Greetings! I’ve been planning to write about Thanat’s works for a long while, and at first, the idea was to write about a general post that focuses on the themes, stylistic, and narrative choices. But there’s a lot to say about Thanat, and I thought I could do their works better justice if I focused on them individually. Hence:
Title: Perfect Fit
Author & Artist: Thanat
Status: Completed, two volumes.
Where to read: On Futekiya.
One of the earliest things we’ve learned as children is, staring is wrong. I’m sure Mashimo got the same warning from elders once or twice in his life. Yet, he can’t help but bear holes in Tanaka, the graduate student at the lab where Mashimo is thinking of applying once he graduates, when he notices no hand is sticking out from one of the sleeves of Tanaka’s lab coat. He assumes he came to his senses quickly enough, but Tanaka doesn’t miss the chance to tease Mashimo. Taking out his arm, he asks: Are you curious? Do you want to touch it?
That’s scary and weird enough of a first encounter, but when Mashimo asks around about Tanaka in the department, everyone is smitten with him. He’s kind, bright, a hard worker, and a big help around the lab. Mashimo reasons that their encounter was Tanaka’s way of keeping the conversation going. But when, by chance, he sees Tanaka hanging out with friends in front of a bar, strikingly different from how he is at the lab, Mashimo is thrown back into his confused self. Just what kind of person is Tanaka? And how is Mashimo going to deal with all his teasing and strong personality?
The first volume tells the story of Tanaka and Mashimo getting together, while the second focuses on Tanaka’s past, how the relationship progresses, and their friend circles. Now, where do I start praising Perfect Fit? Thanat’s works have a particular ‘indie movie’ feel to them; not sure if that makes sense. From friendships to relationships to conversations to the narrative, everything flows so naturally. Especially friends and female characters are treated as dearly as the couple’s development, and surrounding the main couple with believable circumstances, events, and people, puts the romantic relationship in a more down-to-earth context. And Thanat’s delivery manages to bring everything together seamlessly.
They also manage to keep a very delicate balance when it comes to Tanaka. He is neither his disability solely, nor the disability is ignored to paint him as “perfectly normal”. Of course, there are insensitive comments that have been haunting him, but his past experiences never come off as excuses in an “Oh, but he’s been through that, what can you do, sad face,” way. He’s his own person; quirky, pushy at times, but overall a very intriguing and charismatic character. Mashimo, on the other hand, is the slower of the two and has a hard time keeping up with Tanaka’s experience. Nevertheless, he tries his best to be earnest with Tanaka and try to understand him, alongside his own feelings.
Reading Thanat’s works brought me back to times where I would become infatuated with the person behind the works I loved as I found myself thinking Thanat must be an immensely cool person in real life. Like that mesmerizing yet hard-to-approach person you come across at a bar who’s the center of attention without even trying to. Well, glad to know I still have that part of my youth in me.
Overall, I cannot recommend Perfect Fit enough, or any other series from them for that matter. Futekiya currently has 5 series in their library, all of them completed except Sneaky Red. I’m waiting excitedly for the 4th volume! If you are looking for a series that is different from the usual BL titles in its narrative style and character design, and the points I highlighted above work for you, then Perfect Fit is the way to go. There’s also a really interesting interview that can provide some insight into the artist, along with questions from the fans. When I’ve read the part where they mentioned how important the rhythm is to a story, my love for their story-telling suddenly made a lot of sense.
What do you think? I hope you’ll give Thanat a chance because I personally find lots to explore and have fun in the meantime. Let me know in the comments if there are any questions or things you’ve like to add and if not, see you next week!
Header source: Thanat’s Twitter
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