I like this manga, to be honest. And I was almost sure I wouldn't. Firstly, it's old. 1970s old. Secondly, it's about adolescent boys. Thirdly, the art-style is sketchy and cute.
Nevertheless, the story is sad and compelling, the artwork complements the story well, adding a dreamy, whimsical quality to the tale, and the writing is good, with some interesting lines like the following:
"... My life is ... secluded.
... Secretly ...
I'm sealed in a jar ..."
The story takes place in a weekday boarding school for middle school-aged boys. The protagonist is Eric, an angsty 14-year-old who was asked to transfer from his previous school for poor grades and getting into fights. He goes on to get in no less than three fights at his current school over the course of the story, but his grade on this one essay mentioned was good, so I guess he's improving. Anyway, he's all pissed off and meets a boy that looks almost exactly like him but "meek and beautiful", named Thomas. He tries not to like him, but ends up kind of falling for him anyway.
Well ... maybe falling for him ... it's pretty vague. Let me just say, that by the end of the story, he feels some kind of way about Thomas. Meanwhile, there's plot. It's revealed that Thomas and Eric have a special connection and, then, well, SPOILER ALERT it ends badly. But the significance of some moment they maybe sorta who knows? had, lingers on in Eric's heart. Good stuff.
There were a couple of parts that I thought were unintentionally amusing. Firstly, this line was uttered by the "meek and beautiful" Thomas after Eric knocked another boy down and/or? stabbed him with a pair of scissors:
"... We'll pretend we don't know and dig a hole.
And bury him ...
...Yeah. Sounds like a solid plan, guy.
This other line is pretty priceless and needs no context:
"That kid is sugar candy with spice.
He's definately delicious if you eat him."
Oh, Chairman Friedel. You, sly devil, you.