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)
Yes, I am a day late (or more in some parts of the world)...But I've been really out of it lately. :P I keep putting off all kinds of things, from the important like work and cleaning to the more trivial like replying to comments. Talk about a not very auspicious way to start off the new year...But then, negative occurrences on the last day of the year can do that to a person. *sighs*

Been rereading the Shiawase ni dekiru series by Tanizaki Izumi (which I have posted about before, though only perfunctorily) because I recently heard the fifth CD drama....Oh man, I think I was too harsh on the series before. It's just so much fun! It helps that the CD drama is, but that's not all. The series really grows on me the more I reread it. All the little details are just delightful, especially the changes in the main character's attitude towards his lover. It's so gradual and grudging it's annoying to read at times, but in the end I much prefer it to the overused "mind-blowing sex makes him 'fall in love'" shortcut of a storyline. When he finally acknowledges and accepts love it is deeply satisfying. I highly recommend it for the great mix of humor and comedy. XDXD

Also been rereading a whole crap load of other BL novels in an effort to sort out my collection. Found some to be much better than I remembered, while others didn't stand up to a reread. I wish I wasn't feeling so lazy so that I could write up posts on the best (and worst) of them.
insaneneko: (Default)

I'm rather ambivalent about Dorothy no yubiwa and Isolde no tsubo by Tanizaki Izumi and illustrated by Rikuyu Chikako. I bought the first one because it's done by the author and illustrator of the Shiawase ni dekiru series. I figured even if the story turned out crappy I could look at the pictures...Though it didn't turn out to be total crap, it had one big negative and one big positive that on the whole made me not like it too much. But I figured I'd give it another try (since I didn't totally hate the first book) and bought the second book. The one big negative and one big positive were only confirmed in my mind, and I still can't quite like it. But I still don't hate it. I'd probably buy a third book if it came out, mainly because...of the one big positive and the art (yes, the art was not the one big positive).

Er, onto the actual story. I'm too lazy to go back to the book to check details so I'm going to talk about it broadly. It's about Ogata, who had inherited a houseful of antiques from his grandfather along with a antique dealership he doesn't bother with, who often gets caught up in "cases" and "incidents." In the first book he is contacted by someone wanting to sell an undiscovered painting by a famous Western artist. He recognizes it for the real thing (he has an eye for art, as well as for antiques), and decides to try buying it. He contacts Mibongi, a friend that works at a bank, for a loan of the money to buy the painting. But he's bothered by the whole deal and at the last moment calls it off. Unfortunately, Mibongi won't abide by Ogata's decision and meets with the person selling the painting. However, what he gets in exchange for the money is not the real deal Ogata had been shown. Of course that means that Ogata has to get the real painting or else bad things could happen.

As this is BL, there's romance/sex involved. First of all, Mibongi ends up borrowing money from an acquaintance of Ogata's because he couldn't have the bank take a loss...and in exchange the acquaintance demands Mibongi. Second, Ogata has a thing for Mibongi. We learn at some point that Ogata had actually raped Mibongi previously, but at this point there's nothing sexual between them. Ogata works hard to keep Mibongi away from his acquaintance (who apparently treats his lovers badly), even willing to give up the prized antiques his grandfather had left him. Mibongi argues that he can't allow Ogata to do something that drastic for him, asserting that he'll face the consequences of his own actions, but Ogata has a thing for him and stops him...Which results in sex. Naturally.

The negative and positive things I mentioned earlier? They are Ogata and Mibongi, respectively. Ogata is hot. He has stubble. He almost always seems indolent. He's street-smart and realistic. And he has a tragic past with a dead wife (or something like that). I like men in BL who have non-gay (or, if older, non-virgin) pasts. His one big deficiency, in my mind, is his thing for Mibongi. Mibongi is shallow and irritating. He isn't particularly interesting, sweet, sexy, smart, observant, generous, or (insert any other positive attribute here). The only thing going for him is that he looks pretty damn good (unknowingly) wearing a female yukata.

And that's all I really have to say about this series. I am very disappointed that the uke is so...worthless. He's so worthless he's beneath contempt, he's just bleah.

some random pretty pics from both novels )
insaneneko: (Default)
While idly looking around I saw that [ profile] rusalkaz had posted the illustrations from volume 1 of Shiawase ni dekiru by Tanizaki Izumi and illustrated by Rikuyu Chikako with explanations (from the drama CD) here. I had been planning to write about this series (12 books total), but now I don't have to! I'll just talk about my impression of the entire series instead. XD

obviously, spoilers under the cut )

Oh, and the drama CDs are excellent. Okiayu Ryoutarou does haughty seme sooo well, and Morikawa Toshiyuki is so good at being put upon and exasperated. I've heard...I think three of the drama CDs, and they are hilarious. This story is well suited to the format.

Sorry about the weird tenses, I just don't want to bother being consistent. :P


insaneneko: (Default)

December 2015

   1 2345


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags