I Hear the Sunspot by Yuki Fumino

I Hear the Sunspot (2017) is a touching, heartwarming manga about the relationship between two male college students. Kohei, who is hard of hearing and knows he may eventually become deaf, deliberately keeps everyone at arm’s length because he is tired of the insensitive ways people often react to his disability. Taichi, who is struggling to make ends meet, sees Kohei’s ad looking for a notetaker to help him in class and agrees to take the job in exchange for lunch every day. Kohei quickly finds himself drawn to Taichi’s outgoing personality, and their friendship, which slowly evolves into a romance, begins to change his outlook on life.

Yuki Fumino did an excellent job of portraying hearing loss sensitively, while at the same time clearing up common misconceptions, such as the idea that all deaf and hard of hearing people understand sign language. The plot is simple and the romance is subtle: the main focus here is on character growth. It’s a great choice if you're looking for a light, sweet coming-of-age story that’s a quick read.

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Gretchen M