May 16, 2015
Rize Shinba – DMP/June – 2010 – 1 volume
I bought this after liking Shinba’s Mister Mistress so much. Then I read it and let it sit on a pile of BL I had read and hadn’t reviewed for, like, three years. So I read it again last night.
I liked Shinba’s sense of humor in Mister Mistress, though admittedly, that book wasn’t very good. I liked this one less, mostly because it was a collection of lukewarm short stories. But there’s something to be said about Shinba’s oddball sense of humor. The first story features an underwear thief that eventually gets together with his victim. Another features a student that falls in love with a cheery train operator. Yet another is about a man that likes his cheery delivery man so much that he sends registered mail to himself so that the delivery man can bring it. The fourth is about two students whose fathers are on opposite, combative political parties, and they are meant to be at odds as Student Council President and Vice-President, but they are actually engaged in a secret and embarrassingly sappy love affair.
All are cute, in their way, and Shinba has a gift for upbeat characters, something that can be rare in BL. These stories contain surprisingly little drama, save for the crisis at the end of each that unites the couple. The one I thought was the most serious (the train one), was apparently the one that people found the most irreverent, judging by the author notes. So whatever. The Student Council story at the end is a lot of silliness, and just plain cute. But the jokes never rise much above amusing. I’m sure re-reading a bunch of Yugi Yamada before I picked this up didn’t do it much of a service, either (Yugi Yamada is very funny, and one of my favorite BL authors).
I’d read more Rize Shinba, because I still like her. In fact, I’ve got Intriguing Secrets in my to read pile right now. But this wasn’t one of the better ones. Or maybe it was, and like I said, it just suffered because I read Close the Last Door before I picked this back up. I remember liking My Bad the first time I read it, so there’s that.
And there’s my contradictory, completely pointless thoughts.