August 1, 2015
You Asagiri – Be Beautiful – 2004 – 1 volume
It’s been awhile since I talked about a Be Beautiful book! Possibly because they are old, there aren’t that many of them, and I’ve found most of the ones I want to read. There are probably still some gems that I haven’t run across yet. Sadly, this isn’t one of them.
Shun, after an unspecified accident happened to his brother, is basically put down and ignored by his parents, constantly compared to his older brother, and always coming up short. So he rebels, in his way, by going out drinking at night and hanging out with “the wrong sort.”
He gets into trouble one night after accidentally wandering into a black mass (?!) where they nearly rape him (??!!), but a mysterious blonde stranger saves him. This turns out to be Cain, a model who was idolized by his older brother.
The two share a night of passion, and while Shun thinks this is a one-night stand with an exotic foreigner, turns out Cain has other plans. Cain transfers into Shun’s school, and after some pushing, the two become lovers. Shun thinks this is a coincidence, Cain keeps telling him otherwise.
This has very little going for it, even for a BL book. The sex scenes aren’t that long or explicit, there’s not a great deal of passion in either the sex or the relationship between the two, the characters aren’t developed, and the plot… leads into some strange, nonsensical territory.
Asagiri has nice old-school art, though. And Cain is a little interesting. He was raised in Vietnam and was lately living in England. He cares little for the social niceties in Japan, and is loud, outspoken, and unashamed to be Shun’s stalker. So the book has that going for it.
Always amusing is Be Beautiful’s insistence that these books don’t take place in high school. Shun wears a high school uniform and is clearly in 11th grade. A handful of scenes take place in said high school. The characters insist they are in college.
Eh… eh. There are much better books out there.