Okay so, I still want to spam you all with lots of Otomen panels because they are all gorgeous, I just got distracted with plenty of other things, coff.
But, I’ve been wanting to mention this particular panel because. Look, it’s, what the first chapter? And Juta and Asuka barely know each other (well, more Asuka than Juta, since Juta has been ~watching~ for a while) so they’re not even friends by then. It’s just. Juta is interested in Asuka because he inspires him to write. He has found his muse and wants to make him engage in things that will be profitable to his story. Juta is being selfish as hell. He’s helping Asuka, yes, he tells him to be himself and to be honest with himself and to be honest in front of the one he loves. There’s a very fine line over here because, like I said, Juta is being selfish. He motivates Asuka because it’s something he needs to happen. But. He ends up caring. Not this very moment, but maybe there’s already a spark of friendship somewhere poking at him and so I find these words so very, let’s say ironic, because here is Juta telling Asuka to be honest, not to lie to someone he cares about, and he’s being a complete and total hypocrite about it.
Okay, this may sound like Juta-bashing, which couldn’t be FARTHER FROM THE TRUTH, since I love Juta with my very soul, I love and adore him and he’s one of my muses and I find him so very fascinating and interesting and lovable and charming and everything that is good. But, see. Juta tells this to Asuka in chapter one. And then Juta and Asuka start becoming more than acquaintances, more than classmates, more than a writer and his muse: they become best friends. And yes, even though Juta started all of this for his very own selfish needs, he learns to care for Asuka (because how couldn’t you, I mean look at him) and then it’s not only about inspiration, though that motivation is always somewhere in his mind because he can’t help it, but it’s also because he really wants to help, he really wants to see Asuka happy, specially happy with himself, without feeling any guilt or regret about who he is.
So it turns out that these very words that Juta said to him once upon a time when it was only a way to get an interesting story to complete his monthly deadline become ironic in his very life, because guess what. He’s lying to Asuka. He’s been lying to Asuka all along and he keeps lying to Asuka to this very day, and the thing is. He cares for Asuka, of course. He cares for him deeply. Like I said, he’s his very best friend. I’m sure he was all surprised when he realized that hey, it stopped being only about his story for a while and he really does mean the things he says.
So. I don’t even know if I had a point with all this rant, but. It’s something that really stands out when rereading, because it turns out being one of those ‘do what I say and not what I do’ cases. And I know that it’s killing him. I MEAN YOU CAN SEE IT in those chapters where he has to pretend to be Jewel and Asuka is realizing little by little that Juta is hiding something from him and he may have an idea but he’s not sure and in any case he wants Juta to tell him himself because he will wait, he will keep waiting until the moment Juta’s ready because that’s what friends are for.
Ugh these two kill me can you tell.
Putting this here because hnnnng Juta and Asuka’s friendship. And because Otomen tl;dr = win.