You Higashino – Kitty Media – 2009 – 2 volume
I will freely admit that I only bought this because it had a hilarious title. It’s worked out before, in the case of All Nippon Air Line, Maniac Shorts Shot (that one was mostly a cover, and because it was about novelty underwear), and I’m sure at least a couple others. Actually, Kitty Media doesn’t have a great track record as far as things I’ve read from them go. Their titles are far pornier than most BL publishers, which is fine, but I’ve only read a couple others that were either downright awful or hilarious and awful. Gay’s Anatomy was definitely better than the others, but still not great.
It fits in my rules since it involves a pair of doctors who are committed lovers (I prefer stories about older men and with no non-con). As far as the nuts and bolts of BL stories go, I was a little disappointed that the niceties of their relationship weren’t developed or shown a little more, mostly we know they are close because they have a lot of sex. One is super dominant, and one is very submissive and blushes a ridiculous amount for a cardiologist (for the record, Tsuda is a neurosurgeon and the dominant partner, Shiraishi is the cardiologist and the submissive, but their names are not important). The plot is that the dominant partner, who is also a neurosurgeon, is summoned home to his big rich family to get married and take over the family corporation. The submissive one, afraid that his happiness is fleeting, encourages the other to his family, thinking he will be happier there. The dominant one leaves. The agent the rich family sent to pick up their son swoops in and tries to pick up the cardiologist. Misunderstandings abound in so many ways, but everything has a way of working out in these stories, doesn’t it?
The plot was pretty superficial, and one of those frustrating affairs where everything would be solved if even one full conversation passed between the characters. One would think that two people that had been lovers for years would be able to talk easier, but I guess not. The dominant one comes off as too manly to share his feelings, to be fair, and the submissive is a big frustrating wimp about absolutely everything, so I guess that’s how they wound up not talking.
Still, I’ll admit that it was a little better than I imagined it would be. Just the fact it features the older, established couple and has no non-con in the main story scores it a lot of points in my book. Plus, the character designs are early 90s-ish, meaning the men look super-manly, which I also enjoy. It’s true that there’s not a lot of BL in English that feature this many sex scenes (though, without romance, even the consensual stuff loses a lot of appeal for me unless it’s funny). Plus, it’s got the title that made me want to pick it up. I really can’t complain too much about what I got.
The last… quarter of the book is a short story unrelated to the main couple, but about a relationship between a physical therapist and the agent that tries to pick up the cardiologist in the first story. The title page and the main character’s profession made me think there’d be some sort of wheelchair sex scene, which was not the case. The agent is a huge creep, though, and hits on and does somehow force the physical therapist into bed at some point. But you know how these stories work out, too.
Actually, yeah, I liked the doctor themes in this book, too, I found that to be an intriguing change of pace. Though the story was bad, overall it’s a pretty fun BL book There is a second prequel volume that hasn’t been published yet, hopefully a coming restructuring of Kitty Media will mean it will get squeezed out at some point. If you’re interested in this artist’s other work (which I am), there’s the similarly punny Sense and Sexuality and an upcoming title from 801 called Deeply Loving a Maniac.