Yugi Yamada – DMP/June – 2010 – 1 volume
I pulled this from the depths of my read-not-reviewed pile. It has been a while since I read it, but flipping through it… man. I just really love Yugi Yamada. Her characters are so mean to each other, but in a very funny rather than terrible way. The personalities always bounce off one another, and usually the romances develop at a reasonable pace and are very satisfying. Plus, her best ones all feature older couples, which is always something I’m partial to.
This volume (a long one!) features Masafumi, a salesman that works at a small publishing company, and Katsuhiro, a prickly personality that runs a used bookstore. Masafumi is ordered to find a translator for a Czech book that was recently adapted into a movie, and when the usual Japanese-Czech translator refuses the crazy rush job, Masafumi approaches Katsuhiro with the job. The two met at college and have a little bad blood between them, which isn’t helped by the fact Katsuhiro needles Masafumi in a deadpan way about every little thing. There’s a lot of anger between them, and in a Yugi Yamada series, that’s a very funny thing indeed.
And… it goes on from there. The bad blood between them is about a girlfriend that Masafumi thought Katsuhiro had mistreated. The situation plays out again via a woman that is living with Katsuhiro, and when Masafumi confronts him about it… uh, they have sex. Somehow, it really works, like of course those two have sex when there’s nothing between them and Masafumi doesn’t seem to be gay. It’s a really passionate scene, and the two stay together after that. Usually, such things are pet peeves, but Yamada really has a sense of how to make such things passionate.
Sometimes the perspective switches from chapter to chapter. Katsuhiro is very deadpan and emotionless, so he can’t express himself well and we find out that he thinks Masafumi slept with him in a moment of weakness. On the contrary, Masafumi is completely serious and dedicated about the relationship, though doesn’t say much at all to that effect to Katsuhiro.
Aside from the romance, there’s also a little bit of family stuff, and the subplots about publishing and translating. Both funny and romantic, it’s really wonderful, and I can’t recommend it enough to anyone looking for a good BL read. It’s not my absolute favorite by Yamada (Close the Last Door is one of my top BL books/series), but it’s a close second. Used prices are starting to creep up on it at the moment, but it’s definitely worth the $15 it’s going for now.