Title: Seven Days: Monday/Sunday
Author: Venio Tachibana
Artist: Rihito Takarai
Genre: LGBTQ / Romance / BL
On a whim, high school third-year Yuzuru Shino asks out first-year Toji Seryo, who is notorious for being a weeklong lover—he’ll date the first girl to ask him out Monday morning and then promptly dump her by the following Monday! The boys start dating, and by Tuesday, the first inklings of attraction hit. Can these two put words to their feelings before Monday comes, or are old habits too hard to break?
Back on the 9th of February, I asked for manga recommendations. More specifically, I wanted sweet MM romance, trans, and non-binary manga. Between here and Twitter, I received an absolute ton of suggestions, so I’m going to have some fun going through those. One that popped up a few times though was Seven Days.
SuBLime released this two-volume story as a single collected edition, which helped make it an obvious choice for me. I knew I’d be getting a complete story, after all. Now that I’ve read it, I can say that Venio Tachibana’s story is definitely worthwhile too. I enjoyed the general concept of Toji Seryo only dating people for seven days, and Yuzuru Shino asking him out on a whim. Most importantly, as the characters come to terms with their feelings for each other, we get to learn why this set up exists in the first place. It isn’t simply a gimmick to guide the story, but rather something tied into Toji Seryo’s past. That was something I found quite welcome as, as much as the concept interested me, I’d have been disappointed if it was simply there as a plot device with no storyline reason for its existence.
Most of the book is spent following Toji Seryo and Yuzuru Shino with brief appearances from their friends when appropriate. The supporting cast fit their roles well and never feel slotted in. Meanwhile, our two leads are really quite endearing. The way they interact is sweet, and the problems they face are authentic ones. Then, the ending comes along, and we reach a satisfying conclusion that should bring a smile to the face of romance fans. The one downside is that the very concept that drew me to the story does put a clear time constraint on the tale. That forced conciseness means that things need to move quickly. While this goes against my preference for slow-burn romance, I will say that it’s done to a decent level. Even when the issues the protagonists face are dealt with in a whirlwind fashion of building quickly and subsiding just the same, they come across as well handled. It does mean that those seeking something slower moving will be disappointed, though.
In terms of art, people may find that they recognise the name Rihito Takarai. She illustrated another SuBLime release, Ten Count, for example, and has several other titles to her name. Seven Days was actually her first published work, and you can see some really good pieces here. She does a great job with the posing of close-up shots, and I was really drawn to the way she illustrates eyes in some of the more emotional panels. There are a few moments when the quality dips slightly, however. Some shots feel slightly off in proportion, and while not entirely noticeable in most cases, there are one or two where it’s quite glaring.
That being said, both the art and the writing evolve as the story progresses. What starts off as slightly awkward grows into an intentionally awkward flow of conversation by the half-way point. At the same time, the illustrations feel tighter by the end of the mid-point. It’s really interesting because it means we get to see the creators evolve together over the course of the release.
Overall, this was exactly the sort of thing I was looking for. The characters are endearing, the story is sweet, and the release as a whole drew me in and made me want to root for the protagonists. I give this one a solid 4 out of 5 and would absolutely recommend it to anyone seeking a sweet high school romance with LGBTQ characters.