Yuki Yamamuro has been praised as a natural talent for acting and, even though he was introduced to this career in a rather unexpected way, managed maintain his popularity in the business for a long time. However, it's a reality that eventually all flowers shall wilt. He became aware of his decaying glory while interacting with the young rising star Mitsuru Sawaki. They were double cast for the same character in a play and it was pretty obvious who did the best interpretation. Now Yuki is feeling so restless that he wants to hinder his opponent's opportunities. A pretty bad decision for him since the youngster turned out to be shrewder than he thought.
Mizutashi Takana and Mamamara Ellie created a story filled with the tension and fighting spirit of the perfect rivals. A nice atmosphere for an intriguing and surprising passion to develop between the characters. Although the actors didn't actually challenge each other, it feels like they made a tacit arrangement; surely sparks fly when they interact, whether in their personal or professional lives, until the point you can feel the tension. I found that sort of natural but mysterious rivalry enticing.
We see most of the story from Yuki's point of view, so that might enhance the effect. While Yuki is only trying to sort out his own value and the meaning of his situation, Sawaki's intentions are not very clear. Yuki is the sort of insecure person to look for reassurance in the form of a petty arrangement with his manager, he needs people to tell him how good he is. Sawaki, on the other hand, stands in his own feet; he seems to really want to annoy or even destroy Yuki, mocking his lack of talent, his withering fame and his weak behavior. Still, in the end, Sawaki's provocations might prove to be the very best medicine for Yuki's problems.
Double Cast was surprisingly enjoyable for me. And I say surprisingly because I am not into this type of art. Mamamara Ellie's style is pretty distinctive, long-limbed characters and marked lips, along with rather squared body forms. Certainly not beautiful for me, and the backgrounds are also kind of lacking. However, it seems that the combination of a rather odd character design with the fairly good story, made their expressions, and even their pouty lips, look sexier than expected. It also added to my favorite presentation in boys love; two sexy alluring and though-acting men being swept by love. It turned into a really pleasant read.
Aside from that nice atmosphere, filled with tension, there was something else that made me appreciate this story a bit more. That is, Sawaki's poetry comments, or rather his insistence on comparing Yuki to a flower. It was certainly made to infuse an artistic feeling to the story, rather than a tacky one, and the purpose was achieved; I can't stop thinking about the flower metaphor every time I look to its cover. There are several implications that give a special meaning to Yuki and Sawaki's connection, giving some depth to their relationship, but it's better to leave those to the readers.
I would recommend Double Cast to those that want to read something light but not superficial. This manga manages to be enjoyable with little twists, sexy without being explicit (almost shounen-ai) and it leaves you with some small facts of life to consider along the way. However, it certainly needed deepening on the characters' personalities and maybe more sexy interactions between them; there is some potential for more of this sizzling romance. Definitely not a remarkable read but still good.
Special thanks to eManga who providing the digital copy for this review.