Only the Stars Know

Alt title: Hoshi dake ga Shitteru

Vol: 1; Ch: 6
2016 - 2017
4.029 out of 5 from 406 votes
Rank #3,232
Only the Stars Know

After suffering a loss both at work and in his personal life, college student Sora feels crushed. A stiff night walk to process his thoughts leads him to a discovery: a handsome man sitting in a secluded spot in the park that’s perfect for stargazing. Sora and the man start chatting, and he feels comfortable enough to start talking about his problems–but he’s still stunned when the man kisses him! Although Sora initially writes off the night as an unexpected connection with a stranger, this isn’t the last he’ll see of the man who stares up at the sky.

Source: Seven Seas

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I think I have a predilection for this sort of subdued, endearing storyline which focuses on smushing grounded characters together and seeing what happens. That being said, this manga might be a little too focused on the smushing, if you know what I mean. And if you don't know what I mean, I will now lay it out for you. Almost everything within this manga is focused on progressing the romantic relationship of Yuuki Sora and Touno Kengo. Even the majority of the mundane conversations are between those two characters and function as them getting to know each other. I think the manga would've shown far more brightly if the romance had simply been one aspect of a larger slice-of-life experience, if the manga had engrossed us readers in the mundanity of the day to day. I think making it so goal-oriented ruined a lot of the beauty that could've been. The author might've felt comfortable devoting more than cursory glances to the side characters and felt more comfortable devoting more time to exploring the world and neighborhood a bit more. I also didn't appreciate the overdramatic and, frankly, immature way that Sora was reacting to various things during chapters 4 and 5. Nor did I appreciate Sora's lack of self-awareness regarding feir own feelings/attraction toward Kengo. These mannerisms were obviously contrived by the author in order to create some sense of tension and drama and to delay them getting together til the last second. Which is honestly just another byproduct of the manga being too goal-oriented and singularly focused around the romance. If it had broadened its scope to being a slice-of-life about these characters, then it could've had them simply have a mature conversation about things and then moved on to more beautifully mundane things, like dish-washing or sniffing socks. I will say though that I appreciated the way that Sora didn't let Kengo try to minimize feir childhood dreams and pushed fem to have an honest heart-to-heart. That was a pretty nice way to end the story.

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