insaneneko: (Default)
It never hurts to call companies to see if you can get a better deal. I recently looked at the phone/internet bill and was struck by how high it was, so I called the cable company for a price to switch internet over. I then put off calling the phone company to see how much just having landline service would cost because they have crap hours (something like 7:30-5:30 M-F!). But when I did? I found out that just landline isn’t all that cheap, and I can bundle internet with faster speed with landline service for a monthly price that's over $10 cheaper! It wasn’t worth switching to cable internet, but I will save over $100/year and get faster service by having made a 10-minute call.

Besides obsessively rewatching Natsume Yuujinchou episodes and continuing to watch the new anime (Witch Craft Works in particular amuses me even though it makes no sense), I've been rereading some books.

Mahoutsukai no shotaku and Mahoutsukai no kokuhaku by Tanizaki Izumi and illustrated by Rikuyu Chikako I bought because I’ve enjoyed other books by the same author and artist (particularly Shiawase ni dekiru), and I liked the premise. It’s about a young man whose parents died in an accident who gave up going to college and went to work to support his younger brothers. I love that premise (young dude has to raise his younger siblings/nephew/whoever after some tragic accident), but then throw in the young man’s former neighbor and first love showing up after years of no contact. He’s half-Japanese (and I think half-American?) and he’d moved to next door when the main character, Hitomi, was about 15. Jin, the neighbor, has a very bad and aloof dad and doesn’t go to school because he’d already gone to college (and beyond? Can’t remember now.) even though he’s the same age as Hitomi. Jin got really close to Hitomi’s entire family, calling Hitomi’s parents “Papa” and “Mama” and getting along with Hitomi’s younger brothers. He falls in love with Hitomi, and the two become a (secret) thing. Then one day Jin is taken to America by his father and never returns, despite promising he would. So when Jin shows up again, after 6 years, Hitomi doesn’t want to deal with him. Jin hadn’t known about Hitomi’s parents’ deaths and is devastated. He quickly hits it off with Hitomi’s younger brothers, but Hitomi doesn’t want to let Jin close again. Jin had been working on some important project his father had forced him to work on for some secret(?) organization in America, and he’d left as soon as he was done. Unfortunately, a member of the organization shows up (with bodyguards) to try to convince Jin to come back. Jin is very cold and nasty to the guy, but Hitomi is very nice to him which causes lots of fun situations where Jin wants to coldly get rid of the guy but doesn't want to tick Hitomi off. Hitomi’s brothers are adorable. They are very well behaved and very considerate, except that they compete to eat more food than each other. Hitomi doesn’t make a huge amount of money, so he has to be really careful with the finances in order to feed the bottomless pits that are his brothers’ stomaches.

It’s a sweet story. The biggest issue in the first book is for Hitomi to truly accept Jin back into his life. The second book has Hitomi face his future. There are hints that Jin’s father and the organization he’d been forced to work for are shady and possibly dangerous, so it’ll be interesting to see how much more shady and dangerous things will get and how they will mix with the sweet domesticity of Hitomi's home life. There’s a new book out I haven’t bought yet, but will be doing so in my next order.

Another set of books I’ve enjoyed is Kokui no zeirishi (The licensed tax accountant wearing black clothing) 1 and 2 by Umino Sachi and illustrated by Asou Kai. It’s about a licensed tax accountant who willingly works with companies connected with (or run directly by) yakuza. He goes to a company that buys and sells used cars. Mostly they get cars from a yakuza clan, of whom the president of the company is a member of. He isn’t an active member, though his father had been an important person in the clan. He’s a bit…lazy. He lives on the top floor of the company building and is always looking sloppy (but hot) in a yukata. The employees are a motley crew and their bookkeeping is a mess. The accountant has to straighten them (and the lazy president) out in more ways than one. I like the characters. The accountant is uptight, but doesn’t quite get to tsundere. The president is very relaxed most of the time, but then can be very manly when needed (but not in an overbearing way). My favorite bit? The accountant is saved by the president when he’s attacked at one point. The president says, “Who do you think you’re messing with? Some random licensed tax accountant? Or MY licensed tax accountant?” I laugh every single time I read that scene! The art is lovely, of course. I hope there will be more books…
insaneneko: (Default)
I just read and thoroughly enjoyed DP Scanlations' recent release of the first chapter of a manga by Aida Saki and Yamada Yugi called Taka ga koi daro. First off, thank goodness for decent scanlations! I couldn't find Japanese scans so had to settle with the English, but luckily this one was good. In any case, it has one of my favorite set-ups...A single father with young son combo! In this case the young father is a widower. There are other elements in the mix that I'm not too sure about (I fear the tortured web of misunderstandings and angst that could develop), but I am rooting for hard-working dad to find true love and happiness with a good man. XD

I'm not sure I can ever get myself to read Kiseki no object, despite the fact that that Enjin Yamimaru illustrates it. I think I've found a knee-jerk anti-moe: A smexy bald Buddhist monk uke. Just...No.

