There are many manga in the world, and there are many manga cliches. At first, a reader might think, “I don’t have time for double-takes.”
Lesson one: Keep your mouth shut.
Lesson two: Disbelieve!
Lesson three: What is love?
Lesson four: Find perverted uses for your condition.
Lesson five: Pull out the tricks!
There’s something to be said about the conflation of emotional connectedness and shared physical sensation. Feeling the same things as someone else – both physical and emotional – is somehow profoundly intimate. Stripped down, this is the essence of the sex act.
The order of events is also very interesting here. Awkward meeting, being thrown together by circumstance, frivolous sexual taunting . . . and then serious conversation. It’s almost as if the preliminary sexualization of the relationship is a test, nothing more. Just a brief promise of things to come.
That, in a nutshell, is romance. Half and Half is forty pages, it’s decompressed in all the right places, and it tells the story of the love of one’s life. Is the simplicity of it a problem? No. It’s not some tortured story of wrongs and betrayals, and it doesn’t need to be. It just needs to be two people coming together, understanding one another, and coming to love one another.