Kohei Sugihara is a college student often isolated and misunderstood due to his hearing impairment. The strange and occasionally outright hostile treatment other students have given him has made him reserved and lonely, which in turn has made people misunderstand him even more: he is accused of being antisocial and depressive, and others are warned to stay away from him.
Kohei's life begins to change when he runs into the cheerful, outgoing Taichi Sagawa, who agrees to be his note taker—somebody who takes notes on lectures for someone with a hearing disability—if he brings him lunch every day. As time goes on, the two begin spending more and more time together, and a friendship slowly grows into something more.
I Hear the Sunspot (Hidamari ga Kikoeru) is an ongoing manga series written and illustrated by Yuki Fumino. It began serialization in Canna during 2013. The manga currently has three volumes, two of which are already translated into English by One Peace Books.
I Hear the Sunspot includes examples of:
- Abusive Parents: Taichi's Parental Substitute, his grandfather, comes off as emotionally abusive in his only scene so far. It's slightly ambiguous, as it could also be taken as an older man with a more stern view of life trying to point his grandson in the right direction the only way he knows how; however, considering his words point Taichi in the exact wrong direction and severely hurt him, it seems he's meant to be presented as emotionally abusive. He calls Taichi "lonely and needy," says he can't "go crying" about social issues he's having and that he needs to "get over it" because "the world isn't going to change for him," and indirectly calls him stupid.
- Ambiguously Bi: Taichi. Interestingly, unlike most examples of this trope, it's his attraction to men that is canon since he eventually falls in love with Kohei. However, Taichi also seems to be mildly envious of Kohei's popularity with girls, and he gets notably flustered with a Luminescent Blush when he thinks Miho likes him.
- Anguished Declaration of Love: Although Kohei's romantic feelings for Taichi were already made clear in the first volume, this only truly happens in Theory of Happiness. And with double the anguish, considering it turns into a mutual declaration.Kohei: I can't lie anymore. I love you. I always have. I love you, Taichi. I always think about you. I always want to be with you.
Maya: Why? Why him?! There are much better people for you out there!! He's stupid and violent and simple! That guy...Is he really the one you need?!
- Maya sort of plays with this. After finding out that Kohei likes Taichi, she implies that she likes Kohei. However, she never states it explicitly, and Kohei seems oblivious to the fact that she could have another reason for wanting to break up him and Taichi other than just disliking Taichi.
- Big Damn Kiss: Kohei kisses Taichi in the first volume in order to confess his feelings. Unfortunately, the latter becomes extremely confused about his own feelings and is uncertain if he returns them.
- The kiss they have in Theory of Happiness probably counts more, since by this point Taichi has decided he loves Kohei back.
- Big Eater: Taichi. He loves food. Kohei can attest to this, since he says he loves seeing Taichi look so happy while he eats.
- Cannot Spit It Out: Taichi. Even though he's suspected since the beginning that he may return some (or all) of Kohei's feelings, he refuses to say so to Kohei, and whenever something slips out, he denies he ever said it. Somewhat subverted since Taichi does confess when he realizes he's actually in love with Kohei. But perhaps this trope still counts since he didn't confess until Kohei first made a second confession?
- Chick Magnet: Kohei. Girls love his handsome appearance and romanticize his disability, and the attention he gets from them is the envy of several other guys in the college. Neither the fawning girls nor the jealous guys know that Kohei is gay anyway.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: The absolute least subtle line in the entire manga...Taichi (thinking, after falling down the stairs): When I fall, I fall hard.
- Could also possibly count as Foreshadowing...however, considering the genre of this manga, everyone already knew what was going to happen. As well as that this line was obviously not talking only about falling down stairs.
- Gayngst: Surprisingly averted in Kohei's case. His angst has nothing to do with his sexual orientation and everything to do with his hearing disability. And when he does angst about his love life, it's because he thinks Taichi doesn't love him back, not because Taichi is a boy.
