Only After I Was Reborn Did I Realize That I Had Childhood Sweethearts

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Mei Fang’s rebirth story takes him back 20 years to the year 2002, becoming a 6-year-old boy who just wet the bed during nap time.

On this same bed-wetting day, he tightly grasped a fate he had overlooked in his previous life, a love story spanning beautiful years, thus beginning a new journey—

“Mei Fang, the three of us, are we going to be forever and ever, always good friends?”

“Pinky promise… it’s a deal… no change is allowed… for a hundred years.”

From a well-behaved little angel to a mischievous little devil.

From a troublemaking wild girl to a cold and aloof female top student.

The personalities of these playmates who spend their days together will evolve with the changing circumstances. Do you still like the way she was at the beginning?

Playing with childhood sweethearts, and frolicking through the day, their paths crossed at the doorstep of their youth.

Not shy or reserved, only infatuated without constraint.

Associated Names
One entry per line
Only After I Was Reborn Did I Realize That I Had Green Plums
重生后才发现我有青梅
Related Series
N/A
Recommendations
Reborn in 2000: Starting from Pursuing the Pure High School Beauty Desk Mate (1)
Recommendation Lists
  1. Pick-up system romance
  2. ALLCN+
  3. Release to release
  4. Peak Hidden Gems
  5. Things I've Read pt 3

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Tequila Sunset
New Tequila Sunset rated it
June 5, 2024
Status: c350
'Only After I Was Reborn Did I Realize That I Had Childhood Sweethearts' has quickly grown to become one of my favorite novels within the Romance and Slice of life genre, as it proves to be a genuinely sweet story about second chances and what it is like to fall in love with those that had accompanied you throughout your entire life.

The basic synopsis for this novel surrounds the reincarnation (time travel?) of our main character, Mei Fang, into the midst of his early childhood, where he conceives the prospect... more>> of living a new and fulfilling life, a wish informed by the regrets he has harbored during his first life and emboldened by his newfound friendship with two childhood friends that he had come to forgotten during his first life, Xia Yuan and Lin Youxi. This idea is nothing new, as plenty of other second chance stories has tackled similar ideas within their premises, however what makes this premise unique is how seriously it takes this idea of Mei Fang seeking to live a second life. Usually, with most other second chance novels, the whole entire idea of the main character aiming to live a better life never goes beyond the basic introduction and would eventually devolve into a basic power fantasy, only being vaguely mentioned or explored especially in the Urban Reincarnation subgenre. 'Only After I Was Reborn Did I Realize That I Had Childhood Sweethearts' on the other hand completely commits to this idea, and actively have Mei Fang encounter things from his past life that informs his future growth in this new life. Spoiler:

Spoiler

One example of this can be seen in Mei Fang's passion towards making video games, as in his previous life he never had the opportunity to create the games he had wanted to create due to his status within his company, a status that forced him into acquiescing to the games that are the most profitable as opposed to those are the most engaging. Therefore, a large portion of the first hundred chapters surrounds this idea of Mei Fang dedicating his childhood towards learning and improving his game developmental skills, occasionally ripping off of the IPs he knows would be successful in order to get the funds necessary to fuel his ventures, and eventually paying off with him forming his own very game studio.

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I greatly love this element of the story in the earlier chapters, since it establishes a clear direction for Mei Fang as the protagonist while also characterizing him through his individual hobbies, passions and regrets, humanizing him further as a result. Essentially, Mei Fang isn't your standard overpowered reincarnated protagonist one would expect from this genre, as he doesn't have any special privileges beyond the knowledge he has of the future, with everything he achieves solely coming from his own effort and dedication to this goal of living this newfound life to the fullest.

Now on to the meat of the story, the relationship between the three main characters. Throughout the first hundred chapters of the novel, the author is primarily focused with developing the friendship between Mei Fang and his two childhood sweethearts. As other reviewers have mentioned, there really isn't any romance during those moments since the characters are still underaged, with Mei Fang largely seeing them as children. While there certainly are some offhand and inappropriate comments made in regards to Xia Yuan and Lin Youxi like apsisodia mention, they are often rather few and the focus of the relationship still remains largely platonic within those first couple chapters. If you are worried about the story being overly perverse towards underaged characters, I would say not to worry all that much since the worse it gets is
Spoiler

Xia Yuan saying she wants Mei Fang babies without understanding the implications during a news interview

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, and that said moment was largely supposed to be comedic more than anything else. Although I would still caution anyone who is interested in reading this novel to be aware of these elements before starting the novel, even if nothing explicit was ever truly shown.

