It is rumored that Touji Seryou, one of the more popular boys at school, would go out with anyone who asks him out on a Monday morning. But on this particular Monday morning, the first person he meets at the school gate is no other than Yuzuru Shino, Seryou’s sempai at the archery club. On a whim, and well-aware of Seryou’s reputation, Shino asks Seryou to go out with him. Thinking that it will be treated as a joke, they’re both guys after all, imagine Shino’s surprise when Seryou takes him up on the offer! There is a catch, though. While Seryou does go out with the first girl who asks him out on a Monday morning, the other side of the coin is – by the end of the week, he will break up with that person. In essence, Seryou is a lover with a one-week expiration date. But will Shino prove to be the exception to that rule? (from Juné)
Shino Yuzuru is a third year high school student who is constantly being judged by his good looks, that are in contrast to his personality. It’s not strange that when he hears the story of a junior’s weird habit he feels quite curious about it; Seryou Touji is a sophomore that has adopted as a custom accepting any girl, who confesses first on Monday, as his girlfriend during the week. If he doesn’t fall in love with them, the relationship ends in that Sunday and, since he is so popular, he is very lucky to get a new girlfriend every Monday, or maybe not so lucky. Shino is pondering about all this when, coincidentally, he turns out to be the first person to meet Seryou in that week. His curiosity takes the best of him, so much that he jokingly asks Seryou to be his couple of the week after hearing he would accept anyone. What will happen when Seryou takes his “rule” a bit too seriously…?
Seven Days is presented to us as a boy’s love manga, but it’s certainly much more than that. This is a romance story with a premise that transcends any genre; the nature of falling in love. We all judge based on appearances, at least until we are able to know more, that’s why the concept of seven days to fall in love sounds so compelling and very interesting. From that idea, the plot progresses slowly, instantly taking us to our days of innocent dreams, and creating a sort of magical purity between these teenagers, who wouldn’t be able to enjoy such details if they weren’t completely unexpected. The week promise is the thread that keeps them together and can definitely separate them at the end of that week.
This manga would probably become only an endearing story, if it weren’t for the breathtakingly beautiful way the game is presented to us. A sort of delicate, disheveled and yet beautiful art-style; a very clever way of placing simple words, playing with panel alignment and flashbacks to empower them; and characters with very interesting and quirky personalities. Tachibana Venio‘s story, combined with Takarai Rihito‘s art, worked with these details in a way that made Seven Days a light but brilliant piece. There is definitely a lovely harmony between all the elements, each of them enhancing the beauty of the other, until the point you can feel, for example, the tension and tranquility in Yuzuru’s archery performance, just as Seryou would picture it.
Character-wise, there is nothing more interesting than realistic, flawed personalities, at least for me. These boys are considered handsome, and they are very popular, but they have a lot of complicated and not so good qualities that people don’t like to imagine while looking at them. However, they complement each other nicely, and their bad points can actually become charming once you get to look at them from different angles.
Compared to most fast-paced boy’s loves, Seven Days turns out to be very simple and original, in a way that strikes me as slice of life. In fact, every time I read this volume a strange sense of peace overcomes me. I can’t help but think that I slowly fell in love too, but with the manga, because it artfully caresses any fiber of romanticist you might have. Shino and Seryou remind us what falling in love is about. Not the I love you since I first saw you or you are so hot/strong/powerful that I can’t resist you type. It’s the this is the real me, I’m getting to know you, and I really like what I see kind of love. Honestly, this is the sort of romantic development that I would like to see in most romantic stories. For now, they are just getting to know each other (makes me wonder about the 16+ rating, this is not yaoi), but we almost can’t wait to see what will come on Friday in one of the best weeks of boy’s love. Seven Days would serve as a really heartwarming introduction to boy’s love with an unusual and well-thought “game” that leaves us thinking about the reasons we fall in love.
My rating: 5/5
Special Thanks to Digital Manga that provided the digital copy of the book.