One More by Fuyuno Jinko and illustrated by Asou Kai is the typical diffident nobody uke falls in love with some handsome shining popular arrogant seme, they fall into a sexual relationship full of uke-angst and seme-assholery which ends when the uke can't take it anymore and runs away. The seme doesn't see it coming because he's so full of himself that he thought the uke would never be able to leave him, no matter what crap he pulled. In this story it's six years after the uke ran away. The seme calls out of the blue and that brings back all the crap that the uke has desperately tried to suppress and get over...The book was really just too cliched for words, except for the end. The seme has a long, detailed confession and (sort of) groveling session where he swallows his pride and his stubbornness and admits all of his insecurities and all of his assholery from all those years ago, then asks the uke if they can try again. It was just fascinating hearing what was going through the seme's head when he did each and every shitty thing to the uke...I don't really recommend reading this book unless you really like this type of story, but the extended seme confession amazed me.
insaneneko: (Default)
...Saying that, my post has nothing to do with the holiday. Hope everyone in the U.S. is enjoying the odd mid-week day off!!

First some fandom stuff:

Moment by [ profile] kishmet is a wonderful TezuRyo AU in which Tezuka is a photographer and Ryoma is a model. Ryoma's attitude is in full force here, with Tezuka the resolute guiding force. They clash and slide sideways and end up all jumbled together.

The God of Go Singles Ad by [ profile] flonnebonne and [ profile] bookshop is retarded. Shiny, yes, but totally retarded. And cracked.

Then some BL:

Mada ai ni todokanai by Hizaki Yuu and illustrated by Asou Kai is about salarymen Naganuma and Chiya. Naganuma had mentored Chiya from when Naganuma had been a part-time worker in college, and had thought of him as a cute, big puppy. But when Naganuma sees Chiya in a suit, looking all grown up and hot, he is struck by Cupid's arrow. But after much thought he decides that a) they are both guys and b) Chiya is the son of a company president, so there was no future for them even if he said something and Chiya didn't reject him. He will treat Chiya the same as he always had...or try to. Unfortunately, this is a BL novel so things can't be so boring simple. One drunken night one thing leads to another and they kind of fall into a physical relationship. While Chiya insists that he's in love with Naganuma, Naganuma takes the attitude that he'll go along with Chiya to mutually get each other off in the absence of girlfriends. Of course this causes much internal angst, but Naganuma amazingly manages to stick to his story pretty much all the way through. I was pretty impressed at how manly Naganuma was despite the usual torment of unrequited love that makes almost all uke weepy/snivelling and annoying. The story is very straightfoward and very predictable, but because Naganuma and Chiya weren't stupid and weren't forced to act in some grand tragedy by the author I enjoyed reading this. It also didn't hurt that I happen to like the illustrator a lot:

Two pretty pics )

Another nice aspect is that their physical relationship didn't include anal sex, which seems to be de rigueur in BL. Unfortunately the novel did fall into the typical anal sex = consummation of love convention at the end, but...I didn't say this novel was particularly original, did I? :P

And last but not least, some music. I've been listening to some great stuff lately:

bleu sky by moumoon
This group is produced by Nagao Dai of DAI (Do As Infinity), and in a way the sound reminds me of DAI. Possibly a cross between DAI and YUI? It is...breezy and slightly folksy and terribly addictive. I have got to find more of their music...Check out the music video of their single "Flower" on youtube.

Kiss Goodbye by Wang Lee Hom
Lovely Chinese ballad. As the title suggests, it sounds like a sad song. According to this translation the lyrics are exactly what one would expect. It's just a pretty, pretty pop ballad.

Moi...Lolita by Alizée
She's apparently a successful French singer, the protege of Mylène Farmer? This is the big hit from her first album. Fabulously addictive if too...consciously sexy? ^^;

Invisible Ink by Aimee Mann
The way she sings in this song reminds me of Vienna Teng a little bit. It's a lovely, simple, folksy song. (I didn't make the connection immediately, but I have a fabulous live cover version of Coldplay's "The Scientist" by her. Damn, she kicks ass!)

Hm, looks like I've gone for four different languages and styles. I'd share more but I'm sick of uploading. :P
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)

December 2015

   1 2345


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags