We didn’t look at each other for the rest of the night, eating our food in silence. Whenever the waiter came over to check on us we spoke for ourselves, never acknowledging the other. It was the same way when we ordered more food and desserts: no eye contact, no communication.
As I was eating my way through my steak, that’s when I came to the realization, “Holy shit, everything’s being charged to my card…”
After a never-ending war of silence, I looked at Sarah and said “You’ll have to chip in on the bill.”
There was a strange silence between the two of us after airing out some small grievances. Aside from the loud chatter from the other patrons around us, the only sound we made was the clang from silverware hitting our plates.
Wanting to reach a common ground, I began to speak while I moved a meatball around with a fork, “I think we took things a bit further this time.”
Sarah glared at me, “It only started because you said my ass was big.”
“It’s true. It’s not my fault that everything you eat goes straight there.”
The waiter brought us our food, most of what’s on the platter going over to Sarah’s half of the table. Steak, baked potatoes, macaroni and cheese, the works—all of that was just for her. All I had in front of me was just a simple plate of pasta and a side of breadsticks.
“Do you really plan on eating all that, woman?” I blatantly asked.
“Think I can’t?” she replied.
“With that big mouth, it’s possible.”
“Too bad I can’t say the same thing about your dick.”
I stepped out of the clinic, using my hand to block the sun from getting in my eyes. The crisp air filled my lungs as I walked towards the train station, wanting to go home.
I blended into the early afternoon rush crowd, swiping my card to get through the turnstile. I saw my train approaching the platform and I weaved through everybody to grab a seat for my long ride home.
As I rocked with the motion of the train, I got an email on my phone: “Don’t forget to schedule your appointment for next year.”
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.