Dear Myself

December 21, 2008

So after reading everything by Mikyo Tsuda, I still have yet to try her friend Eiki Eiki, who I have been told has a similar, if not identical, flavor.  I’ve had this volume on my shelf for years and never read it, which is kind of a shame.

I like the premise a lot.  The main character wakes up one day to find his memory restored, and the last two years a blank due to a fit of amnesia.  During these two years he cannot recall, he’s acquired a male lover when he has previously not favored men, and the story is mostly about him coming to terms with the fact that he loves the person, subconsciously if nothing else at first.

There are a lot of things that I chose to let go in favor of suspending my disbelief.  Does one’s sexual preference change if you get amnesia?  I… I don’t think so.  Also, I had to let go of the fact that nobody really gave the main character any consideration whatsoever, nor did it occur to them immediately that he may have recovered his memories at the beginning of the story despite the fact they would have dealt with his amnesia every day.  The love interest is downright abusive about him not remembering and doesn’t seem to understand at all.  The realistic detail of the main character having to repeat a year of school was a nice touch, though.

The storytelling techniques used here were also quite nice.  Hirofumi, the main character, was instructed to keep a journal while he was living without memories, since the chance that he could lose his memory again was high (again, this was another detail I had to let go).  The story of the relationship between the couple was told in flashbacks through Hirofumi’s perusal of this diary.  He also wrote a letter to himself specifically telling him not to hurt Daigo (the love interest) if he got his memories back and forgot him.

Because this ran in Wings (or a Wings-like publication, “Dear Plus”), as much as I like the plot and basic premise, there’s something vaguely wrong that makes the story less enjoyable.  In this case, it’s Daigo’s inability to keep his hands off the main character and not act insulted when he doesn’t remember him.  Daigo’s a big drama queen, and I always felt like slapping him when he got belligerent about Hirofumi’s lack of memory.  Give the guy time!  Obviously, if he’s reacting subconsciously, the feelings are still there (corny as that is), so just take things slow, and things should work themselves out in the end.  I also wasn’t terribly drawn into their relationship for that reason, because I just thought Daigo wasn’t really acting right.

I also disliked the fact that Daigo was in a relationship with his uncle in order to give him attachment issues and have him act the way he does.  I kind of felt this was totally unnecessary, or could have been gone about in a different way rather than implying a sexual relationship between a child and guardian like that.

But the plot is pretty awesome, and I liked the eventual resolution as well.  There’s a sequel to this series floating around somewhere, World’s End, but I feel like all the novelty was in this volume, especially since I wasn’t that fond of the couple.  It was a surprisingly good read though, and a fine one-shot.  The premise is actually good enough to be stretched into a series lasting a few volumes, but pretty much everything about the memory loss and Daigo and Hirofumi’s relationship is resolved in this volume, so I kind of doubt World’s End is going to have much of that stuff in it.