December 3, 2011
Narise Konohara – June – 2008 – 1 volume
this is a novel
WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH THIS BOOK.
It reads like someone gave Narise Konohara a writing prompt.
“Hey, we want you to write a BL novel, but make it as unappealing as possible. Make sure the uke has the absolute worst personality you can think of. He’s self-centered, loud, annoying, useless, and he holds out food in survival situations. Hmm… well, maybe he’s morbidly obese, too. And a mama’s boy. Make sure to graphically describe how fat he is every chance you get. Also, he has a micro penis. Wait, an uncircumcised micro penis. And… uh, the foreskin can’t be pulled back. Make sure you really get a lot of descriptions of that in there. Let’s see, what else… well, okay, make sure you write a sympathetic seme character, to give the readers something to cheer for, but take that away eventually, too. By the end of the book, he ought to be an asshole. Can you do it? Great! We’ll translate it into English, too.”
Yuki Shimizu, the relatively popular artist of Love Mode and Ze, did the illustrations for this book. I imagine she cried when they told her. There are only illustrations of the seme through the first story. Even on the cover, you only see the uke’s arms.
In the postscript, Konohara mentioned she wished Shimizu could have drawn their penises. Then I knew it was all done intentionally. I had just been trolled.
On one hand, I think this may be the only BL book I’ve ever read with an overweight character in it. On the other hand, he’s a terrible person, and the chemistry between the couple is nonexistent, so he’s impossible to like. When the seme spitefully describes his looks again and again, you can’t blame him, especially after the uke holds out on a food supply for days, and guards it jealously even after the seme mentions he’d like some. Even after that, when the seme finds food, it’s carrots, and the uke smacks them out of his hands and stomps all over them when the seme offers to feed him. This is what I’m talking about.
Then the seme goes out back and masturbates to a graphic description of the uke. God dammit. When we get to the parts where they’re actually having sex, and the whole uncircumcised phimotic micro penis comes into play, that’s when it crossed the line for me. I’m completely asexual, and it killed even my imaginary sex drive forever.
It was like a slap in the face when I realized that Narise Konohara wrote the excellent About Love, a book I had read and praised to the skies the day before I read this one. I didn’t find that out until after I finished this, though.
June’s description of the plot also leaves out all the gory details. It makes it sound like the two are stuck on a deserted island, one hates the other, and we all know what happens from there. I’m a big fan of June novels, and I keep my expectations low, so I figured it would be a decent read. Plus, someone had recommended The Man Who Doesn’t Take Off His Clothes, and this was part of the same series, so I bought the series and read this one first.
There are two stories, each one takes up half the book. The second story is set a couple years in the future, when the uke is a sommelier and living with the seme. The uke has undergone a personality change, and is no longer insufferable, but this is when the seme turns completely into a faceless, jealous bully. It crossed the line in the first story, but this just sealed the deal. To top it off, the chemistry between them isn’t good. The first story has the two forced together in the deserted island situation, so they aren’t really falling in love. And they’re together in the second story, but while it is told from the uke’s point of view, the only interaction between the couple is the seme pushing him around, and it’s not much fun at all.