With those concerns aside, I greatly love this approach that the author takes to the earlier portions of the story, as it is rare to see a story take its time with developing its characters all the way from their childhood to adulthood. To illustrate the pace of this novel, it is only around the 300 chapter mark, halfway into the entire novel, that the main cast had finally turned 18. Through this rather slow pace, the author is able to realistically flesh out their characters and their own development to great effect. One of the best instances of this would be the character of Lin Youxi, as without spoiling too much, at the start of the novel she is shown to be someone who is closed off from others due to the troubled nature of her home life, a beginning that is contrasted with her steady growth into an independent and strong-willed individual incited by the friendship she forms with Xia Yuan and Mei Fang. The growth in maturity that the author is able to illustrate into the characters is what makes this novel so gratifying, as the characters and growth they experience are always grounded and justified within their own experiences. The only other novel that I would say does this extremely well would be 'Kidnapped Dragons', even if it is greatly more dramatic.

The romance itself in my opinion is also well earned due to it's portrayal within the entire series, as Mei Fang is someone who is self aware and receptive to the feelings of others, allowing him to notice when the relationship does inevitably advance towards such a direction. This recognition of feelings could have easily went into a different more sinister direction where Mei Fang could have exploited these developments for his own self interests, however it never goes into that direction. Instead, Mei Fang realizes such feelings are only ever the result of puppy love, a type of youthful naivety rather than anything actually genuine. As a result, Mei Fang always seeks to maintain a sense of distance in order to ensure that the relationship they form never goes into such a direction, with his attitude towards love being that of a life-changing decision that one should make when they are adults. I love this element of Mei Fang's character, as while some may call it 'cowardly', it instead illustrates self-awareness in the issues that could arise from the relationship that the author writes, a maturity that other authors seldom acknowledge into the romance that they write.

Spoiler

Even when the novel goes into the harem direction, a large emphasis is directed towards its feasibilities within the modern world. Questions surrounding parental approval and conflict of emotions are a constant element in the three-fold relationship of Mei Fang, Xia Yuan and Lin Youxi. It wouldn't be a stretch to say that the main goal of these three characters towards the latter half of the novel is to make sure that such a relationship can work, as they are all unwilling to abandon one another for the sake of their own feelings.

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All of this eventually accumulates into a genuinely enjoyable romance that is both mature and sweet. Built on the foundations of a childhood friendship, the author is able to effectively escalate the relationship while also maintaining a sense of realism. While Mei Fang seeks to maintain a sense of friendship between him and Lin Youxi and Xia Yuan, there is a sense of tension as both girls seek to earn his affection through increasingly bold behavior. The struggles that they face in their relationship are realistic and grounded, their interactions humorous and lighthearted, and development natural and satisfying. I have never been one to like harem novels or harem endings, but this novel is one of the few occasions where I genuinely love the relationship conceived within the main cast and is in support of a harem ending. (300+ Spoilers)
Spoiler

Another thing I find noteworthy in mentioning is that the author has written an If storyline where Mei Fang has never died in the first place and then reincarnated, with the storyline itself surrounding the reunion of Mei Fang and Lin Youxi within their adult years where they don't know each-other as they never shared a childhood together. I love this storyline for the reasons why I love 'Hurt Comfort' in fanfictions and other novels, as while the subject and context of the storyline prove quite dark, it is still heartwarming to see Mei Fang help a Lin Youxi who never got past her childhood trauma and issues through their shared dedication towards game development.

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Overall, I love this novel and would greatly recommend it to anyone who wants a semi-fluff romance story about second chances with the occasional drama. <<less
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ScaredTeacup
ScaredTeacup rated it
October 24, 2023
Status: c61
True to the TL group's name, this novel is indeed a gem. I hope more people can read it and support the TL group.

Short synopsis: The MC returns to the past back when he was in kindergarten, and armed with future knowledge, seeks to improve his life and the lives of those around him. The story is focused on his interactions with his two childhood friends, starting from when they are children and time-skipping to when they are older.