- Green-Eyed Epiphany: Downplayed. Taichi comes to accept that he loves Kohei back once he thinks Kohei has a girlfriend. Although his jealousy is not vicious or exaggerated, he becomes extremely depressed at the thought of this. Also played with in that Taichi already seemed to have some suspicions about his feelings and made ambiguous comments about "not hating" when Kohei kissed him.Taichi (thinking about Kohei having a girlfriend): He has such a nice smile...but I don't want to imagine him smiling with a stranger.
- HeelFace Turn: Maya. Although she was never exactly a villain, she was extremely rude to Taichi, partially because she simply disliked his brash personality and partially because she liked Kohei and couldn't understand why Kohei liked Taichi more than her. However, after Kohei explains how happy Taichi has made him, she begins to understand she was in the wrong for trying to mess up their relationship. Maya turns nicer for good when Taichi shocks her by making her feel more understood about her hearing impairment.
- Held Gaze: Kohei and Taichi have had these moments, not infrequently.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Both Kohei and Maya, who wish they didn't have a hearing impairment. However, the former stops being an example of this trope after he explains that Taichi makes him so happy he now feels like all his life's struggles are worth it, and that if he could do his life over again with the opportunity of being "normal," he wouldn't.
- I Just Want to Have Friends: Maya, who is pleased when she finally meets Kohei, somebody who understands her and who she is happy to call her first real friend. Kohei almost fits in this trope but doesn't, considering he Stopped Caring about being friends with people until Taichi.
- Implied Love Interest: Kohei for Maya—until she finds out he's gay and very in love with Taichi, at which point she pretty much seems to accept that they will never be more than just friends.
- Incompatible Orientation: Kohei and Maya's situation, if you believe Maya liked him that way. (Her feelings are heavily implied, but not outright stated.)
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Maya, arguably. She acts extremely unpleasantly at times, but she always has Kohei's best interests in mind. Eventually it's made clear that she doesn't truly mean harm to anyone, but has developed an angry exterior since she's constantly misunderstood due to her hearing impairment.
- Lonely Rich Kid: Implied with Kohei. He's undoubtedly lonely, but although Taichi mentions that his house is huge, it's never outright stated that he's rich.
- Longing Look: Kohei ends up making these at Taichi a lot.
- Love Confession: Kohei gives one to Taichi. Then Taichi gives one right back. For more information, look at Anguished Declaration of Love above.
- Love Epiphany: See Green-Eyed Epiphany above.
- Opposites Attract: Taichi and Kohei. While the former is upbeat, loud, and sociable, the latter is depressive, quiet, and somewhat antisocial.
- Parental Substitute: Sagawa Genji, AKA Taichi's grandfather.
- Shipper on Deck: Maya for Kohei and Taichi, albeit reluctantly. And only after she learns how happy Taichi makes Kohei and that Taichi is a really good person. Before this, she was very much the opposite of a Shipper on Deck.
- Smarter Than You Look: Taichi, psychologically. He comes off as brash and careless, but he's incredibly skilled at sympathizing with other people and understanding parts of their struggles nobody else notices.
- Stopped Caring: Kohei, in a way. He became incredibly depressed and lonely after developing his hearing disability and pretty much gave up on ever living life the way he used to or making connections with other people...until Taichi, of course.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Maya gives Taichi one shortly after meeting him, saying he could never understand people with hearing impairments and wrongly accusing him of only hanging around Kohei to get things out of him because he's so nice.
- Took a Level in Kindness: Maya, once she accepts that Taichi is a good person and comes to terms with his relationship with Kohei.
- Unwanted Harem: Kohei seems to have one.
- Wham Line: Kohei uses sign language to say Taichi's name, then signs something else to Taichi he doesn't understand. Taichi asks Sai what this sign means. Sai's reply?Sai: It means I love you.
- What Does She See in Him?: What does he see in him, actually. Maya doesn't understand why Kohei likes Taichi so much. At least until Taichi makes her cry in happiness and relief because she feels understood for the first time by someone without a hearing disability.
- When He Smiles: Kohei, in spite of (or perhaps because of) his frequently sad or stoic facial expressions, has a lovely smile. Taichi especially loves Kohei's smile.
- This is mutual, as Kohei also loves Taichi's smile. Kohei is only a more notable example because Taichi smiles all the time.