Translation: Caleb Cook, Rachel J. Pierce
What They Say
Growing up in the same apartment complex, Yuuki and Natsuha have known each other forever. They’ve been friends for so long that everyone just assumes they’re a couple! But as they both approach the final stretch of high school, they get a silly, totally-not-serious idea— what if they actually started dating? What a ridiculous thing to say! Unless…?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Yuuki and Natsuha has known each other since they were children. One day during lunch, Natsuha drops a bombshell on Yuuki: she wants to break up. Yuuki is surprised because he was unaware they were dating. Natsuha, it turns out, has feelings for Yuuki, but is so confident that a relationship with him wouldn’t work out that it would be easier to skip the whole dating process and just break up at the start. Instead, Yuuki suggests that they simply start dating now, and thus the journey of this couple doing things together for the first time begins.
I would personally not be surprised to learn that “15 Minutes Before Dating” started as a webcomic (turns out it started on Twitter before it became X). The chapters are concise and focus on the minutes before major milestones in the two characters’ relationships take place (First Date, hand-holding, etc). While there are a couple of supporting characters that do get some significant presence on the pages later in the book, for the most part, the book revolves around the two lead characters as they navigate through this new area in their life.
Though complicated it is not, the stories are charming and the two make for a cute couple that you want to root for. Even a live rival is so impressed with the two that she vows to wish for their success (even if it means she ultimately loses in that scenario). “15 Minutes Before We Date” will not be a breakout hit, but I suspect it will be a personal favorite for people who love stories about young love (like I do), and for those people it is an easy recommendation!
Content Grade: B+
Art Grade: A-
Text/Translation Grade: A
Age Rating: Teen
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: November 21, 2023