Mars 6

December 12, 2011

Fuyumi Soryo – Tokyopop – 2003 – 15 volumes

This volume is all about Yuji, the new guy. Here, we really see how good Soryo is at character development. She comes at it from all sides, not just developing Yuji, but slowly developing and changing Yuji’s relationships with Rei and Kira as more and more is revealed about him. It’s great stuff.

Yuji starts out as a rather sympathetic character. A new student, he comes out of the closet and admits he has feelings for Rei. Rei takes this badly, and Kira gets upset until all three of them begin hanging out. But slowly, very slowly, we find out that Yuji acts and reacts in order to garner maximum sympathy, especially in Kira. By the end of the book, we find out that Yuji is a bonafide psychopath, and his interest in Rei isn’t romantic, but rather because he sees the same type of unsympathetic, cruel personality as himself in Rei.

His disturbing personality is revealed slowly. Both Rei and Kira begin to suspect something is up with him when they begin to suspect the sincerity of his words. It becomes obvious Yuji is playing both Rei and Kira fairly early on, and he reveals himself to Rei before Kira. Kira goes from feeling sorry for him, to genuinely liking him as a friend, to sympathizing with him over a trauma in his past, to almost being frightened of him when he reveals to her again and again bad aspects of Rei’s personality. And Rei parries Yuji’s direct challenges a few times in this volume, whether it’s an admission or two about Yuji’s terrible past, direct comparisons to Rei’s own behavior, and other things.

Again, this is a wonderful bit of storytelling, and throwing a disturbing and unpredictable character like Yuji into the mix is an interesting move, plot-wise. He’s got no link romantically with either character, so I like that his presence will inevitably involve a very different kind of danger for Rei and Kira.

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