Manga Review: Bonnouji by Eda Aki

Manga Review: Bonnouji by Eda AkiBonnouji by Eda Aki
Published by Media Factory on 2008
Genres: Contemporary, Humor, Romance
Format: eBook
Source: Scanlation

Fate brings two people who live in the same condo together on a typical afternoon. Ozawa (26) has just broken up with her boyfriend of five years and was in the process of trying to rebuild her life when she meets Oyamada who lives a couple floors below her. He is somewhat of a loner although he does have a few friends and his room is cluttered with all the random stuff that his impulse shopper brother sends him. Ozawa takes an interest with all the things in his room and the two start a friendship that slowly turns into something more.

I read a lot of manga, but I’m not reviewing them all, mostly just the really popular, terrible or wonderful ones. Because priorities, right? Anyway, I totally didn’t have high expectations for this Bonnouji, which is apparently also known as Worldly Desires Temple. Actually, I think I rarely start manga with high expectations, because there’s basically never any way of knowing what you’re going to get when you start one. Bonnouji has precisely the sort of story that I’ve been craving: one about people in their early twenties trying to figure life out.

Man, I really hope they make a jdrama of this. So Bonnouji is about people in there upper twenties. The heroine, Ozawa, has just been dumped by her boyfriend of five years, and is kind of at a loss. She expected that she would be getting married, but now she’s single for the first time in so long. Ozawa bumps into a guy in her building, Oyamada, and is fascinated by his weird room. The two develop a friendship and eventually a romance.

What I love is sort of how unromantic the romance is. Ozawa and Oyamada are both really weird, and that’s why they work. Being in love doesn’t change either of them. Oyamada doesn’t get a makeover to be cooler; he’ll probably always wear giant glasses that dominate his face. They strike up this friendship, in which they’re constantly playing weird games (not dirty – get your minds out of the gutter) and getting drunk. They love each other for who they really are, and I ship it. Actually, this is one of the rare instances where I totally believe a relationship where the couple doesn’t fight.

So Bonnouji is the name of Oyamada’s apartment. They think of it as a magical place, and it kind of is, because anything goes. When she first sees it, Oyamada has porn all over the place, along with a ton of random bric-a-brac. He tells her why, and it sounds like such a lie but it’s actually not. Oyamada’s older brother is traveling around and sends Oyamada strange and interesting things he finds on his journeys, including a whole lot of porn. Where most girls would have seen the room and gone running, Ozawa is amused and offers Oyamada her ex-boyfriend’s secret porn stash she found after the breakup. Of course, she’s also charmed by Oyamada’s collection of toys and alcohol.

The characters of Bonnouji spend a lot of time drunk. Considering that the drunken honesty scenes in kdramas are my favorite thing ever, is it any wonder that I loved this? Bonnouji has such a realistically quirky depiction of life and it’s just so cute. It’s pretty short, sadly, but it made me ship the sort of romance that I usually don’t, and I’m so touched by this adorable story.

Aside from the whimsical nature of the apartment and the gifts from the brother, it’s totally real life. The characters have jobs, which stress them out, thus the after work drinking. They’re incredibly strange, but it’s not like they’re not managing to function as real people. They’re living mature, adult lives during the day and being silly and awesome at night. Basically, this is the best adult life can be. :-p

Now to go see what else Eda Aki has written because I NEED IT.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

Coffee Prince adorable couple

4 responses to “Manga Review: Bonnouji by Eda Aki”

  1. Okay this sounds SUPER ADORABLE. (Why yes, I am catching up on my Feedly, move along.) I neeeeeeed to get back into reading manga, but I never know where to start. I kind of always limited myself to the high school mangas, but this sounds awesome! I shall add it to my list…

    …I shall make a manga to-read list…

    Debby (Snuggly Oranges) recently posted…2014 FavoritesMy Profile

  2. Readterest says:

    Yasss! the Bonnouji drunken scenes are the best!

  3. Baca Manga says:

    Bonnouji is the best one I ever read.

  4. Great manga. Love this so much…
    Truyen tranh 18 recently posted…SS SistersMy Profile

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