February 5, 2012
Kikuko Kikuya – June – 2011 – 1 volume
Another day, another BL one-shot (or three, I can’t remember how many I wrote up for this update). This one is yet another salaryman volume, because I’ve been working on a theme lately.
This one was pretty great, but I don’t have that much to say about it. Shibui and Himeko work at the same magazine publishing company. Shibui is more than a little intimidated by his former classmate Shibui, who apparently made a pass at him at some point during their college career and scared Shibui off. But Himeko keeps sticking his neck out for Shibui at work. When Himeko confesses his feelings for Shibui once more, Shibui rejects him harshly. A flashback shows us that Himeko was more than a little creepy in his pursuit of Shibui in the past, but when Himeko gives Shibui up cold turkey, Shibui realizes that he misses having Himeko around. Sex is enjoyed by both parties. The end.
I’m liking the trend in BL books I read lately where nobody assaults anybody. Himeko doesn’t force anything more serious than a kiss on Shibui, and I like the way that the love story plays out here, where Himeko doesn’t force Shibui, but Shibui finally gives in anyway. It’s sweet, and fairly romantic without being drama-tastic or terribly emotional. The harshest thing we have to deal with is Shibui’s discomfort, which makes this a slightly unusual story.
The last third of the book contains an epilogue and a few short stories after the two hook up. One is a cute jealousy tale, one is a story about how Himeko tricks Shibui into a blowjob (which is actually pretty funny, in addition to not being nearly as harassing as it sounds), and another about the two finding a middle ground between sex and dating.
It’s a very good book. It’s probably among the better of the one-shots I’ve read. My tastes run towards the slightly more tragic, so I tend to rank those higher, but for a book with none of that, this still ranks pretty highly on my personal list. I have to say, I adore the number of adult-oriented BL titles that June has been releasing lately. I was fairly picky before, since it seemed like the bulk of what was coming out was school-age tales, but I realize I’ve been missing quite a bit of good stuff that’s been coming out over the past year. I’ve been scrambling to snatch them up before they sell out and become too expensive.