April 20, 2007

This is another story from Fumi Yoshinaga.  They are always a treat, and it’s a shame that we’ll eventually run out of stories from her and will have to wait for more, just like Japan.  But until that happens, we have about fifty billion more volumes of her stuff coming out this year.

This one is extremely sweet and touching in the same way you would expect it to be.  There is an underage pairing (UGH), but we don’t even really get any hints from them until nearly halfway through the volume.  The plot is that a kid who appears to be a delinquent approaches his old elementary music teacher for help in applying for a music high school.  The teacher trains him and pays for his voice lessons with a friend of his, and the kid winds up doing well for himself and getting accepted at the school.  He winds up living with the elementary school teacher for awhile while his mom is in the hospital, and after he gets out, the two are separated for awhile until the kid returns due to his mother constantly bringing back lovers to their house.  In a drunken stupor, the teacher performs on him (nothing too explicit, it was actually quite tame) and the two wind up falling in love and living together, with more explicit stuff down the road once the student nears graduation.  Eventually the pair is found out and the kid goes to Italy to study.

This is actually the first story, which takes up the first half of the volume.  The rest of the volume is about how the teacher copes with the loss of the student… by filling his live with vengeful lovers.  When the student returns to Japan, the teacher has been stabbed by a lover he kept around due to the resemblance to the student, and the student has a hard time finding the teacher again.

It’s extremely subtle, the relationships move at a realistic pace, and the characters are extremely likable and human.  As always, it seems her series are rooted firmly in reality (or maybe not) and seem to reflect a realism that many other series lack.  I love her work to death, and this one ranks up there as a wonderful one-shot.  How does it rank?  Well, below Gerard and Jacques and Flower of Life, below Antique Bakery, but above Ichigenme and Moon and Sandals.  It’s basically what I expected of Moon and Sandals, like a better version of that story… except that story fragments and moves in different directions where this one stays the course with the main couple all the way through, more or less… even though the pair move apart for a long time.

Yes.  Do you like Fumi Yoshinaga?  Then you’ll love this.  If you haven’t read anything by her, it’s still better than most any other BL series I’ve read.  So there you go.

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