Our Everlasting 2
May 10, 2012
Toko Kawai – DMP / June – 2006 – 2 volumes
Before I get into the content of the real story in this volume, I was more interested in the short story in the back, “My Beautiful World.” In the Walnut is my favorite Toko Kawai series, and that story is where the characters first appear. Interestingly, it’s reprinted both here and in the first volume of In the Walnut. This is a much older book in terms of when it came out in English, and it’s also one of the best examples I’ve found of what a difference a good adaptation makes. This one has a much stiffer, less natural flow than the version I read in In the Walnut. It’s not bad, per se, but the newer version is much better. I love that the progress of June can be measured between the two versions of this story.
Anyway! Horyu and Shouin are who we paid to see this time, and there’s 150 pages of them to be had here. Again, this isn’t the most groundbreaking of stories, but I do like the characters a lot, and I appreciate the twists Kawai throws in to make things more interesting. Horyu’s surfing career is taking off in a big way, and one of the stories is about how he has to decide between his career or Shouin. Not in a very literal sense, like if he surfs he can’t see Shouin, but Shouin doesn’t want to live a life of following Horyu around to different beaches, and he doesn’t want to see Horyu give up surfing, either. Plus, Shouin has his own dreams. It’s more complex than this problem usually is in a BL romance like this, and I appreciate all the extra time and complications that went into it. Granted, the solution is always, always the same, but there would be something unsatisfying about it otherwise, right?
One of the other interesting things in here was that the last chapter was about Shouin and Horyu looking after someone’s infant. One of the points of contention between the two early on was that, in the past, Horyu had mentioned how much he liked children and that he wanted a family, and Shouin couldn’t stand to be with him and take that away from him. But this chapter hints at the fact that they can be a family without a wife to bear children. It paints a very happy picture for the ending, and children come up so rarely in these stories. I can think of… maybe two other books that feature children as family members. Technically, this one doesn’t really, but I love that the last chapter leaves the future wide open for the two of them like that.
It’s definitely one of Kawai’s weaker books, and it stays closer to the BL stereotypes than her others, but it’s still an enjoyable read. She’s a great writer, and that her first work is this good says a lot about just how great her later work is. This is worth picking up, but as a follow-up, try In the Walnut or The Scent of Apple Blossoms!