piano and ponders his relationship with Yahiko, a friend with benefits he can’t quite bring himself to call his lover regardless of how freely Yahiko cares for him. Despite their constant bickering, Sado and Nakajo appear close enough to be lovers. But Nakajo has convinced himself he can never have Sado, which leads him to seek out reasons to hate him even as he stays by his side. Shibata is an overly friendly older man who rather insistently hits on Sekiya, a socially awkward radio DJ. Even with his DJ persona, Sekiya has a hard time expressing the roiling emotions within him. A stray cat brings Kameda and Ogikawa together. The two spend lazy days eating, drinking, and playing with their cat, all without calling it love.
(Spoiler Free) I am a big fan of Given, so coming into reading this I was really looking forward to it. It is a story with 4 different gay couples who all know each other. The manga switches between them showing their complicated relationships as well as how their paths cross and intertwine. It is a great concept but in execution it is very hard to follow, at least it was for me, mainly because it's hard to keep the charecters straight. Some of the charecters look pretty much the same and can be indistinguishable from one another. I also kept forgetting their names. It flows like a movie would, expect instead of 1 plot or 2 main characters there's 4 and 8. It's a very cool concept and she executed it well. About the story itself it felt underdeveloped, because its a stand alone volume not all the charecters are fleshed out and we only get the backstory for a few. There's no charecter development whatsoever. It feels pretty dark and violent, more tragic and dissapointing than romantic. Women are only shown twice, once to ask someone out and get upset when he rejects her, and another time to get horrifically bullied and abused by one of the male charecters. The way that male charecter was portrayed is unsettling to me, they make him seem like a kind of good guy, when he is absolute trash. Overall, I have mixed feelings. I wanted to buy the book because I love Given and I love Kizu Sensei, but Links really did not speak to me, it put me off. I had high expectations and was really dissapointed. I probably would not have read it all the way through if it weren't for my respect for her other work.
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