Manga Review | Sayonara Game by Yuu Minaduki



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

Trigger Warning: There may be references to sexism, sister complex, relationship between a boss and employee (not the main couple), bullying, gossiping, self-deprecation, encouraging a relationship between a minor and an adult (not the main couple), overwork, parental pressure, homomisia, break ups, mentions of cheating (not the main couple), and comments on a person's weight (specifically weight loss), as it appears in the manga.


This is the 1st entry in a shared world created by . Each entry or series is self-contained but it's recommended to be read in order for the best experience.

Arimura Ikuo adores his younger sister and wants what's best for her. As the college exams near, he's determined to ensure she has the best chance at getting into the college of her dreams. Unfortunately, his plans go awry when his kohai, who has been tutoring his sister, has to bow out. Thankfully, the friend has another mutual classmate he offers to tutor her in his stead. He is Yosuke Ito, another of Arimura's kohai who also played on their high school baseball team. While Arimura fondly recalls much of his high school baseball career, he doesn't remember Yosuke, but that doesn't matter all that much. As long as Yosuke can help his sister study, he's happy with almost anyone.

Yosuke is a bit standoffish and quiet but is otherwise acceptable. With his sister squared away, Arimura can focus on his own issue: his work crush. Arimura is popular and successful at his job, but he's not all that confident when it comes to . So, when he finds out the object of his affection is being pursued by the chief at work, he encourages her to be with his rival rather than try and fight for her. Though it was his decision, he's heartbroken and bemoans his poor luck in finding love. As it turns out, Yosuke happens to be at his house, and he has been most days as he helps Arimura's sister prep for exams. But Arimura also notices Yosuke's attention is often on Arimura himself. And, in turn, Arimura finds himself watching Yosuke. The tension is high, and Arimura soon realizes this is another crush.

Unfortunately, his rival in love this time is his very own sister. His sister has been doing her best to seduce Yosuke, and though Arimura isn't willing to give his sister over to someone, he also finds himself not wanting to give Yosuke up to anyone, either. Can Arimura stop his self-sabotaging ways, or will he say ‘sayonara' to another potential partner?


The art in this is cute. I wouldn't say it blows me away, but it's very consistent, which I am a big fan of. I am also happy to say that the sex scenes are uncensored (my fellow degenerates rejoice), but there are very few scenes to speak of. I'm pleased to say the few scenes we do get look great, so that is a huge win. Back to the art style, though, it sort of gives me old-school 90s to early 00s vibes, but cleaner and more refined. It just has a nostalgic vibe to it. Maybe that's why it doesn't speak to me as much as it probably should? I'm not positive, but it looks good and is very consistent, so I can't imagine most people would be disappointed with it. As with most art styles, the art only gets better as we navigate to later entries in this shared world, but we'll talk about those when we get there.

Cover art for Sayonara Game by

This is the weakest entry in this entire shared world, which is a pretty good ‘problem' to have. The story is all based on the ‘comeback sayonara.' It sets up an interesting irony, as, at the very beginning of the story, we see Arimura reminiscing about his high school days, particularly a game where there was a ‘comeback sayonara.' If you don't know what that is, based on my minimal research, it seems to be when your team is one run away from a tie, and the next batter hits a ball to allow at least two runners to cross the base, thus, coming back from a loss and winning the game. It inherently has this connotation of never giving up and fighting, even in the face of defeat. However, it seems Arimura has lost his drive to win when it comes to love. He gives up before the threat of defeat even presents itself, giving the title layered meanings. Sayonara Game, of course, references baseball, but it also references Arimura's game in romance. He says goodbye (aka sayonara) to his lovers or potential interests without even fighting for them or their relationship.

However, the most important reference is in his relationship with Yosuke. Arimura is about to say ‘sayonara' to Yosuke, willingly giving him over to Nana, his sister. But then, when he realizes his mistake, he ends up with Yosuke. Only for Yosuke to break up with him, assuming Arimura is only with him out of sympathy. Once again, Arimura resigns himself to everything, letting Yosuke walk away. That is until his little sister, his rival for Yosuke's love, spurns him on, leading him to chase Yosuke down like a baseball player running the bases. And, as it should, it ends in a home run, so to speak. I like that his sister was the rival in all of this, as it shows how much he loves Yosuke. Nana seems to be Arimura's everything, but to be with Yosuke, he has to betray his sister's feelings. This shows him putting himself first, growing from his sister complex (to an extent), and fighting for what he wants, regardless of the outcome. It shows great character growth on his part.

However, as much as I like that there is a rivalry for Yosuke between Arimura and his sister, I hate the emphasis placed on this high school student getting paired up with a near-graduated and post-graduated college student. It's just so icky to me. I don't mind age gaps, but I prefer the gap to be between two adults, and while the sister is possibly an adult (as determined in my country to be 18, though technically 19 in my state), it's still weird for her to be in high school and pursued by non-high school men. I totally get that this is fiction, and I'm not here to police fiction for morality, but this is just something I don't personally like, and I imagine others probably don't, either. I think this could've easily been rectified by her being in college and needing a tutor for help in her classes. Another option could've been for her to have a massive and apparent crush on Yosuke and just not encourage the relationship, though then we'd miss the crux of Arimura's problem, being unwilling to fight for someone's love, when he says he's going to leave Nana in Yosuke's hands (icky). I just hate the idea of a high schooler being “given” to a much older adult.


This is cute. It's only a single volume, so there's only so much depth that could be expected. I definitely wish there was more, especially on the baseball front, as it feels a bit like an afterthought despite playing such a crucial role in the work's overall meaning. The sister complex is also always a detractor for me, and the weird “giving” of Nana over to adult men makes me uber uncomfortable. Thankfully, there is a sequel with this couple that I'm looking forward to reviewing for you all, and I hope you'll give this a read to get to the future iterations, as there is some really great stuff in them.

Have you read Sayonara Game? 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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4 thoughts on “Manga Review | Sayonara Game by Yuu Minaduki”

  1. I love this whole BL world that Yuu Minaduki created. I’m excited for you to read Change World! 💚💚🔥🔥

    • SAME. It just gets better and better. I’ve read up to Love Nest 2nd, and I have so many feeeeeelings. I can’t wait to share them. Thank you so much for checking out my post!

      • Oh! Ok ok awesome haha. L I read Engage vol 1 and I’m exited for the 2nd vol. I’m always looking forward to your reviews! 🙂

        • You kind soul. Thank you so much. I hope I can continue to share BL reviews with you.

          I am so excited to start on Engage. This shared world is so great.


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