Manga Review | Raveled Tightrope Knot Retie by Ship Hita



This review will contain spoilers for the and anime series Raveled Tightrope Knot Retie. 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 mentions of cheating (not between the main couple), coming out, death, mentions of workplace explosion, and homomisia (specifically erasure and unwillingness to believe someone is gay), as it appears in the manga.


This is the sequel to Raveled Tightrope Knot.

Haruomi and Natsuki struggled to be together, but now that they are, it should be smooth sailing. And for the most part, it is. That is until Natsuki gets a 6-month placement for work that will take him out of Tokyo and away from Haruomi. But they have withstood 10 years of pain and pining, so what's six months? While they're confident their relationship can withstand the distance, the two take full advantage of their time before they have to separate, and they do so by enjoying each other physically. But when the day finally comes, it's not long after that they realize just how hard can be.

Misunderstandings, misinterpretations, and loneliness begin to rock the steady Haruomi and Natsuki ship. The two fight but end up reconciling relatively quickly. While they're not happy being apart, they're sure they can make it work. But the distance isn't the only problem brewing for the couple. Haruomi plans to come out to his family, hoping to eventually introduce them to his beloved boyfriend. Meanwhile, Natsuki is offered a chance to travel to the United States for a multi-year placement. Sure, they can make it through these 6-months of distance, but can their relationship handle any further pressure?


is a really hit-or-miss artist for me. Their art isn't the most consistent in the world, but it isn't terrible by any means. Unfortunately, like with the initial title, I hate Haruomi's hairstyle. It looks super awkward, particularly the longer money pieces in the front. It sometimes looks like he's wearing a wig when he is certainly not. He is stunning, though, as always, and, just like in the first one, he's very pretty during the sex scenes. Unfortunately, we don't see a ton of him during those scenes since he's usually face-first in the bed, but that has its own beauty to it, I suppose. I do wish there was more variety in the sex scenes and positions, but this is an , and they like what they like, so who am I to judge? Otherwise, the art is much more consistent this time around, which I am all for.

Cover art for Raveled Tightrope Knot Retie by

Now, this is a really weird point to make, but it's such a subtle touch that I absolutely adore. Haruomi is a bottom who is slightly taller than our top Natsuki. There are a few panels where Haruomi and Natsuki are embracing, and the artist does a great job of highlighting that very slight difference. While the general art style or character designs might not be my favorite, those small details mean a ton to me and really add to the atmosphere of this much more slow-going, lovey-dovey, and fluffy title. Plus, I love a taller bottom, so I was going to like it regardless, but seeing this detail highlighted really brings me all the joy. I could see 1,000 more panels of just those moments, and I would still be kicking my feet and giggling over how cute it was. I love it.

While we are on the topic of things I love, I love the ambiance and tone of this. The first title was much darker and broody, with many outside variables coming in to cause havoc and bring our boys together (or tear them apart). However, this title does a complete 180, which was such a refreshing decision. This really takes its time, making the sex extremely sensual and intimate rather than smutty and frantic (though I would like either). It's a gradual build of lovey-dovey fluff, then meanders just as gradually into the uncertainty and stress a long-distance relationship can cause. Then it ends with a lovely depiction of perceived self-sacrifice that doesn't feel sacrificial to the individual. Every narrative beat is equally paced with the last. It isn't fast-paced and action-packed in any sense of the term, but that's what's great about it. It's a gentle and gradual look at how a couple deals with significant life changes. This does rely heavily on misunderstandings, though I think it makes total sense in this case, as it's based more on how tone can be misread in texts, so a casual conversation from one person may seem like an attack to the other. I've experienced this misunderstanding, and it feels so realistic. Even if you dislike misunderstandings as plot devices, I think this one is worth giving a shot.

Before I close out, I want to discuss that self-sacrifice I briefly mentioned. Natsuki is offered a chance to work in the United States for three years, which would, obviously, extend the time they would be separated. Being his kind and supportive partner, Haruomi is willing to wait for Natsuki as he doesn't want to hold Natsuki back. But, in a beautiful moment of “self-sacrifice,” Natsuki says he's not going to do it. However, it isn't self-sacrifice as far as Natsuki is concerned. He's doing it for himself because he doesn't want to be away from Haruomi (cue the aws). It's so freaking sweet, and it immediately takes away all guilt and pressure off Haruomi. Natsuki wants Haruomi more than he wants to take his career international, and he knows Haruomi so well he makes sure to emphasize that it's his choice and is for him, not Haruomi, so Haruomi doesn't feel like he's holding Natsuki back. I adore this little mini-arc and the message behind it. It really highlights how well they know each other and, in turn, that every decision they make to be together is because each individual wants to be together, not because they want to appease the other. It was such a nice touch.


I really like this. I think I like it even more than I did the first entry. It's a huge tonal shift but in the best way. If you liked the darkness of the first, you might find this rather boring, but if you want to read the first before this one, be mindful that the tone is much darker and more violent. Thankfully, as emphasized in the author's notes, this was written with the idea that it could be read as a standalone. I can't speak to how successful that is, as I did read the first one before this title, but I think it might be worth giving a shot if you're not looking for gritty broody manga. I wouldn't call it a favorite, but this was a nice, light palate cleanser between all the darker titles I've been reading lately. I recommend it.

Have you read Raveled Tightrope Knot Retie? 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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