Kiss Kiss, Fall in Love! Reviewing Irodori Sakura’s “Why Does Love Do This To Me?”

Publisher: Irodori (Irodori Sakura)

JP Title: 大人の恋は難しいので今日は昼まで寝ることにした

Story & Art by: AyanoAyano (@ayano_ayano245)
Circle: Ayano no Ya

Translator: Eduardo Reyes

Letterer: Mercedes McGarry
Formatting: CC Su
QA: On Takahashi and Zhuchka

Page Length: 33
Color or B/W: All B/W

TW/CW: N/A

Reader’s Note: I received a review copy of Why Does Love Do This to Me? from Irodori Sakura in exchange for an honest review of the material. I was not compensated for my review, nor will I be post-review. Additionally, any images seen in the review are taken from the official release. Opinions are my own.

One Sentence Summary
Love is hard enough, but falling in love with your friend is even hard and unfortunately, no one knows that better than Saki and Omori…

Expanded Summary (Take from the Product Page)
Insecurity. Fear of Rejection. Inadequacy. Falling in love as an adult is hard… but falling in love with someone of the same sex and worrying about “reading the signs wrong” is something else entirely. Join two girls as they tread the uncertain waters of their own emotional insecurities and begging the question, “why does love do this to me?”


I’ve been really tired lately, in large part because I’m still adjusting to being in a radically different timezone, which… definitely did a number on me. Even though I’ve been in the states for a month, it’s still taking time for my body to get back on a different schedule after living abroad for four years.

So today, just to help myself relax, I curled up with Irodori Sakura’s Why Does Love Do This to Me?, a sweet romance title that I was very eager to review, and even more eager to share my thoughts with you.

So… what exactly did I think? Well, spoiler: I really, really liked this story. 

Let’s find out why.


The Plot
Why Does Love Do This To Me? centers on Saki and Omori, two twenty-somethings on the way home from a drinking party. But when Omori misses her train, Saki sees a chance to spend a bit more time with her friend, and asks her to spend the night. But one thing leads to another and… well, we’ll save that for the spoiler section, now, won’t we?

Translation was handled by Eduardo Reyes, who should feel quite proud: this story was as sweet as could be and was a really enjoyable read. Translation works hand in hand with the source text: a good source can enable a good translation, or at least a good foundation for one. However, a good translation also takes a good translator, and Eduardo certainly fits that bill: this is a rock solid translation. I really, really like how everything reads: it makes me want to rise to this level of translation, though I’ve still got lots of learning ahead of me yet. One day though!

One thing of note is how Eduardo captures voice: voice is something hard to nail down. Over-translate and you end up with characters that can be too far away from theri illustrations: they can be too much that character, can be over-written or just off base.

Under-translate -or rather, go for – and you usually find that things read very literally and sound quite wooden. Eduardo strikes a nice balance : you can feel the tenderness in both Saki and Omori’s voices, and as the story reaches its climax, you can practically hear them as you read.

Additionally, Mercedes McGarry -hey, it’s another Mercedes, though I’m with a zed, not an s- serves as this one-shot volume’s letterer and oh, oh! That lettering is sublime! You can also see how much effort Mercedes put into retouching the doujnshi: sfx are crisp, with a good deal of stylization. To be honest, some of the lettering made me wonder if she did some hand-drawn lettering, though I’d have to inquire with the letterer herself. Whether hand-drawn or a font, it all looks good.

Speaking of what looks good: time to talk art.

The Art
Ayano-sensei’s art is really, really cute: the characters have a certain, pleasant roundness to their designs. Pared with slightly thicker linework, they look really, really charming. Also, I’m particularly fond of how Ayano-sensei draws emotion: when its intense, they push it to the max, making for cute, squishy characters filled to the brim with really vivid emotions.

I’m also really into how Ayano-sensei draws clothes: I kind of want to raid Saki and Omori’s closets. All the autumn/winter wear they’ve got on looks so cozy! Plus, the way Ayano-sensei draws clothes feels very weighted: sometimes clothing can feel “floaty”, but they sit on the characters in a realistic way that feels nice and makes me want to hit up UNIQLO.

Once more, there’s some really good screentone usage: you might remember that in my review of I Want Only to Love Your Body, I mentioned liking good screetone usage. Well, Ayano-sensei definitely brings it! I particularly like the screentone used for 

I’d also like to return to the lettering as it feels quite artful here. Mercedes really has done a wonderful job with the sound effects: in particular, I want to mention the “glomp” she . It’s got a really nice screentone on it, and feels nice and fluffy, which fits the climax of the story. While I won’t spoil anything -we’re not at that section yet- I will say that there’s just… so many artful choices. I feel like I can perfectly imagine how the sfx looked in the original Japanese. 

I’ve said so much about the characters in this section: we might as well jump into talkin about them more!

The Characters
The story follows Saki and Omori, two twenty-somethings with a shared secret. I’ll skirt around that, however, and instead focus on them as characters in this story. In truth, the girls come off quite similarly: pleasant, sociable, cute. However, there are some defining character traits. Let’s focus on Saki for a moment.

While Saki might come off as all those traits above, she’s actually quite shy, introspective, and quite hesitant. In fact, the plot of this story kicks off solely because she decides to be brave. 

Likewise, Omori appears to be your typical Japanese woman, but actually, she’s quite sensitive and emotive, and cares deeply about Saki. She’s got a big heart too: that’s clearly reflected in how she feels about and towards Saki, too.

To be honest, those traits take a bit of close reading to uss out: otherwise, Saki and Omori read as being very similar. But to me… that’s actually perfectly fine. One-shots don’t need to dynamically shift a character: if anything, they just need to be well-executed. While I would have liked to have a bit more character definition, I also can suspend my disbelief and read traits where I need them.

