|Kimi ga dare no tonari ni itemo by Tsukigami Hinako and illustrated by Yamada Yugi
||[Sep. 2nd, 2008|07:32 pm]
I had a pretty bad day yesterday, but was comforted by a completely cliched book called Kimi ga dare no tonari ni itemo by Tsukigami Hinako and illustrated by Yamada Yugi. I think it was the fact that it just hit every single convention and cliche possible for this type of story but didn't overdo any of them (there is a good argument to be made that the sum of the parts was too much, but sometimes too much can be good). Hibiya Yuuichi (henceforth to be called "Uke"--I wrote the summary up without the book around for reference and stuck "uke" and "seme" in for the characters' names) is a yuzen artist who had been a school teacher six years ago. He'd broken up with Kuryuu Akinari ("Seme"), a student at his school who'd pure-heartedly pursued him until he'd give in, so that he wouldn't ruin seme's bright future. Of course neither uke nor the seme could forget each other, so when they run into each other six years later...we get angst and conflict (Or what passes for angst and conflict for this author)! Anyone surprised?
Uke has recently become very popular after an actress wears it all over the place. He is visited by a hostess who desperately wants a kimono with one of his designs on it. He refuses as he already has more than enough work, but then the hostess's boy-toy walks in. Turns out to be seme, the kid uke had dumped horribly six years ago "for his own good." (Seme's mom turns up and threatens to reveal the relationship to uke's parents, also begs uke to think of seme's bright future as heir to the pretty large family business). Uke is pressured into accepting the commission.
Seme then starts visting uke, each time with a different woman on his arm. Uke's disciple can't help but find the whole thing distasteful--it's like seme is trying to show how popular he is with the ladies. Uke grins and bears it, knowing that he'd hurt seme so badly. Things get more interesting when seme announces that the hostess had caught him fucking another girl and had kicked him out. He also has a small problem of a client wanting him to commit suicide with her and needs to hide out. He begs uke to let him stay--uke of course capitulates.
Uke has a son named Akira from a past marriage. Akira is the light of uke's life, a sweet kid with a heart of gold. Uke's disciple had been taking care of Akira but seme ends up taking over. Disciple has work to do as well. Because uke won't share any information to seme, seme thinks that uke's wife had died (they'd actually divorced) and that uke still loves her dearly. Seme also thinks that uke had been two-timing him with the wife six years ago, because that's when uke had married his wife.
Turns out that uke had actually married his wife not because he was two-timing seme or was in love with her--he'd been devoted to seme until he had dumped seme. It was because seme had gone a little wild after uke had broken up with him, impregnating the woman who uke would marry. In an amazing coincidence, the woman was uke's kouhai from university. He wants to raise and protect seme's child and manages to convince the woman to marry him. He was a good husband and father, but she knew what was in his heart. She decided they were better off friends and they separated amicably. He got custody because she realized he'd just die without Akira. Isn't she an amazingly understanding and sweet woman?
Seme and uke have a fight about whether Akira can keep a kitten he finds. Uke is adamantly against it, seme thinks uke is being unfair. The next day to "punish" uke seme takes Akira out for the day without telling uke. At the end of the day he takes Akira to his apartment. Uke manages to find out seme's apartment and is relieved to find Akira there. He'd been in an absolute panic about his missing son. Seme feels like a dick--he hadn't realized just how worried uke would be. Uke kicks seme out of his house.
Uke's ex-wife, remarried and pregnant with twins, visits after hearing that uke is rather blue. She tells uke he needs to get over his feelings for seme and move on. Seme is just a memory to her now. Seme interrupts, demanding to know who this strange woman is. He is amazed to find out that she is uke's ex-wife (you mean your wife isn't dead?) and that she'd been an ex-girlfriend. Seme misunderstands the whole situation and becomes nasty. Before the situatin totally degeneates, uke's ex-wife goes into early labor. They panick like men tend to do and end up acting on directions given by ex-wife.
Seme accompanies ex-wife to hospital because uke has to wait for his disciple to come back. Disciple can wait for Akira to come home and they can head for the hospital afterwards. Uke meets up with seme waiting outside the delivery room. Seme asks about a comment the ex-wife made that it was a good thing Akira wasn't like him. Uke admits that Akira is his son. They head up to the roof for a private discussion.
All is cleared up, uke declares that he's only ever loved seme with tears in his eyes. They make out. They go back downstairs to find out ex-wife had given birth already. They face questions on exactly what they were doing all this time. Ex-wife's new husband rushes in, bursts into tears of happiness. Disciple and Akira arrive, delighted at the babies. As they admire the babies, seme pokes uke and tells him he can't wait anymore. He points to his crotch for emphasis. Uke protests that he has to take care of Akira, but seme asks disciple to watch Akira that night so the two of them can make up for real. Disciple is happy that they are not fighting anymore and agrees.
They head for seme's apartment and have sex in right inside the door. Long-suppressed love can't wait one minute to make it to the bed, after all.
Seme quits being a host and permanently moves in with uke. He decides to go back to acting on stage. He manages to become a star in several years time. Seme, uke, and Akira become a happy family.
Totally conventional, but fun. Seme is incredibly immature. His digs and snide comments are pathetic. Why so fixated on getting a reaction from the guy who dumped you so cruelly and tore your tender and pure heart into tiny little pieces? Uke is the typical guilt-ridden, passive yet stubborn type. The way he despaired when he learned of how wrecked seme's life ended up being after he'd sacrificed the love of his life for seme's future was exquisite. Yet he'd given seme up, so he wasn't going to ever let his undying feelings for seme and seme's odd clinginess get in the way of his...martyrdom? He refused to provide any information to the seme that would give the seme any clue that uke did the things he did not just because he was bastard until he was forced to. Akira was my biggest disappointment--he was too good a kid! I like kids with some small bit of attitude, you know?
Seme and uke meet again!
Uke breaks seme's heart! He plays the bastard so well...
Uke introduces his son to seme.
Seme and son get along just fine.
Seme comforts uke after causing uke extreme distress by taking son out for the day.
Notice how the uke's hand is on the fence as he admits his undying love for seme. Such a classic pose.
I was a bit disappointed that the intense kissing didn't turn into a quickie.
But I suppose sex in entrance is some small consolation.
One big plus of reading this book--I checked out examples of yuzen to get a clue as to what the uke was doing all the time. I was amazed at how beautiful it is. XD