Ase to Sekken, あせとせっけん
Genre: Romantic Comedy, Slice of life, Seinen
Written By: Kintetsu Yamada
Magazine: D Morning/Morning
It’s Manga Monday!!!
Any time there is a manga where the main character isn’t so perfect and well put together, I’m on board. People often describe me as a ‘realistic’ person because I don’t live in a dreamland. I know the world sucks and is an evil place. I also know that there’s no such thing as a perfect person and we all have our own problems. The best thing is when characters aren’t struggling along and have someone in their corner. What I enjoyed about this series so far is that it’s pretty wholesome, minus those adult moments, but you’re just rooting for the main couple as much as possible.
The main character Asako Yaeshima is timid and shy due to her having a sweating issue and body odor. Ironically, she works at a toiletry company called Lilia Drop where they produce different products such as soap, shampoo, etc. Smelling those scents seem to be the only thing that calms her down. That is until she met Kotaro Naotori, the lead product developer. Their first encounter is beyond strange as he is able to smell her sweet scent she exudes. After this, the two have even more strange (but sort of wholesome) encounters and eventually develop a romantic relationship.
The first volume focuses on us getting to know our characters, Yaeshima was bullied as a child due to her body odor and profuse sweating so she was never confident in herself. The double edged sword here is that she starts to get out of her shell a little more when she meets Naotori. I say double edged because, while I do love a good romance story, I think it would have been more beneficial for the character to develop some confidence on her own first.
But, this is just the first volume. Naotori is able to tell her scent apart from others and even when her mood changes. For example, he says her scent is more ‘pointy’ when she’s sad. This is how he was able to tell she was lying to him about not being bothered by something when they had lunch together. Could be true love, could be a little stalkerish, I don’t know. I mean he really just wants to sniff her all day. It really sounds so weird but also sweet.
There’s also some, um, *cough* sexy times *cough* happening. Now, it’s not like full on smut or anything. You can still read it in public (maybe in a dark café corner) but it’s a nice moderate amount. Overall, the story is interesting and I’m loving the characters so far.
The two main characters we get to meet are:
Sweet and timid, Asako Yaeshima has always sweated profuseley and had body odor. This made her the target of bullies growing up and grew her insecurities. She currently works in the finance department of toiletry company, Lilia Drop.
Naotori has a nose of a genius. Able to discern certain scents, he’s also the lead developer of production and creates a lot of soaps and fragrances Asako loves. He is also attracted to Asako’s body scent and often smells her for motivation.
- Naotori runs across town just to get Yaeshima to his home to smell her
As someone who also struggles with profuse sweating, this manga was a godsend! It’s embarrassing to talk about but having that representation is so reassuring. I was right beside her through everything, the bringing an extra undershirt, packing extra deodorant and sprays, I even have a hand towel just in case I start sweating on my face! It’s really just become a habit at this point but that doesn’t make it any less annoying.
Now, there were a few thoughts I had with Yaeshima’s issue. I’m not sure if it’s on purpose but she seems to think she has body odor. Naotori wants to sniff her all the time. If something stinks, you’d try to avoid it as best as possible right? Initially, I thought maybe it’s just a psychological thing? Maybe it’s a symptom of anixiety? But let’s not try to be medical doctors. A lot of people assume if you sweat you also smell which isn’t always the case. Also, she seems to give off different scents depending on her mood.
Or, Naotori just has an advanced nose and is the only one who can distinguish her scent. It’s kind of sweet and creepy at the same time. I have high hopes for this series and can’t wait to keep reading! For this volume I’m giving it a perfect rating of 5/5 Onigiri.
If you’d like to grab the first volume while it’s on sale, you can also click the link below!
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