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My first impressions tend to be crap so I usually don't post about books until I've reread them several times, but since [livejournal.com profile] sara_tanaquil asked what I'd ordered and I didn't want to just list the books...Please take all comments with a grain of salt. I revise my impressions of books quite a bit. ^^;

Ryuu no fukkatsu, Dr. no Houkou by Kifu Kaname and illustrated by Nara Chiharu

The latest book of the Ryuu and Dr series (I've summarized four of the books), still fun but not quite as fun as the last one...I might revise my opinion once I reread. Or maybe it just couldn't live up to the build up of insanity that fueled the previous books.

Aisaresugi to iukeredo by Nakahara Kazuya and illustrated by Nara Chiharu

Third book about a doctor and a laborer who used to be an amazing surgeon (I summarized the first book here). I enjoyed it, as I've enjoyed the first two. I just like the recurring characters a lot. And the really horrible lewd jokes Dr. God Hand makes. XD;

Kayashima-shi no yuuga na seikatsu novel vols 1, 2, and 3 by Tono Haruhi and illustrated by Hidaka Shouko and comic vol 1 illustrated by Mamahara Ellie

Reprinting of a series Tono Haruhi had originally done as doujinshi about the romance of a rich blue-blood (Mr. Kayashima) and his gardener. Mr. Kayashima is a great character. He's young, good-looking, rich, doesn't do any work, and has an overwhelmingly noble presence that just bowls people over. But he adores the gardener and is very honest about his feelings towards the gardener (most of the time). They are a cute couple. My favorite parts, though, are other people's reactions to Mr. Kayashima's oddness and presence. I have to admit that I like Hidaka Shoko's art more than Mamahara Ellie's, but the manga is worth having just for the short novelized portion and extra manga at the end. The first volume's novel bit is from Mr. Kayashima's dog's POV. It's adorable, as all stories written from the POV of someone's pet tends to be. I will be buying the second volume.

Hanayaka na Aijou by Sakiya Haruhi and illustrated by Hasukawa Ai

Fourth book about a detective and an artist. I adore this series, though I think I've never posted on it before. I like both characters, I like their relationship and how it develops. I like the police cases that come up in each volume. This book uses a total cliche as its premise, but I like how she handled it. Angsty, but not totally predictable. One big plus about this series: the uke loves sex and can be very aggressive in getting what he wants. No faux uke modesty here.

Futsuu gurai ni aishiteru by Kuga Ariko and illustrated by Hashimoto Aoi

This is about a salaryman who meets a dude who'd harassed him in high school. I....couldn't keep interested in the book enough to finish it. I'll have to go back and try again later.

Koboreru cream by Sakai Akeo and illustrated Shidoh Kai

I admit it, I bought it for the cover. The blurb sounded pretty interesting, so I figured why not. The book is just too short. The story doesn't suck, but it isn't meaty enough for me to love it.

Steal Your Love - Yoku by Himekawa Hotaru and illustrated by Kohji Tatsuru

Third book about a popular actor and host who'd been high school classmates. Another series I enjoy because I like the main characters and their relationship. Also, the uke also enjoys sex very much once they become established in a relationship. I'm hoping this continues, especially since I want to see what happens in their careers and their dealings with each other's families.

Tama ni wa koi demo by Wataru Minaho and illustrated by Sakura Haiji

I got this because it's illustrated by Sakura Haiji and the main character is a plain and introverted programmer being harassed by a very good looking, very out-going sales guy at his company. They become friends once the programmer realizes he shares interests with the sales guy. It turns out the sales guy is a uber-otaku. I was meh about this one. Doesn't suck, the uber-otaku-ness of the sales guy is rather hilarious, but it just didn't hit the spot.

Sore wa tsumi na anata no sei by Hagino Shiro and illustrated by Natsume Isaku

I love love love love love this book. Love. Also, love the art. I really don't want to say more, because it'll turn into a huge, long thing that I don't have the time do now and I want to do a long, looong summary of this some day. Let me just say it hits my moe points totally and completely.


