|Yaya no tsuki by Mizuhara Toru and illustrated by Machida Qri
||[Dec. 13th, 2009|01:26 am]
I had serious misgivings about Yaya no tsuki by Mizuhara Tohru and illustrated by Machida Qri because of the cover pictures and the blurb. Yet another book about a seme in a position of power treating his kept boy uke badly? This time a gallery owner and an aspiring artist? No thanks! But I read it anyway, and was glad I did. The best part of this book, for me, was the growth of Ryo, the uke, as an artist (as well as a person). I love when authors delve into the creative process and shows the frustrations and the triumphs of artistic development, one of the reasons I love Fujimi Symphony so much. The place Ryo ends up artistically is delightfully appropriate. This author does a decent job of incorporating Sawa, the gallery owner seme, into that development as well. He has an excellent eye and thus is able to provide helpful opinions. It's cute how he's supposed to be so demanding and cruel as a lover, but he never ever ever interrupts Ryo when he's concentrating on painting. Only when he sees that Ryo is out of "artist mode" does he act all imperious. In any case, the romantic part of the story is rather cliched but the author manages to actually tie everything together in the end so that it feels rather satisfying. She didn't just give lip service to the art and concentrate on the dirty details of the sex or whatever as I was afraid she would. All in all, I give it pretty high marks. Sometimes it's really not good to judge a book by its cover (and blurb). ^^;
At the beginning of the book Ryo starts off having had to drop out of art school after his grandfather has died. He and his grandmother live off her meager pension and his sad wages from what was his part-time job in school. After work he sells his paintings on the sidewalk. One night a dude buys his favorite piece, giving him a lot more money than he'd asked for. The dude, Sawa, gives Ryo his business card and tells him to look him up if he wants to paint for real. Ryo had been doing black and white oil paintings as he didn't have the money for color paints. XD;
Ryo had learned to paint from his grandfather, a Japanese painter. He'd done Japanese painting until he'd felt too confined by its forms and switched to oils in college. When he's given the freedom to paint after agreeing to Sawa's support (Sawa likes to support budding artists, but in Ryo's case he demands some immediate satisfaction in the form of Ryo's body), he tries to make his ideas come to life. He finds using colors a problem, so he does black and white. He tries and tries and finds his efforts lacking. He even paints replicas of some Canadian paintings Sawa had noticed were somehow similar to Ryo's paintings to get some hint. But it's only when he sees a magnificent Japanese painting that he realizes that he's just been muddled by colors and by oil painting. He goes back to the Japanese painting he'd abandoned and finds what he's been looking for. He realizes that he'd just taken an easy out when he'd switched to oils, lured by the apparent vast possibilities of colors.
Sawa, for his part, has his own troubles. He had a traumatic young life, which gave him his good eye for art but also made him only look at art in a cold, assessing way. As Ryo is drawn to Sawa, he's troubled by Sawa's attitude towards art. At the end, when he confesses his love to Sawa, he tells Sawa that he'll paint what Sawa likes. He wants to paint things Sawa will love. Sawa replies that Ryo should paint whatever he wants, because he loves Ryo's art. I found that to be the most romantic moment of the book, because Sawa's heart has been sufficiently thawed that he can admit that he loves art, that he loves Ryo's art.