Cold Trilogy 3: Cold Fever

March 13, 2012

Narise Konohara – DMP / June – 2010 – 3 volumes
this is a novel

Uuuugh. This was wretched! I thought the last book, with its child abuse and whatnot, was going to be the hardest thing this series was going to dish out. I liked the first volume well enough, and while I hated reading the second, I thought the third would be more of what I enjoyed.

IT’S NOT. There’s not a whole lot to enjoy in this book.

It starts out promising, much like the second volume. There, I liked the change in perspective so that Fujishima was telling the story. Here, Tohru gets his memories back, but loses the ones he made with Fujishima in the process. This is super-interesting, and was a fun read initially. In its way, I mean. It was still pretty sad and melodramatic. Tohru slowly got his bearings and figured out what happened to six years of his life. He had no recollection of anything after a night of heavy drinking. I was worried, though, because it was obvious from the first two books that the former Tohru was a terrible person. How was this going to fit into the happy love story here?

It doesn’t. Fujishima takes care of this new version of Tohru. While Tohru is an absolute jerk to everyone and everything, it works much the same way the first volume did, just with an angrier Tohru. Fujishima says very little and offers silent and hands-off support while Tohru tries to get his life back together. Tohru hates Fujishima after what happened in his childhood, and while he is rather terrible to him, things begin to settle down after a bit.

Then Tohru finds out that he and Fujishima were lovers. What follows is 150 pages of Tohru beating the shit out of Fujishima and raping him on an apparent daily basis. Fujishima says nothing to this, and silently takes the punishment without trying to avoid Tohru, stand up for himself, or ask why. For months, in the context of the story. It was awful. I think I only finished the book because I kept waiting for Fujishima to finally snap. I wanted to see him get his revenge. I was hoping all that punishment he took from his mother would come to bear in the present, and he just wouldn’t be able to take any more. He doesn’t do anything. Things follow as you would expect in this kind of novel, but I think Tohru only “realizes he loves Fujishima” in the last 10-20 pages of the main story. There are savage beatings all the way up to the end.

Honestly? I can’t figure out which I liked least, this or Don’t Worry Mama. Probably this. Don’t Worry Mama read like an intentional trolling, whereas this was… ugh. Konohara writes a brief epilogue that explains that she wanted to write a story about a couple that couldn’t be happy together. Well, it is that.

There’s a story in the back of the volume that follows Taniguchi and Kurokawa. I believe this was the couple featured in the shorts in the backs of the other novels, too. Their story was lengthy in this volume, and overlapped with Tohru and Fujishima’s story a bit. But that couple wasn’t all that pleasant, either. I do like that Konohara is trying to write something other than happy storybook couples, but I don’t really want to read about people that hate each other this badly.

Uh. Well, I’m still looking forward to Castle Mango next month! I still liked About Love and The Man Who Doesn’t Take Off His Clothes! At least there’s that.

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