I didn't realize I'd bought so many sequels until I started writing this post! I enjoyed the sequels well enough, but I think my overall disappointment with the order comes from being disappointed by most of the one-shots. I want to find shiny new stuff, not just rely on the familiar.

What is up with Nara Chiharu? I do not like her art nowadays. :(
insaneneko: (Default)
I just devoured the newest Ryuu and Dr book, and am so electrified I can't sleep. Thus I post. I've always liked this series because it had a great balance of comedy and drama, but these last two or three books have just been one big roller coaster ride. This latest book was the conclusion of a story arc covering several books (I think three), and what a conclusion! I can't believe how well Kifu-sensei used Hikawa's unique personality to bring things to a close. She also did a fabulous job of developing a whole slew of unique and fun characters through the first five books or so, so just having them move about is fun to read as well. I've bitched quite a bit about some of her other books, but damn. When she gets it right she gets it right. The coda was perfect as well. *_*

I hope she writes more in this series, though I'm not sure she can keep up the high standard she set in these last set of books.
insaneneko: (Default)
Tasogare ni hana and Tasogare ni hana ga mau by Kifu Kaname and illustrated by Maki Ebishi are about a middle-aged has-been low-level manager and a young, promising salaryman. Iwai had been a very promising salaryman himself, but after a series of unfortunate events in his thirties he's given up on life and is just plodding along. His course is altered when he has a run-in with Odawara, a shining young man (who happens to be a protégée of Iwai's former rival who'd actually succeeded). Sounds like something right up my alley, so I bid for it at auction since the first book was not in print. Unfortunately, Kifu-sensei took an interesting premise and killed it. She crushed it under inanity and pointlessness. She also should've shoved everything from the two books into one. I don't totally hate these books, but I man am I dissatisfied. It could've been so much more! I love the whole "worn-out middle aged salaryman gets a new lease on life with gay love" concept and would've been pretty forgiving of pretty major flaws—I just couldn't ignore the glaringly huge, universe-sucking ones in these books. Yet she couldn't deliver, only providing a frustrating set of books in which it feels very little happened. Such a pity.

the story and my problems with it )

I would've at least scanned the covers of the books (though I'm not fond of the art—this artist tends to squish heads so that they look flattened), but I can't find my scanner. :P
insaneneko: (Default)
DR wa ryuu ni noru (The doctor rides the dragon) is the suggestively titled first book of the Ryuu & Dr series by Kifu Kaname illustrated by Shouoto Aya. Unfortunately, Nara Chiharu only came into the picture when the series changed publishers in the third book. It is also, unfortunately, out of print. It cost me good money to get my hands on this book as well as book two (finally!), but it was all worth it!

The story really comes together, especially since Seiwa talks more in these two volumes than the rest of the series put together. I was rather surprised by how much sex there was in this. From book three almost all the sex scenes fade to black, but in the first two volumes the sex scenes are lengthy and fairly explicit. The only thing that really marred these books was the tobacco smoke wafting from the pages (I guess the previous owner was a smoker?), the odd way Seiwa spoke at times, and the not-so-pretty art. It's not that this illustrator is bad or anything...It's just hard to compete with the likes of Nara Chiharu. *shrugs*


the summary )

the pics )
insaneneko: (Default)
Ryuu no renjou, Dr. no bojou by Kifu Kaname and illustrated by Nara Chiharu is book 5 of the Ryuu and Dr series (click on the new tag to read my earlier posts on this series). The fun and silliness continues, with just a touch more seriousness creeping in. New awesome character introduced! I must say, the portrayal of women is appalling. I try to ignore it because it's just....so not the point, but sometimes it's hard.

