Let Dai 12
January 21, 2009
I know it seems like I’ve been reviewing a lot of boys’ love lately. I can’t help it. It’s all been good lately. Blame Let Dai and my desire to find something better than it. But there is nothing better, I think. Let Dai is just one of the best BL titles there is, and probably one of the best shoujo titles in general, too.
This volume is probably the best in the series. Dai and Jaehee get to live together briefly and have their perfect life while Dai’s family is away and Jaehee is still at odds with his mother about loving Dai. The volume opens with one of the most erotic manga scenes I’ve ever seen. More than a kiss is implied, but the implication is in Jaehee’s imagination. Again, this series does more with kisses than almost any other series can do with pages and pages of sex scenes.
One of the most powerful scenes in the series also occurrs in this volume. After some uncharacteristically sentimental lines from Dai, the two are laying rather innocently and silently on top of one another in the grass. After an entire volume of the two boys doing nothing but enjoying each other’s company, this moment is sort of the climax of all their time spent together. It is extremely touching. Then, Dai’s father walks up unexpectedly and silently takes in the scene from the edge of the yard. Then the pair is shown again. Except, this time, instead of being touching, the scene has turned ugly as you are forced to consider the views of Dai’s father, even without a confrontation or so much as a word from him. The characters and writing is such that the switch is literally a plummet, and it had quite an impact on me the first time I read it.
Again, most BL series won’t deal with the societal implications of homosexuality, but this one does. It almost constantly weighs against the pair, and is discussed often by both boys. To silently invoke that concern at that moment… it was very compelling.
And in case you thought Dai’s father might also have been touched… well, a bit later, he beats the shit out of Dai and tells him never to see Jaehee again.
Meanwhile, Eunhyung’s choice weighs heavily on Gohee, Naru, and the boys who committed the act against her. Her parents and sister get involved with talking to the boys responsible, and… well, basically Naru ruins their lives. They aren’t really thinking too much about what they did when Naru first confronts them at the beginning of the volume, but it’s certainly penetrated by the end of the volume.
On another note, I found Jaehee and Dai’s fashion sense apalling. Jaehee especially. He’s wearing two remarkably horrible shirts back-to-back. Later, Dai decides to have a barbecue in the yard (which leads to the scene I mentioned earlier). They pick clothes for the event, and Jaehee rather enthusiastically chooses a hawaiian shirt, while Dai goes with one of those tropical wrap skirts. Yeah.
So in case you’re not sick of hearing me praise this series… yeah. It really is the best, and this is the best volume of the best. Not to say that there isn’t some good stuff to come, it’s just… well, Dai and Jaehee have a rough road ahead of them.