Manga Title: Sweat and Soap
Author: Kintetsu Yamada
Genre: romantic comedy, Slice of life
Original run: June 21, 2018 – January 7, 2021
This review is based on my opinion after reading Volume 6 of this manga.
I thought that this was a hentai manga. I was wrong. Before I continue this is what this manga is about:
Asako Yaeshima is a timid office worker at Lilia Drop, a toiletry company. Asako loves the company because she is ashamed of her sweating problems and body odor. The scent of the soap produced by the company is the only thing capable of undermining her insecurities. However, when Kotaro Natori, the company’s lead product developer, approaches her and gets a deep whiff, he states that he loves Asako’s smell and finds her inspirational. As the two continue to meet for work, Asako begins to care less about being sniffed by Kotaro, and they start a romantic relationship.
That hentai judgment was based on that freaking book cover. Amazon kept on suggesting this manga to me since I read Wotakoi, maybe I want to read this manga too. I kept ignoring this up until the other day when I finally decided to read it. And I am surprisingly entertained by it.
I have to admit that the premise weirded me out when I started reading this. All the alarm bells are ringing in my head when I read about Natori’s intent of smelling Asako for the sake of producing ideas for the company’s winter product line. More so when Natori harassed Asako because he can’t control himself anymore. At least they’re both aware of how weird and wrong it is.
The story progression was quite fast and by, I think, the end of volume one, Asako and Natori are officially a couple. But storywise, I think they’ve known each other for at least a few weeks by then. And the rest of the manga is about them navigating this new relationship, complete with trying to get to know each other more. The whole thing about the sweat thing and soap was only an introduction to the love story.
And I am a fan of their relationship. It’s refreshing to read about the romance between these two since, them, trying to understand each other is quite reminiscent of what every new couple experiences. Yes, even the whole sex part. Don’t worry though, the sex scenes are not that explicit but it is still enough to have a Mature rating.
There are a couple of things that were explained further in the manga, including the reason why Natori’s got a strong sense of smell and why Asako is so guarded.
As of the last volume I read, I am looking forward to reading more of their love story.
I like both Asako and Natori as characters. I have to admit that it took some time for me to like Natori since again, he is weird.
Besides them, I actually like Asako’s boss, Jin Okura. He is just this wholesome boss that cares about his subordinates and is willing to lend an ear to anyone who wants to talk and as for advice, be it work or personal-related stuff. Reminds me of my boss when I worked at a bookstore. The rare kind of people.
I also like Asako’s mom and brother. Well, I think I like every side character in this manga.
The Art style
I like the art style of Yamada-sensei. It’s simple and quite ordinary looking but in a good way. Here are some for reference:
I can’t rate this manga yet since I still need to finish it. I will update this once I finish reading it. Overall, if you want to read something romantic and funny, give this one a read. Although I have to admit, I wasn’t a fan of how this manga started. You can go and try reading volume one, if you don’t like it then let it go. For me, I am glad that I gave this manga a chance.
What about you? Did you read this manga? What do you think?
There you go. That is it for me. I will go back to reading this manga on my dinner break from work. If you have any manga suggestions with the dame genre, please leave them in the comments section. Thank you!
Have a good day and I’ll talk to you again this weekend. Keep safe!