I really wish I could read book 1 (there's some bits in this one that allude to the first book). *sighs* Can't they reprint it?


the summary )

the pics )
insaneneko: (Default)
Ryuu no junjou, Dr no jounetsu written by Kifu Kaname and illustrated by Nara Chiharu is book 4 of the Ryuu and Dr. series. I highly recommend reading the series overview and summary of book 3 before jumping into the summary below because it continues the narrative immediately from the previous book. I'd forgotten just how...amazingly silly these books are. The latest volumes, while still delightful, have taken a much more serious and dark turn...

The cover is HOT, no? Nara Chiharu is pure rabu. XD


the summary )
the pics )
insaneneko: (Default)
Though I haven't read it yet, I am already delighted by the back cover blurb of the newest Ryuu and Dr series by Kifu Kaname, Ryu no shakunetsu, Dr. no jouai. Though beautiful internist Hikawa can't imagine life without his sexy younger yakuza boss lover Seiwa, Seiwa's "dark past" menaces Hikawa!! OH NOES!! What will our lovers do???n I hope Seiwa's dark past is sufficiently dark (and the menacing aspect suitably threatening) to satisfy my high expectations. And that there be lots of pretty pics by Nara Chiharu. XD The last book illustrated by Nara Chiharu I tried reading was so boring even her art couldn't save it. That story about the Japanese guy who goes to work for the giant American retailer "Walnes" I summarized a while back with the pimp-looking uber-romantist lover? The author seems to be cranking out tons of connected books that totally suck. First she wrote two books about the Chinese co-worker from that first book (who was actually the scion of a Hong Kong mafia family) that was moderately boring and lame (thanks mostly to the fact that the uke was lame, so it was impossible to see why the bad-ass mafia dude's heart would've melted). I read the first one and sort of tried to read the second and failed (I mostly skimmed it for the pictures). She also wrote about some Walnes lawyer who gets caught up with some other Hong Kong mafia dude...I don't think I got past the first twenty pages, it was so unappealing. Bleah.
insaneneko: (Default)
I know I often bitch about the horrible characters and horrible actions the horrible characters take in some of the BL novels I've read, but...I've never been so infuriated as I was reading Host club yori ai wo komete by Kifu Kaname. There are tons of stories where the characters act out of foolish pride or stubbornness and cause lots of problems for themselves and the people they supposedly love. That's nothing new. But this one....THIS ONE.

*stops and takes a deep breath*

I'm blown away at how angry I am at this book. I thought I'd become so jaded over this genre and its failings that nothing would really outrage me. Oh, I was so naive. So, so wrong. The main character is a smart, talented, nice, gorgeous scion of a rich family. He was supposed to take over his father's company. But instead he's betrayed by the man he loved, who steals his position, his fiancee, and finally his money. I don't really know how FB (short for fucking bastard) did it, and I don't really care. In any case, main character ends up as a host. Not just any kind of host, but a host that dresses up and plays the fool. He meets FB again and attacks him, sending him to the hospital. FB then comes to the club and tells main character--I think I shall call him FSS (fucking stupid shit)--that he should quit his job as a host (FSS had always been a quiet, rather introverted type) and that he loved FSS. He tells FSS that he had divorced his wife and shows him the family registry as proof. FSS had been making FB pay through the nose at the club as "revenge" instead of killing him, but he's very unhappy. He had loved and trusted FB utterly, and the betrayal had devastated him.

In any case, FB and FSS invariably hook up. I don't really remember how it happened and at this point I don't care. What matter is that it turns out FB had betrayed FSS because men like to have the upper hand when it comes to the person they are in love with. He had always been younger, not as overall talented, poorer, lower socially to FSS. He had always loved FSS and couldn't stand being below him. So when he had the chance to turn the tables...He took it.

