I actually read these out of order, which I can’t recommend. Sayonara Game is the first, followed by Change World. Things will make far more sense, if you read them that way. Trust me. Because there is a lot of emotional plot.
The basic story of Sayonara Game is that Arimura accidentally hires an old high school acquaintance to tutor his younger sister. Arimura doesn’t even really remember this guy, Itou, but Itou has been harboring a big time crush on his sempai since their days together on the baseball team.
The younger sister, of course, thinks Itou is hot and puts her older brother on trying to find out stuff about him.
The scene of their attempt to have a conversation is actually a little to real:
Itou actually makes a love confession that Arimura accepts because, at the point that it all comes out, as it were, Arimura has come to understand that he feels something towards Itou.
What that SOMETHING is, however, is the complicating factor.
Itou is fairly convinced, even though Arimura is totally willing to try the sex-thing, that Arimura is kind of just faking it to be nice.
Arimura, however, I think it having a moment that is queerer than it seems on the surface. At one point, and it may even be in the sequel, Change World, Arimura is talking to his younger sister and kind of lamenting the fact that everything about Itou is crazy-making. Not in the, “you’re driving me nuts,” kind of way, but more the “I can’t stop thinking about EVERYTHING he does, even when he’s not with me” way.
She looks him in the eye and says, “You’ve never really been in love before, have you?”
As someone, like Arimura, who dated the opposite sex a LOT before falling for that first woman really HARD, I get this moment on a profound level.
I liked dating men. Really, they were fun. I found them attractive. Kissing was okay. All that. But, I was always emotionally distant in a way that gave me power. If the guy pressured me for sex, I felt no compulsion to give in because, frankly, he ALWAYS wanted me way, way more than I wanted him. We’d break up, someone would call me a tease, I’d laugh, and find my next boyfriend.
Because: I DID NOT care.
First lady I fell for? Holy sh*t, had she said, I will spend five more seconds with you if you rob that bank for me, I’d be planning the heist INSTANTLY.
It was crazy, the difference.
So, the mangaka NAILED this experience for me. The sequel is kind of all about the insecurities of being GAY AF and having a partner who you’re just not sure is as gay as you are, which is, also, as the kids say: highly relatable content.
So, I enjoyed both of these manga (which are each complete in one volume). There is a lovely amount of sexy times at the end of Sayonara Game, so that’s excellent. However, if you are just NOT into all the queer drama, you might want to skip this one. It is highly talk-y.