In These Words 1
November 3, 2012
GUILTPLEASURE – DMP/801 Media – 2012 – 1+ volumes
This has an interesting publication history. I believe it started as a multi-part doujinshi (in English and Chinese, maybe?), but it was released “officially” English this year by 801 in a volume with several chapters compiled, and I believe it is also currently serialized in BExBOY Gold? At any rate, there are several more GuiltPleasure items I’m thinking about picking up. Wherever it comes from, it’s really, really amazing. I imagine it’s not going to be for a lot of people, but it’s still quite good.
It’s basically about a serial killer and his psychiatrist. Shinohara, the criminal, is basically accused of kidnapping, torturing, and raping his victims before murdering them, so he’s about as bad as it gets. Asano is responsible for profiling the killer based on the unsolved murders, so he was responsible for the police catching Shinohara. Several years later, Shinohara wants to give a full confession, but only to Asano. Shinohara is kept in a solitary facility with only a couple guards, himself, and Asano in attendance. After interviewing Shinohara face-to-face in several sessions, it becomes clear Shinohara is overwhelming Asano, and Asano begins to have nightmares about Shinohara practicing his crimes on Asano.
The thing about this as a BL book… it’s not a romance. At least, it didn’t come off that way to me. The link between the two was obsession rather than love, the way I read it, and I found that to be and interesting and very thin line. There are some 4-panel comics in the back that make it seem like, perhaps, it is intended to be, and that’s a bit terrifying given the nature of Shinohara’s crimes. But the book itself reads a little like Silence of the Lambs, and has about as much romantic overtone as that does. I don’t read it as romance, really, more obsession, and it’s pulled off very, very well. Of course, the crime scenes and dreams are hard to read. Very hard to read. But Shinohara is a Bad Man, and again, this isn’t really meant to be a romance. Or at least I get that impression.
It really is one of those books that you will either hate and be repulsed by, or you’ll be really into it. I don’t think there’s any gray area, especially since many will likely link the two main characters as a couple. I didn’t see it that way, but to be fair, I can see how others might.
I like it, but I also tend to like mystery novels that read like this. That this is a beautifully drawn comic version is like a bonus. I’ve been trying all summer to see when volume two is coming out, and I literally can’t wait. But I know where I can pick up the beginnings of volume two. Thank you, GuiltPleasure!