Seriously, we the readers are supposed to accept this batshit insane and completely lame explanation for FB's betrayal? I feel insulted by the author, the publisher, the editor, anyone else involved in this. I agree with one reviewer on Amazon (the one that gave the novel one star--can you give something zero stars? That's what this deserves) who wonders how it can be considered love when the person had betrayed his "love" because he wanted to stand above him. She goes on to say that he's putting his own self satisfaction before the other person's feelings. Yes yes, BL is full of that kind of shit. But then the author takes it one notch lower. After they finally have sex (they hadn't had sex all those years even though FSS had wanted to and had set things up so that they were alone several times--probably thanks to FB's pride about being "below" FSS), FSS finds out that FB wasn't even divorced! FB had a fake family registry made up to fool FSS! How much of a self-serving bastard masquerading as a...a...a...I don't even know what positive word I can use to describe that piece of shit...in any case, how much of a shit can FB be? And FSS tells FB that he needs to deceive FSS fully if he's going to do it! No, what FB needs is for FSS to find a nicer guy to be with. I can't believe FB actually declares that FSS would never find a guy who'd treasure FSS as much as him at one point. There are a zillion guys who'd love to be with FSS, basically a nice guy (gentle personality, etc), who's just turned into a guy with no pride, no dignity, just a pathetic "love" to a dickhead who's the epitome of all that's wrong with men in the world.


I know I'm taking this way too seriously, but I think I had one of those moments when the "it's just fiction!" excuse can't plaster over the fact that the novel just justifies male entitlement fucking everyone else over for its own satisfaction. I guess the echoes of real life male privilege filling this novel crap grated on me. I wanted FSS, as sort of a representative of the weak and oppressed and deceived, to cut off FB's dick and laughingly throw it into the ocean or something...

Arg, I think I need to stop writing. I'm just dribbling into incoherence and crude language. I have lost a lot of respect for Kifu Kaname, whom I found to be an interesting if sometimes distasteful writer who took the tropes of the genre and played with/parodied them. Her other novels also featured shithead semes, but none seemed so...petty? At least the others seemed psychopathic or seriously messed up in the head.

I need to read something happy. Pronto.
insaneneko: (Default)
My impression of the long-awaited G Senjou no neko III by Miyagi Tooko after a fairly quick skim? Disappointment. First, the art...It is different. I can't put my finger on it, but it just doesn't make me sigh with its beauty like the first two volumes did. I guess I'll have to stare at the art longer to see if my first impression is unfounded. Second, the story kind of takes a wacky turn. Yes, the premise was already kind of extreme, but then it...fell off a cliff and went into free-fall or something. And the end! The end! GAH! Did she just want to finish the thing off and provide a "satisfying" ending?? I think I'll put this aside and let my disappointment cool before picking it up and giving it another chance.

Another disappointment is the Hakkenden drama CD. My fears regarding Paku Romi were realized. She's talented, yes, but (at least for me) ALL WRONG! I just kept thinking, "Ed! It's Ed!" because she voiced Shino just like Ed...It doesn't help that the characters are kind of similar. Toshiyuki Morikawa obviously fits like a glove into the role of Sousuke...but perhaps too well? I dunno, he fell a bit flat for me. The only one I really liked was Hamaji...But then, I only managed to listen to about two tracks before giving up. Besides my problems with the casting, the story was waaaay too choppy for me. I hate it when they edit manga/novels into tiny bits and pieces that only really make sense when you have already read the original work. I want my drama cds to stand on their own. I guess I'll eventually give this one another go after a while...a long while.

I was amused to see scans of Ari no mama no kimi ga suki by Kifu Kaname online. It must have been because the illustrations were done by Yukifuna Kaoru, but I have to admit this particular novel doesn't have anything near the prettiest Yukifuna illustrations I've ever seen. The story, on the other hand, is novel and amusing. Basically it's about a character who is ugly and fat, stupid, gullible, and cowardly. But he has a naive personality that (while probably irritating to 99% of the population) is appealing to his father (who dotes on him) as well as the guy who turns into his suitor. Kind of reminded me of Don't Worry Mama by Konohara Narise, but without the cop-out ending with the fat bastard turning into a skinny guy with a decent personality. In this one the guy actually does try to lose weight because he thought he should try to look better to be with his hot and sexy lover--only to be told by his father and his lover to not bother. Even if he lost weight he'd still be ugly and hulking, and to deny his love of eating is just foolish and tortuous. The novel was at times a bit tedius (Kifu-sensei likes to get a bit too simplistic at times), but overall pretty fun (even the sex, in a rather disturbing way). I think I read on her website that Kifu-sensei will be writing a sequel, which I look forward to reading.

