This work deals with Hajime who again is a character who is somehow on the fringes of the mainstream or doesn't necessarily feel at home with mainstream society. To say that he is a happily married man is not accurate. He's a contently married man until his childhood friend and first love, Shimamoto, reappears in his life.
We see the middle-aged angst or the mid life crisis play out. True, Shimamoto and Hajime have a special bond that was forged during childhood and just never could unite. But where does it fit in their adult lives? They aren't children anymore. They can never get that back. And each suffers from a form of arrested development; each also seek a different path once they realize that.
I thought this was interesting seeing the point of view of a middle-aged man go through his angst and dealing with a longing that hadn't reach resolution until circumstances complicated everything. I also liked the way it ended with no clear cut resolution of what the future would hold. It is realistic; not wrapped up neat with a bow.