Henry quickly became infatuated by the girl’s smile; he was thinking about how, out of everybody in the room, the girl focused solely on him. He started to wonder what would have happened if he never looked away from the window.
The girl saw that Henry was focusing on her, and motioned for him to come to her desk. Ignoring the distance, and the small chatter of students between them, Henry navigated the sea of desks in order to get closer.
The girl opened her mouth to speak, and Henry knelt on one leg.
The bright orange flame slowly danced in the palm of the girl’s hand. She didn’t flinch from having the gentle fire in her hand. In fact, she seemed to be enjoying it; her eyes gleamed with excitement and her cheeks were flushed red, almost embarrassed about this.
Henry mouthed “Why do you have a lighter?” to the girl, but all she did was stare at him with a strange, bewitching expression. Soon after, Henry started to feel a warm sensation burning in his gut; he couldn’t take his eyes off of her
“You’re bored too, right?” Henry whispered to the girl.
With a slight shrug, brown-haired girl nodded, wanting to find a way to watch the summer weather just outside of the window. Hesitant, the girl watched the professor for a moment, making sure he was fully occupied with talking about boring mathematics. She brought her gaze back to Henry, a small, sly smile on her face. With one hand, she pointed down, signaling him to look under her desk.
Henry questioned the girl’s motive, but thought nothing of it. He leaned over and looked under the desk.
This place is just a prison for children, where they’re forced to conform to society’s rules.
Henry glanced at the front of the room; the visiting math professor was still writing some more math problems on the blackboard. He continued his lecture about how to find solutions to equations with multiple variables.
Henry let out a mental sigh, wishing that class came to an abrupt end so he could enjoy the hot summer day outside. He looked around at his fellow classmates, many of them struggling to stay awake. One student, a brown-haired girl, locked eyes with him.
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.
I was still trying to recover from the embarrassment that happened on Monday. I never heard a response from William, so I have a feeling he thinks I’m crazy or weird. Honestly, I wouldn’t blame him–I’m somebody beneath his sophisticated caliber.
And on top of that, I haven’t seen him all day, so he must be avoiding me. Then again, I’ve been trying to avoid him myself. Maybe I was doing a good job of staying out of line of sight. I hope it stays that way for another week or two.
I needed to find Julia to see if maybe she saw him anytime today. I hope lunch today will be loud and busy enough to be a distraction, just in case William happened to be there.
I ignored her question, replying with one of my own, “Is he in here?”
“You’re really stuck on trying to avoid him as much as possible, huh?”
If she was in my position, Julia would want to do the same thing.