Speaking of sequels, I was thinking of some of the books I've summarized that have sequels/are in series. I don't know if anyone cared enough to read summaries of the others, so I figured I'd do another poll (my second poll ever!).

[Poll #1087769]
insaneneko: (Default)
The "Ryu and Dr." series (that's what I call it, I don't know if the publisher has an official name--I really dislike that so many series aren't labeled and numbered properly, it's a bitch to sort out sometimes) by Kifu Kaname is, in one word, crack. Not crazy zany crack, but silly retarded crack. The titles of the volumes are as follows:

1. Dr wa ryu ni noru
2. Dr wa ryu to tatsu
3. Ryu no koi, Dr. no ai
4. Ryu no junjou, Dr. no jounetsu
5. Ryu no renjou, Dr. no bojou
6. Ryu no shakunetsu, Dr. no jouai

Books 1 and 2 were published by a different company and illustrated by a different (not as good, IMHO) artist, and are no longer in print. Frankly, I don't think you need to read Books 1 and 2. I started reading this series at Book 3 (drawn to the lovely illustrations by Nara Chiharu) and didn't have much problem getting into it. You get the handy-dandy summary paragraphs in the very beginning to give you background anyhow. So far I've read books 3, 4, 2, and 5 in that order. Someday I'd like to read book 1 just to find out exactly how their first time went...

Er, back to the important stuff. The "ryu" (dragon) is Aikawa Seiwa, a 19-year-old yakuza boss (kumichou). The "Dr." is Hikawa Ryouichi, a 29-year-old internist at a hospital. Hikawa was left at the gate of an orphanage, where he was raised until he was adopted at 12. Grateful, he worked hard to do well in school and be a good successor to his step-father, who ran a hospital. Unfortunately, his adoptive parents had their own child when he was 15. While provided for materially, he became the child they no longer needed and was emotionally neglected. Luckily for him, he had something to fill the void in his heart--Seiwa. Seiwa lived in the neighborhood with his mother, who totally and utterly neglected him (while her boyfriends abused him). I don't really understand why a random 12-year-old would be changing some strange toddler's diapers, but they were that close. Then Seiwa was taken away by some dude when he was nine or so, and Hikawa didn't see him until one day Seiwa strolled into the hospital he worked at surrounded by his underlings. Hikawa is shocked that Seiwa had become a yakuza and rushes headlong into the world to try to drag him out. When he's threatened with death by the dude who had taken Seiwa in the first place, Kitsutaka, now the underboss of the clan, he declares that he doesn't mind dying if Seiwa can be freed from the clan. Seiwa doesn't want to leave the clan. He's the bastard son of the clan head. Instead, when Seiwa is given the task of dealing with Hikawa (who knows too much) he declares that Hikawa is his "wife," fucks him, and has him move in with him. I think that's where book 1 ends, and book 2 has some moving and shaking occuring in the clan with Seiwa installed as clan head by the end. In Book 3 they've settled down, and the story enters the ludicrous. Book 2 felt half-serious and half-silly, but book 3's highlights are the silly (frankly, the serious portions bored me). Hikawa is an airhead with the strangest (and rather creepy) mixture of maternal and romantic feelings towards Seiwa, and Seiwa is a bad-ass yazuka with killer looks and an awesome rising dragon tattoo who is totally (willingly!) whipped by his "wife" (at least in personal matters-he's adamant about keeping yazuka matters away from his woman like a good yakuza). Book 3, besides being the first with the Nara Chiharu illustrations (I don't care for how she draws Hikawa--he's supposed to look like a doll without his glasses, he's so pretty...but he looks too ordinary in the pics. Seiwa looks good, though.), has what is possibly the single funniest scene I've read in BL so far.

