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in this deeply sinful night [Jul. 19th, 2008|01:40 pm]
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Kono tsumi bukaki yoru ni by Izumi Katsura and illustrated by Enjin Yamimaru is a thoroughly unremarkable novel, but I wanted to mention it because it's part of the Seikanji family series about a prominent family in decline, helped out by the utter slutitude of the head of the family. He gets one book and the three sons get one each. I keep running into this series by accident because the Japanese publishing industry seems to love not putting a clear notice that a given novel is part of a series (or a sequel) and get exasperated each time. I think I liked one of the others, but I distinctly remember finding the one with the father totally worthless. This one is about the "responsible" oldest son who becomes a military officer and desperately wants to keep the family going. Of course, he gets involved with an old child of a family servant who turns out be a socialist. There are a lot of misunderstandings and desperate attempts to "save" each other, but in the end the "responsible" oldest son ditches his family and country and runs off to Shanghai with his socialist lover (after a really silly confrontation including another military officer and a socialist comrade). (Check out a more detailed summary of the story via the cd drama here). The best part of the novel was how they manage in Shanghai. The oldest son made a crappy military officer--I guess the author wanted the contrast with the socialist agitator but I wish she'd given him a bit more credibility as a military man. How the hell did he manage to get through officer school (or whatever the Japanese military did back then)?

Hm, I have no idea why I even bothered to mention this book. It's not particularly bad or good, but I can see people who like this kind of pointlessly indulgent "rich, privileged beauty in the Meiji/Taisho era learning to submit to pleasure (and, eventually, to love)" story line take to it and the other books in the series. Especially since at least two of them have totally gratuitous non-con and/or "you must submit or else" scenes.

Unfortunately, the art wasn't very interesting. Most of the illustrations were sex scenes of the most banal variety. Not even Enjin-sensei's lovely art saved them. My favorite was an omake pic at the very end: