Ze 2

August 28, 2010

Yuki Shimizu – 801 Media – 2009 – 7+ volumes

This wraps up the story between Raizou and Kon, and I assume the next volume will feature another troubled kotodama/kami relationship. Or not, since I’m still not clear on what “ZE” stands for. Maybe we will see other branches of mystical and vague magic at work mixed in with the romance next volume, but it’d be a shame for all that kotodama exposition to go to waste.

This was mostly plot-driven, but to be fair, the plot ends about halfway through, and the second half features mostly romantic difficulties and bed scenes between Raizou and Kon. Given how unintentionally poorly they treat each other, there’s a lot of relationship stuff for them to work on and misunderstandings to iron out, so there’s not as much sex as an entire half volume would make you think. But you wouldn’t be remiss in assuming there was some there.

In the first half of the volume, both Raizou and Kon say hurtful things to one another as they try to fumble their way through the kotodama/kami/romantic relationship. They get into a fight, and things end badly when they are separated by Kon’s real kotodama. Kon is kidnapped, but isn’t entirely unhappy that he might get the opportunity to heal a real kotodama and do something useful. Most of the household is in an uproar, but of course, given the individual natures of the inhabitants, they leave it mostly to Raizou to get Kon back. The kotodama situation winds up being more sordid and abusive than Kon originally thought too, so he does indeed need to be rescued.

It’s a decent story, though I don’t think quite good enough to attract people outside the BL realm of interest. I still think the world that the series is set in is extraordinarily interesting, but I didn’t really like Kon and Raizou that much (Kon was too much of an emotionless doll, and Raizou was too apologetic and eager to please, although very heroic). The fact the main couple didn’t click with me is a great reason to praise the upcoming shift in narrative. I will be a little disappointed if things don’t come back to Waki and Ouka/Benio, since they were favorites of mine, but I’m also open to the possibility of new characters too, so it’s not the end of the world.

The romance was well done, even though I wasn’t fond of the main couple. I was dreading that second half, since I thought it would drag quite a bit without an appreciation for them, but the story is well-told enough that I could appreciate all the dynamics and problems being ironed out, which means that this is definitely a cut above the usual BL series.

This continues to be a more than solid BL series, and I am very much looking forward to the change of pace next time.

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