book 3 summary )

book 3 pics )

Sorry [livejournal.com profile] versine for taking so long to do a summary of this series. ^^;
insaneneko: (Default)
Read a bunch of novels this past week, below are several I felt like writing about. Warning, spoilers ahead:

Tsumibukaku dakishimete by Katagiri Barbara (illustrated by Enjin Yamimaru)
Oh, what can I say about this novel? I knew it sucked but kept reading hoing for an appropriately sensational ending...Only to be completely denied even that (I didn't need good! I just wanted shiny and overblown!). It starts off with uke pushing his abusive older sister of the balcony to her death. While he's standing there in shock, his sister's husband comes in dragging the next door neighbor who had witnessed the murder. The husband decides to turn it into a lover's suicide and pushes the witness off the balcony as well. After that, there is sex while watching over the sister's body, more sex when uke moves into the apartment, coerced sex with the detective who figures out uke killed his sister that still ends with uke arrested, husband breaking out uke in a hail of bullets (and two dead policemen), a life on the run that includes a little foray into pimping out the uke for money and a threesome with the client...The characters are sooo flat I only kept reading to find out if the ending would be appropriately outlandish. I was hoping for a) murder-suicide, b) husband leaving uke (husband is one of those sociopaths who cares about nothing and no one), or c) shoot out with the coppers! All are cliched to the max, but...fitting. But no, the author goes for the uke turning himself in, the police surrounding the husband, the uke going back in to talk the husband out, and the two declaring their love for each other as the police finally come in to get them...I was left with a bad taste in my mouth and a fervent desire to regain that precious hour I spent bothering with this crap.

Houritsu jumusho de koi ga saku by Kifu Kaname (illustrated by Fujiyama Hyouta)
Simpleton country boy uke goes to Tokyo, and after some various troubles mostly resulting from his horrible sense of direction, ends up working for lawyer seme. I can't quite express how lame this book was, from the one-dimensionality and retardedness of every single character to the pointlessness of the story. The joke about Nara=deer (the uke is from near Nara) and how everyone at the lawyer's office calls uke deer and wants to give the uke those wafers the deer are fed is used repeatedly and worn to death. The only remotely amusing part was when the lawyer, desperate to keep uke with him, builds him the "perfect house." Lawyer and uke initially live in a high-class hotel, but uke is terribly uncomfortable in such surroundings. The lawyer drags uke to the new residence he built...consisting of a large yard with DEER and a small thatched roof traditional hut. The uke had not lived in such a primitive house and neither did he have any kind of attachment to deer, but the lawyer thought this would make the uke feel at home. You'd think a successful lawyer who also is a member of a powerful political family wouldn't be so...patently stupid, but I suppose anything goes in these books. ^^;

Biroodo no kamen by Matsuoka Natsuki (illustrated by Sakurai Shushushu)
The BL novel take on The Three Musketeers with duels, intrigue, evil Cardinals, friendship, devotion, and sex. Very shallow, but entertaining. Arnault, the second son of a poor noble family, had been destined for priesthood. But he's sent to beg Cardinal Richelieu for his jailed older brother's life and freedom. The Cardinal makes a bargain that if Arnold serves as a spy among the Musketeers he'll eventually have the brother released. His latest assignment is to seduce the English Viscount that was accompanying the Duke of Buckingham, even receiving instruction from a prostitute on sleeping with men. So...there's sex with the Viscount, there's sex with the musketeer that was supposedly his best friend, there's betrayal and fighting and people getting hurt...and in the end Arnault is freed from Richelieu's grasp and is allowed to stay with the musketeers. If there was a sequel I'd read it. It's light, it's silly, the art is decent and frilly. No complaints here. XD

