Manga Review | Change World by Yuu Minaduki



This review will contain spoilers for the and anime series Change World. While the manga may vary slightly from all other forms of media, it may have similar story elements and could be considered spoilers.

Content Warning: There may be references to strained familial relationships, slut-shaming, obsession, manipulation, sexual harassment, attempted blackmail, invasion of privacy, and sister complex, as it appears in the manga.


The sequel to Sayonara Game.

Ito and Arimura are in love and happy together. Their work often keeps them apart, but they find even the briefest moments to meet up and enjoy each other's company. Arimura wants more time with Ito and wants to move in together, but Ito isn't ready. Secretly, Ito takes cooking classes, tries to get over his hatred for peppers, and just generally tries to better himself so he can be confident in his ability to be a good partner for Arimura before they move in together. Everything is going well for the most part except for one thing: Ito's coworker.

Hozumi is way more touchy-feely than Ito would prefer, and he seems to have an intense fixation on him. Thankfully, Ito can ignore him for the most part until he and Arimura run into him outside of work. As it turns out, Hozumi knew Arimura in college, and after seeing Arimura and Ito interacting (and specifically seeing how Ito lends his precious engraved pen to Arimura), Hozumi puts two and two together. He knows Ito and Arimura are an item. When he's alone with Ito next, he lets Ito know that he is gay, too, and though he's sure Arimura and Ito are happy right now, he has no doubt that Arimura will leave Ito for a woman sooner or later. So, he feels that Ito should be with him instead.

Ito is sure Arimura wouldn't do that to him, but when Hozumi tells Arimura what he told Ito, Arimura begins to spiral. Arimura is terrified that Ito will believe Hozumi, and he feels he might be unable to prove his love to Ito. This insecurity builds and builds to the point that their once peaceful relationship threatens to crumble. Meanwhile, Ito is presented with an opportunity to work in the United States for a few years. So, even if they survive this tumultuous time, could their relationship survive the long distance?


The art feels much more grounded in this series than the initial one. It is still that more classic style that I'm not the biggest fan of, but it feels much more consistent this time around, which is a huge win. The tones don't feel as heavy-handed, and the art is much cleaner overall. I love reading an artist's work over time, as it reflects the growth of their style and ability, and this universe is an excellent representation of that. I think it also helps that we see more of Ito this time, including his introversion and gloom being played up with chibis and adorable little mushrooms. This series feels so much more expressive and speaks to me in ways that Sayonara Game‘s art didn't. It's still not my favorite style, but I appreciate the changes and growth.

Cover art for Change World by

Something else that changed from Sayonara Game to this series is the balance of the points of view. Sayonara Game really focused on Arimura changing and trying to come to terms with his feelings. It was very Arimura-heavy, so I was pleased to have more focus on Ito this time around. I adore the shy guy paired with an extroverted golden retriever type, and with this more balanced focus between the two, we really get to see this dynamic played out. The added humor that dynamic provides is also super refreshing. As I mentioned before, we get to see Chibi Ito a ton, and it's one of my favorite recurring moments throughout the series. Though this does deal with very serious topics and has a fair amount of , it remains pretty lighthearted overall, thanks, in part, to Ito's additional characterization, which makes it much more layered and interesting than Sayonara Game.

However, something I very much dislike is one aspect of the ‘gay for you' stories that manifest in this title. Arimura struggles with being straight, as he fears Ito will think he'll someday abandon him for a woman. I will say it's usually the person in Ito's position who is more insecure about this, so that's refreshing since he doesn't seem nearly as insecure as Arimura. However, I hate that Arimura continues to call himself straight and allows everyone else to do so, even when that causes him so much stress, and he doesn't intend on leaving his partner… a man. Pansexual, demisexual, bisexual, and I'm sure other sexual identity erasure is so strong in these stories. A lot of the insecurity could be resolved if there was some level of acceptance or exploration of a new identity. These ‘gay for you' stories really miss out on opportunities to grow the ‘straight' character and allow them to develop themselves individually rather than use this as a way to cause tension in the relationship.

Plus, the fact that Arimura takes this insecurity out on Ito by having rough sex, essentially punishing him for no reason, makes me sad, as it makes Ito feel like he's done something wrong. Again, taking advantage of this issue with identity and making it an opportunity to develop Arimura as a person would make so much more sense than using it as a tool to cause stress and harm to Ito and Arimura's relationship. I get it; we've got to have something for Hozumi to use to break in and create a scenario, but I don't think doubling down on Arimura being straight is the best way, at least for me. I'd love to someday see a ‘gay for you' story turn into a sexual identity exploration subplot, but this wasn't the one to do it (I'll just write it myself, I guess, haha). Ultimately, it seems Arimura still identifies as a straight man, and, oddly enough, Ito identifies as gay because he's only ever loved Arimura, not because he likes men (which, as a pansexual, feels like it could be some form of pansexuality, or at the very least Arimura-sexuality). I just really want more thorough explorations of sexual identity in BL rather than maintaining that a man is forever straight if he's never dated a man before the main love interest, but that's just me. And just to be clear, everyone's sexuality is their own personal business. I am solely commenting on a fictional character being used as a way to explore more diverse sexualities beyond the ‘gay for you' straight man trope.


I liked this so much more than Sayonara Game. As expected of the longer length, we have so much more time to develop characters, flesh out the plot into something more substantial, and make room for the sex I like so much, haha. Ito was truly the star of the show for me in this title, which was a breath of fresh air when compared to the previous entry in this universe. If you loved Sayonara Game, I imagine you will adore this. If it left you wanting, I feel this will sate you. I recommend it.

Have you read Change World? If so, what do you think? Do you agree with my assessment? Do you not? Let me know, and comment below!

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