I’m actually really eager to talk about the story in detail, but… that means spoilers. As always, if you want to go in completely unspoiled, you can skip to the TL;DR. Otherwise… get ready to see why Why Does Love Do This to Me? Is one of my favorite reads this month.


Here There Be Spoilers

As I hinted at in my overview, our story begins with Saki and Omori, two friends who are wrapping up the night after a drinking party at the local izakaya. Things seem to be good until Omori realizes that she’s definitely missed the last train home. 

Saki sees her chance to spend more time -and the night- with Omori and with all the gusto she can muster up, offers Omori a place to sleep in her apartment her apartment until the next morning when the trains start back up again.

However, Omori totally knows how close Saki’s apartment is: she got the hot tip from Google Maps, which just like… also incredibly funny.

In fact, she checked that there were no internet cafes or places to stay in the vicinity hoping she’d have to crash there. It’s hilarious and due to the translation, had me guffawing!

Once at Saki’s apartment, it’s a battle of wills as both women have to hide their feelings. They’re clearly so elated: at one point, Omori whimpers, barely hiding a squee at just being in Saki’s apartment with her.

Saki, in return, is equally as giddy: she’s just as in love, and just as happy to just be around Omori, which like… le sigh, dear reader! Le sigh!

Then things get PG-13 steamy as Omori gets brave and takes off her bra, which like… relatable as someone who regularly wears bras. Saki’s reaction is both immensely hilarious and very cute.

What follows that is is a genuinely funny story about two friends who are completely oblivious to the fact that they’re both in love with each other. It’s a story that many Queer/LGBTQAI+ readers will identify with: after all, who hasn’t fallen for their “straight” friend, only to find that the affection -and love- is completely mutual?

Actually… that’s one of the strengths of this part of the story: it feels like an experience that’s shared by a lot of us LGBTQAI+ folks. It’s nice to see the depicted as something that happens because love is rather than something “predatory” and fearful. It can be exhausting as a Queer reader and a Queer person to see harmful narratives. It’s nice to read a story like this where it’s okay to crush and question and figure yourself out.

Even better, there’s no Gay Panic here: there’s just panicked gays, which like… mood. Ayano-sensei’s passion for Yuri and thoughtfulness for f/f relationships really makes this story resonate so much more strongly.

(Oops, I got a bit passionate there, now didn’t I? Back to the plot!)

Things reach fever pitch when -mid-dream- Saki up and outright kisses Omori straight on the mouth. Thinking it’s a dream, she doesn’t hesitate, deepening the kiss. 

But of course, this is a doujinshi: you already know it’s a dream!

As soon as she’s aware, Saki instantly regrets what she’s done, and in her embarrassment -and shock at her behvior- Saki instantly apologizes.

But remember: this is a doujinshi. A Yuri doujinshi.

With tears in her eyes and a smile, Omori comments that she doesn’t mind Saki’s “mistake”: in fact, even if it was a mistake, Omori is so over the moon that she can’t help but have no regrets. Thankfully, Saki stops holding back, embraces Omori and confesses her love in a genuinely heart-warming scene that made me miss my own partner dearly. 

And poor Omori -poor, poor Omori- even confesses to being so sleep because she was so happy to be next to Saki, which just like… all the squees, am I right?

Thankfully, it’s both of their day’s off, and at Saki’s recommendation, they happily decide to spend the day in bed next to one another, cuddle up in sweet, sappy, romantic bliss.

In a time where reading is hard, it felt really, really nice to kick back with a story that really delighted me. I’m a big fan of fluffy romance to start, but Why Does Love Do This To Me really upped the ante and gave me the satisfyingly sweet story I’ve been after all year.

It’s a well-executed story too: Ayano-sensei really wrote such a delightful one-shot, which is a hard thing to do. One-shots limit you, especially when they’re doujinshi: you don’t have hundreds of pages. You’ve got twenty to thirty at most to tell a complete story. Like I said, Ayano-sensei knocked it out of the park. 

I genuinely lament the fact that I’m not in Japan right now: if I was, I’d hop, skip, and jump to Toronoana or Melonbooks to try and find a copy of this in the original Japanese. Honestly? I might have to check Melonbooks to see if I can get a copy: I really, really loved this story and want it in my collection. Even with shipping prices being what they are right now, it’d so totally be worth it.


TL;DR: Why Does Love Do This To Me? is an excellent Yuri story that feels like the best fanfiction and reality all at the same time. Saki and Omori are sweet as can be, and thankfully, so is the climax of this one-shot story. The humor and romance are balanced quite well, making for a near-perfect read: you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll laugh again. It’s just that good! Every Yurijin should pick this up: it’s one of the best doujinshi of 2020!

Where To Buy
You can buy a copy of Why Does Love Do This to Me? here. Currently, it’s only available digitally, but of course, that’s not a negative: if anything, this sweet, sweet story has so many pluses that I can’t help but urge you to pick up a copy digitally today. It’s a superb addition to your Yuri TBR and a great way to continue to support Irodori Comics.

Ratings

Plot: 10/10
Art: 9 /10
Characters: 8/10

Overall: 9 out of 10

Read If You Like…
Fluff
Hurt/Comfort Fanfiction
Adult Relationships
Rom-Coms
Shy Cuties


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Every dollar allows me to sustainably and healthily do the work I love, all while sharing it with you for free. Thank you in advance for your on-going readership and support: it means the world to me.

2 thoughts on “Kiss Kiss, Fall in Love! Reviewing Irodori Sakura’s “Why Does Love Do This To Me?”

    • Mercedez September 8, 2020 / 7:08 AM

      Oh wow, thank you! I greatly appreciate that!

      Like

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