I truly appreciated the fact that though Arnault initially protests having to sleep with men (it's a sin!) once he experiences it and finds out he really likes it, doesn't protest or angst about it. He's pragmatic and understands he has to do it as part of his duty, so he just sets out to get better at it and enjoy it. The endless and eternal protestations of the uke are just too worn out. :P


I learned not to always judge novels by their covers. I tend to dismiss a lot of novels just by the style and composition of the cover art as well as titles (I try to avoid books with really bad naming sense unless it's obviously a parody or something), but one of the ones I read this past week that I'd normally not even give a second look turned out to be really good.
insaneneko: (Default)


The Kagirinaku-series, written by Kifu Kaname and illustrated by Asou Umi, is made up of three books: Kagirinaku game ni chikai honki (seriousness exceedingly close to a game), Kagirinaku migatte na aijou (exceedingly selfish love), and Kagirinaku fukou ni chikai koufuku (happiness exceedingly close to unhappiness). It is about Hori Keiichi, an ordinary salaryman, who is pursued by the new employee he is training, Takasuga Kazumasa. Takasuga is very persistent, and Hori ends up giving in. Then there's a twist...

I was not very impressed with the lifeless writing. The characters are completely two-dimensional and mostly unappealing, and they only degenerate as the series goes on. Why did I keep reading? I can't quite put my finger on it, but I did notice a vague resemblance to Kimi wo hanasanai, which I had posted about a while back. It didn't have that stunningly cynical flair that I had found compelling about the other work, but it had certain features that distinguished it from the typical BL novel (badly executed, admittedly).Then I realized that this series is by the same author, which explains the similarities. :P It almost pains me to say it, but "Kimi wo hanasanai" is actually more believable as well as much better written. The author has improved, but considering that she started off so low it's hard to go anywhere but up.

In any case, what really struck me about this novel is its portrayal of women. Usually women are not (or just barely) around in BL novels. Several women are given decent face-time in this series, and many other women are referred to. It consistently shows women in the worst light, portraying them as two-faced manipulative deceptive sluts at worst, or just plain (pathetic) sluts at best.

not so much a summary as spoiler-filled babbling )

selected pics )

I don't think I've used so much crude language in a post before. I couldn't help it, putting things nicely didn't fit with this series. :P
insaneneko: (Default)
I wrote and disgarded a lot of intros for Mou nido to hanasanai by Kifu Kaname and illustrated by Nara Chiharu before settling on this one, only because it didn't suck as badly as the others and not because it's any good. It is such a difficult novel to review without spoilers. It's a difficult novel to summarize as well, but I feel compelled to talk about it the more I think about it. Saeki Keishuu is a famous disciple of a famous artist and the son of another famous artist. He is also out of this world gorgeous. His "assistant" Sagara Tsukasa had dropped out of high school and had lived in a sanitorium due to some unspecified medical condition until meeting and falling in love with Keishuu. They live a fairly idyllic life of nomads, moving all over Japan and at times overseas. Usually they are pursuing warm weather for Tsukasa and new inspiration for Keishuu, but at times they are running away from crazy stalker types who just can't give up on Keishuu. Some of the women also learn about Tsukasa's true relationship to Keishuu and try to get rid of him. At those times he is protected by Keishuu himself or by various other people around them. Keishuu is very gentle and kind and loving, always putting Tsukasa's welfare first. Tsukasa has absolute trust in Keishuu and allows himself to be cared for.

Sounds very run of the mill and rather boring? It kind of was, until the twist happened. Then things got very interesting. Rereading the beginning knowing what I knew was even more interesting. I can't say this is a good book or recommend it, really...But I can say I reacted to it on two levels. It takes themes and ideas and assumptions common in BL and runs with them, making me laugh cynically and horrifying me with how casually it treats the issues. I suppose a reader could take it at face value and find it tragic and angsty and sweet and be moved, but I found it really funny yet disturbing. I'll be rereading this, mostly for the laughs. It helps that there isn't much in the way of graphic description, and the art really fits the story.

not much of a summary )

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