I kept looking at the bandage on my upper arm, a growing warmth and itchiness taking over on the injection site. I tried my best to scratch through the soft padding of the bandage, “Damn, this sucks. Now I’m gonna be sore for the next two days.”
With the doctor gone, I picked up my bag and headed through the waiting area. As I walked down the hallway, I caught a glance of the blonde young woman again as she passed by; she was shaking, holding a paper in her hands.
Must have tested positive. Feel kinda bad for her.
There were at least two dozen people already seated in the waiting area; there were dozens of chairs out, neatly arranged into patterns and locations that made it seem divided—the elderly had their own section, followed by adults in their forties, the early adults to high twenties, then the teens and children stuck together.
It took a moment for me to remember my own age; I almost reached for the I.D in my wallet just to verify. With a shrug, I sat down in the “designated” section for early adults.
High school is the moment in everybody’s life where they start to learn about themselves and what kind of person they want to be. From meeting new friends and forming long-lasting bonds, to having to struggle with balancing academics and a personal life, those last few teenage years can be quite stressful. At least most don’t have to deal with the awkward situation of sharing a boarding room with a complete stranger.
In Futaribeya, that’s how it all begins: awkward.
An original story and art from Yukiko (@aoiyukiko) and published by TOKYOPOP, Futaribeya: A Room for Two is a simple, light-hearted, slice of life comedy that follows the life of two girls entering high school. When the sensible, level-headed Sakurako Kawawa eagerly begins unpacking her stuff in her assigned boarding room, her roommate enters, and is thrown for a loop. The stunning, attractive Kasumi Yamabuki strolls in without a care and changes out from her pretty street clothes into nothing but a t-shirt and underwear, and starts lounging around the house. To anybody, this would be a strange first meeting, especially when you realize that you’ll be sharing a room with this person.
On the surface, the story follows a common plot found in your typical yuri comedy: two girls entering high school are forced into circumstances where they’re always near each other, both inside and outside the classroom. Having opposite personalities would cause some kind of conflict between them, eventually opening the door to similarities and leading to developing romantic feelings for one another. With Futaribeya, it has this plot, but on a much more simple level—and that’s totally fine. Sakurako is the responsible one of the pair, always making sure that the room is well-kept and organized, cooking for the both of them. Adorable, bubbly, and friendly, she’s the complete opposite of her roommate. Often complimented for her beauty, Kasumi is the lazy food glutton. Usually seen with some kind of food or snack in hand, she’s always taking it easy, whether it’s wrapped in a blanket, sleeping on her desk, or hiding under a kotatsu. Early in the plot, you learn about the main reason why she has a part-time job: to buy more food.
Seeing as how this is the first volume in the series, most of the volume is used to set up the overall feel and vibe of the story, giving insight into the backstory between each of our protagonists, fleshing out their usual school life with friends and grades, and the various kind of interactions that occur when they’re home. Yukiko uses a nice, cute art style to portray everything, switching between the detailed, well-done shading seen in most manga, and changing to the big head, solid-black eye comedic use of chibi style. Even though the art style switches fairly often, it doesn’t diminish from the overall enjoyment and story; it’s actually a nice touch to the simple comedy manga. However, between chapters we are gifted with additional illustrations and drawings of the pair, depicting them in various situations. At the end of the volume is an afterward from Yukiko, thanking the reader for picking up the manga and doing a small Q&A.
Overall, Futaribeya is on the lighter side of the yuri spectrum, not pairing the protagonists in explicit and suggestive moments. It’s more focused on the comedic side of two high school girls rooming together. Taking that into consideration, this review is focused on volume one, so it is possible that those kinds of moments could pop up as the story continues. If you’re looking for a nice comedy, this would be a good read to pass the time.
“So, I told my boss that his intern was already here and that the boss didn’t realize it. My boss just walked away and asked others if they saw the intern. Funny part is, I was the intern.”
Everybody was laughing their asses off, some of them even falling over and slamming their hands on the tables. One of the guys closest to the stage was drinking when I said the joke, making beer shoot out from his nose.
I pointed him out of the crowd with the mic, “Careful, we got a squirter here, and it’s not my ex-wife.”
As I proceeded to go on I began to walk back and forth across the stage, breaking away at my stiff placement in the center. I carried the mic stand over my shoulder as I continued, fueling myself with a tad more confidence. “And that’s when I tell my cousin, ‘I’m pretty sure the dog got to them.’”
A couple chuckles from a few people in the crowd; there was one guy in the back who was trying to catch his breath from laughing so hard.
I personally didn’t think my material was the best, but they were loving it.
The bright, yellow spotlight was beaming straight at me from the stage lighting setup in the back. The small sea of heads at the bottom of the stage sat motionless, dozens of eyes all focused on me to say something.
My heart was ramming against my rib cage, eager to try and escape this place. In the back of my mind I wanted to follow my heart and run out of here, but all of this was my idea in the first place.
After a small sigh to relax, I grabbed the mic and began, “So, how’s everybody doing tonight?”
Oliver had to leave behind Joseph’s body, the extra weight being too much to carry through the green fog. With one last ditch effort, and the final clean gasp of air from his filters, Oliver sprinted to the last table of the mess hall.
“Tommy!” He screamed, taking off his gas mask. With a leap he jumped over a dining chair, and landed on the last table. In front of him was Tommy, the source of the gas. Determination in his eyes, Oliver smacked the fork from Tommy’s hand.
On his last breath, Oliver begged, “Stop farting, you fat fuck.”
The pair pushed open the double doors to the mess hall. The entire area was silent, the only sound coming from the other side, near the back wall: the sound of utensils scraping the inside of a ceramic bowl. Oliver and Joseph struggled and clenched their teeth as they walked past numerous empty seats.
“I can’t believe Tommy can sit in this funk,” Oliver said with amazement.
Joseph coughed a bit before he could reply, “He probably doesn’t notice it since the smell is coming from him.” Joseph swallowed some bile that came up. “Jesus, it’s coming through my mask.”