The atmosphere is wholesome and friendly, and the pacing is slow.... more>> So far there is no romance (because the characters are still children), but the foundation for a love triangle has been built, and there is heavy foreshadowing. What's interesting is that because we see the characters interacting from a young age, we can understand more deeply their personalities and motivations. With the complex dynamic between the three of them, I'm curious how romance would play out. <<less
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VLADISLAKA
VLADISLAKA rated it
December 2, 2023
Status: c350
Summary: Mei Fang returns to his childhood, where he finds himself in the company of two close female friends, Lin Youxi and Xia Yuan, he later lost after events in life separated them from each other. With the aid of his knowledge of the future and his adult intellect and emotional maturity, he engraves himself deeply into the minds and hearts of these two female friends, and they form an extremely close trio with deep bonds. They experience school, life, various defining moments of childhood, and gradually mature into teenagers,... more>> where they slowly start to grapple with the advent of adolescence and growing attraction to the opposite s*x - as well as the reality of two girls who like the same man, yet are extremely close friends as well.

Mei Fang, the protagonist, is kind, intelligent, respectful and actually quite virtuous, never taking the initiative in making the relationship more romantic or physical, but rather caring for and being besides the two girls he cares about whenever they need him.

Spoiler

Knowing the future, he makes use of this to bring himself great wealth and success, but makes sure to help his friends and family, as well as other trustworthy people he meets through school. He never grows arrogant, and arguably isn't manipulative either, though he does try, and succeeds, to preserve the bonds between the trio, as they slowly settle into a polyamorous pairing rather than risking any relationship he has. While other girls will show admiration and, for some, love towards him as well, his close relationship with Lin Youxi and Xia Yuan, as well as his own honesty prevents any of these side romances from coming to fruit, and makes the reader appreciate the mutual love the trio have for each other and his sincerity in caring for the two girls he cherishes so deeply.

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Overall, a story of quite realistic and well written characters, with emotional depth, likeable personalities, and a strong sense of history and emotional connection between the girls and Mei Fang.

Be warned though, the romance takes a very long while to come in, though it's obviously quite heavily foreshadowed given the closeness the friends have towards each other early on. The growth in feelings they have for each other is slow but clear, so I hope other readers will grow equally invested as I have in these characters. <<less
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promet
promet rated it
February 4, 2024
Status: c87
Not bad, not great.

First of all, I like that the MC, despite being reborn in kindergarten, doesn't lust over his loli childhood friends like an average reborn Japanese ret*rd (the authors who write those really make me sick; how can you lust for a prepubescent child?). It's also nice that he doesn't pretend to be a child prodigy, but rather opts for a mature kid role.

The summary, tags, and other reviews will tell you everything you need to know, so I won't say much more. This novel is very much... more>> recommended for those who like childhood friend romance (but brace yourself, the pace is very slow - though the author skillfully uses some time skips - and so the romance is very slow as well).

One more thing, the reason why I personally don't find this novel my cup of tea (hence lower rating than other reviews) is that it's a cute, sweet story, but the way the protagonist interacts with the two girls, even if he gets into a relationship with either (or even both, we don't know at this point in the story), the relationship won't last forever, i.e. The way the MC behaves that is okay to a female childhood friend and maybe okay to a teenage girl (depends) is not okay to an adult woman (i.e. He's being somewhat of a pushover). And since he didn't correct it early on, it only gets harder to do so in the future. I just can't unsee it. I guess I'm too old for this story. <<less
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apsisodia
apsisodia rated it
February 17, 2024
Status: c120
Promet's review is pretty much accurate. But I wanna correct one thing, lolicon thing is in the novel but it is quite subtle. For example, once MC slapped himself because he got h**ny after seeing tanned shoulder lines of one of the FLs. The thing is that the girl was 9-10 years old and MC was a 28 years old soul.

So author is taking a subtle pe*ophile's route in the story.

It would have been better if the story wasn't about a reborn person.
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johnson ponraj
johnson ponraj rated it
May 9, 2024
Status: c171
A regressor and his two childhood sweet hearts. In his first timeline he separated from their as early as his Elementary school stage and his life is nothing more than ordinary and he has no money and no girl friend. But this time he save his one of the sweet hearts from her Early death and another one from cold and Emotionless lifestyle. Both of them compete for his woman position and the same time they are thick friends themselves, They cuddle with him and make games and music band... more>> with him and safe keeping him from other possible predator girls. Sing with him cook for him nurse for him. Enjoy life life on their own and Face family problems with his help. Up to now no flashy writings no heavenly talent no gold finger. A good romance novel. <<less
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Diegoz031
Diegoz031 rated it
March 10, 2024
Status: c138
Yeah Guys, this is a Harem history, I mean, MC wants the two girls with him, this history is supposed to be a "going to the past", so is based on the real life.

But at the same time, MC is a Coward and its like "let them fall in love with me at the same time"
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