Title: Senobi no Housoku (The Rule of Standing on Tiptoe)
Author: Puku Okuyama (Story and Art)
Genres: Shounen-Ai, Slice of Life, Romance, Comedy, School Life
Volumes: 1 (oneshot)
Japanese Publisher: Craft magazine (Taiyo Tosho)
English Publisher: Digital Manga Guild
Available to Purchase in English?: Yes (online only)
I had another title I was planning on covering for my first Manga Monday post, but then this adorable manga came at me out of the blue and knocked me into a sugar drift of sweetness, so surprise!
While I used to own a volume of shounen-ai manga (though I couldn’t read it due to my subpar comprehension of Japanese), I’d never really sat down and *read* anything categorized as shounen-ai from start to finish. Then the other day I came across The Rule of Standing on Tiptoe rather randomly, and after seeing how cute the characters looked I decided to give the manga a try. I’m glad I did, because I was definitely not disappointed!
The Rule of Standing on Tiptoe starts with high school sophomore student Kosuke being run over by a tall guy on a bicycle on his way to school. When Kosuke arrives at his classroom, it turns out the guy who crashed into him is the new student in class. Raku Kunugiya is a brunette, good looking, and very popular with the girls, leaving Kosuke initially slightly jealous because he is the polar opposite of Raku (blond, and not a girl magnet unless they’re giggling over how small-animal-cute he looks). To make their differences even more apparent, Kosuke clocks in at 4’11”, and Raku is a full foot taller than him. In addition to Kosuke’s small size, due to the way the last part of his name is written, Kosuke acquires the nickname Ham-chan. This is why there are numerous hamster references throughout the story and they’re all so cute. ?~(????)
However Raku has a secret, one which Kosuke quickly picks up on. Raku asks Kosuke to keep it to himself, and the latter agrees. The two guys quickly become friends, but as the school year passes they find themselves starting to notice the other more often as they grow closer together. Hijinks and comedic scenes help give them the occasional nudge forward, and what’s this about a rival trying to help move their relationship along??
I think what sold me the most about this title is that it’s so well-done and believable, something I look for when I’m reading/watching a romance series that revolves around relationships. Raku and Kosuke begin as friends, but their progression to something more is gradual, until at the very end- well, you’re just going to have to read it to see how the very sweet finale plays out, and what the actual rule for standing on tiptoe is.
I did also appreciate that nothing about their relationship felt forced, something which I feel is all too common in many romance series. Even though it feels like (to me personally) that one of the two male leads has a firmer grasp on their feelings than the other, both Kosuke and Raku are tentative in the progression of their friendship, very hesitant to say or do anything that might hurt or push the other away. It leaves the reader with the impression that both characters genuinely care for each other.
Another plus is that the artwork is easy on the eyes, and I love the little details which are penciled into the background. It’s a very “casual” style, but it suits the story perfectly.
My only criticism for this title is that it’s not longer. Seriously, why is this only a oneshot?! *cries*
My Score: 10/10
Do I Recommend This Title?: Hell yes! It’s a great manga on its own, and I think it also serves as a good introduction to shounen-ai for those who haven’t read much/anything from the genre before.