Twittering Birds Never Fly 2
August 1, 2015
Kou Yoneda – DMP/June – 2015 – 3+ volumes
The first review was so long, I don’t have as much to say about the second volume. It’s still really, really good. Among the best BL books I’ve read.
This is still mostly because Yashiro is a very interesting character. He’s a powerful man who loves to be sexually debased by basically anyone and everyone. But one of his superiors marks him as misanthropic, and Yashiro realizes he’s right. He enjoys masochistic sex best, and got into the Yakuza because he preferred the beatings the members gave him while they had sex with him, presumably because they hated him and he only liked them for their hatred.
There’s a long flashback in the second half of the volume that shows Yashiro’s entrance to the Yakuza through the eyes of Misumi, one of his superiors. Misumi adopted him after he found him getting gang-banged, beat up, and begging for more in a Mah Jong parlor. He basically fabricated a debt to keep Yashiro around and semi-working for him, and after Yashiro gets in trouble with one of the other homophobic bosses, Misumi officially inducts him into the Yakuza and takes him on as a partner, both sex and professional.
Yashiro has a lot of sex, and it is very brutal and frequent. But one of the things I like about Yoneda’s writing is that it isn’t romanticized. Most sex scenes with Yashiro are only shown for 1 panel, for the purposes of proving it’s going on and that it’s graphic. There’s no pages-long sex scene of Yashiro getting tied up and burned by an anonymous partner. Yashiro’s habits and fetishes are meant to be repellant and disturbing, and aren’t fetishized for the reader as you would expect. The only romanticized sex scene was a rather intense one where Doumeki describes an encounter he had while Yashiro masturbates. There’s a difference, and I love that Yoneda is a subtle enough writer to convey it.
Also lovely is that Doumeki and Yashiro seem to have hit a wall here. Yashiro has only ever loved one person in his life, and seems to be falling for Doumeki. Doumeki knows he is falling for Yashiro, but refuses to let Yashiro know, for fear that Yashiro will send him away in an attempt to keep a coworker from falling for him. Yashiro begins to seem ashamed of having Doumeki know (or at least watch) his sexual habits. Doumeki begins to pull away from the physical sexual encounters they have, as sexual attraction to Yashiro is beginning to cure him of his impotence. And there’s one subtle scene where it’s implied that Yashiro may have kissed Doumeki in his sleep. I didn’t pick up on that until the second time through.
A lot of the story is about the situation in the Yakuza, but the snippets of the developing relationship between Yashiro and Doumeki are tantalizing. It’s not going quickly, or smoothly, and I’m not sure how long it will stall like this. But I will enjoy every page until the end.
Doumeki also fails Yashiro professionally as a yakuza, and while there’s plenty of feedback here surrounding the incident, I suspect we’ll see the meat of the situation in the next volume.
And now, the wait.