Warning: Lots of spoilers, I cannot avoid narrating some parts, sorry. It’s my favorite as well so I was kinda talkative >_>
Illumination is a three part story. The first one is simple. Gay guy is in a unrequited love with his (straight) guy best friend for many years already and eventually this gay guy meets another gay guy who falls in love with him. Simple right? Nah-uh. What I definitely love in the first story was that in a certain sexuality, one may lean to the homosexuality, one may dislike the idea of leaning to homosexuality and one that stays in his comfort zone. There’s also the idea of choosing the best option which will make everyone satisfied. But in this case, Mikita Ryuuji(the one with unrequited love) chooses to be alone rather than grabbing the chance Koya Naomi gave him to make sure that his feelings IS love. But Sudo Kiyotoshi(whom Mikita slept with once) comes along and confesses that he loves Mikita. It’s a messed up love triangle. No one is supposed to be happy and sad. Nobody here has left something behind. And with Miki’s decision, they are back from where they started. But in a different kind of situation. I also loved how Yamashita Tomoko concentrated on each character here. It’s not unique but the narration and dialog is definitely priceless.
The second story is beautiful as well. I love how one states that there’s something more than love. There’s something more than happiness and there’s something more than sadness. The meaning is deep. Yamashita Tomoko allows our minds to flow freely in this one. And there’s also the setting, it’s in contrast. It’s winter and yet they were in the veranda sipping a cup of coffee. Kind of telling the readers that even though one may dislike something so much it wouldn’t even hurt to just stay as is. There’s freedom in every person. Also, the discussion was failed love and regret. It didn’t point out that they were in love. Once again, it’s up to you.
The third story was in a girl’s perspective, Nakahisa. I love how natural the story is delivered. She’s supposed to be in love with Akai and here’s Tokame, a light music club member, whom she thinks is gay. “I realized it one day, Tokame looked at Akai with the same gaze as I did.” This line was striking. There’s suspense in her words. But in contrast of what she thought, she began befriending Tokame and thinks that Tokame’s love for Akai is greater than hers. Which in my opinion is never true, in most cases so to speak. One cannot love another greater than anyone who can love him.(Did I make sense?*facedesk*)Anyway, Nakahisa is one of the greatest narrators for a BL. And if I’m not mistaken, she’s the first one I’ve encountered that did a narration.
The fourth story was of Shichibe Youhei and his childhood friend. Again with the simple plot but with a deep meaning. Relationship is focused here but not just with one but with many, particularly with 5 people. In life there are circumstances when even the smallest thing we have done for a person is brought to the heavens until he dies. It is safe and locked in his memories that little thing that you did.
The last story didn’t leave a big impression to me. Sorry.
That’s all. (scrolls up) WOW WHAT DID I JUST DO?! So long…