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yoru yori fukaku by fujimori chihiro and illustrated by hasukawa ai [Mar. 10th, 2010|10:34 pm]
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Yoru yori fukaku by Fujimori Chihiro and illustrated by Hasukawa Ai is proof that I have very very low standards when it comes to BL. But at this point, I don't care! This book made me happy! This novel is about a guy, Shuuichi, who loses his mother and takes over her antique jewelry shop. His mother had been gorgeous and knew it, and had been with many, many men over the years. He looked just like her and hated it, and kept a barrier around himself to avoid turning into her. A man comes to ask him to find a particular Faberge ring that the man's great grandmother had brought from Russia and had been handed down generation after generation to the son to be given to his wife. It had gone missing.

Of course things aren't that simple. The man, Toyama, knows exactly who has it. Shuuichi's mother. Toyama's father had been widowed when Toyama was young, and only a year later had fallen for Shuuichi's mother. He'd given the ring to her and hadn't taken it back when they'd parted ways. Toyama hadn't known about the ring's existence until his grandmother had asked about it. He confronted his father about it, but his father hadn't wanted to get it back from Shuuichi's mother. So Toyama had decided to get it back. Shuuichi's mother had died in an accident soon after, so Toyama set his sights on Shuuichi. He goes to Shuuichi as a customer, not revealing the connection between them. He also recognizes that Shuuichi has built a barrier around himself and wants to break that barrier down. He figures it'll be fitting and fun to toy with Shuuichi.

I'm going to skip the middle portion, which is pretty predictable. Toyama persists in trying to get close to Shuuichi. Shuuichi resists, even as he looks for the ring as per Toyama's request. He thinks he recognizes the ring as something his mother had owned, but he doesn't find it among her things. He contacts others in the business but has no luck. Of course, it is inevitable that Toyama and Shuuichi should have sex. It takes a while, but it happens. Shuuichi also discovers that he is in fact his mother's son, and is totally slutty. But more than that, he is drawn to Toyama.

Shuuichi eventually finds the ring in a separate place from all her other jewelry. He tries to find out how his mother had gotten it, because if it had been given to her the correct thing would be to pay for it from the giver before selling it to Toyama because it's extremely valuable. He learns from his mother's associate that Toyama's father had given it to her. Shuuichi tries to give it back to Toyama's father, but is rebuffed. Toyama's father doesn't want it back because he has no one to give it to. He had given it to Shuuichi's mother to hold onto until he was dead. Shuuichi offers to give it to Toyama. Toyama's father agrees that would be best, as he can't give it to Toyama himself because they aren't on good terms.

Shuuichi initially is puzzled as to why Toyama hadn't been forthcoming about Shuuichi's mother's connection to the ring. He naturally puts two and two together, that Toyama must have decided to fuck with the son of the slut that had stolen his father away while getting back the ring. Shuuichi had fallen in love with Toyama and is horribly hurt, so when Shuuichi gives back the ring he tells Toyama that he doesn't want to ever see him again.

The reason I am even talking about this novel is because of pages 219 and 220. They detail Toyama's regret and guilt for having deceived and toyed with and hurt Shuuichi. He'd been a total jerk to think he had the right to mess with the son of someone he'd had a grudge against, and now that he'd lost Shuuichi he realizes he'd fallen in love with Shuuichi as he'd gotten to know him. He regrets not having told Shuuichi after he'd found himself more and more attracted. He sooo knows just how wrong he was. This makes up for all the jerks who never realize their jerkitude in BL. Okay, no, it doesn't. But for one second it felt like it did! I had to stop reading and savor the moment, especially since the author could still mess up the book with their inevitable reunion. But I was not let down!

Shuuichi is not doing well after telling Toyama off. He's not sleeping or eating well. He ends up going to a club he'd gone to with Toyama and drinking a lot. He accepts an invitation by another guy, thinking he can get over Toyama by experiencing pleasure with someone else. But the club owner had called Toyama to let him know that Shuuichi was being targeted by the other patrons, and Toyama comes to rescue Shuuichi from doing something foolish. He drags Shuuichi off...And I dreaded things being ruined by the cliched seme forces himself on uke and makes him submit scene...But it didn't happen. Instead, Toyama confesses his love and asks Shuuichi to chose him. Of course Shuuichi doesn't believe him at first, but in the end Toyama convinces Shuuichi his love is real. Toyama then offers the Fabrege ring to Shuuichi. Shuuichi tries to refuse as he's a guy, but Toyama tells Shuuichi that the only person he can give the ring to is Shuuichi. Just like how his father had given the ring to Shuuichi's mother. He slips it onto Shuuichi's finger and vows on the ring to never hurt Shuuichi again. He will make up for hurting Shuuichi for the rest of his life. They have sex and presumably live happily ever after.

Yeah, incredibly romantic and silly. But! But! It has a seme who starts off as a jerk and ends up as a guy who has learned from his mistakes and makes up for it! And gets to have a totally romantic scene basically vowing eternal love on the ring his ancestors had given to their loved ones! Also, the art is pretty. I especially adore the pic on pg 17 with Toyama brushing back his hair in the rain. He looks amazing. (Yes, I'm shallow.)

I totally skipped the sex scenes because I wanted to know what happened before investing the time to read the book thoroughly, but I'll go back and read them now. I hope they aren't too tiringly cliched, but I think the non-sex interactions would more than make up for any deficiencies in the sex scenes. If there are any.

[User Picture]From: sara_tanaquil
2010-03-11 02:01 pm (UTC)
The reason I am even talking about this novel is because of pages 219 and 220. They detail Toyama's regret and guilt for having deceived and toyed with and hurt Shuuichi.

Oh, man, this hits my repentant mean seme kink dead-on. I will definitely have to add it to the buy list, because I agree, those mean semes don't repent nearly often or half well enough in BL.

I've thought of asking you this before, but can you recommend other titles (manga or novel) that use this theme well? Most of my flist hates mean semes, which only indicates that they are far saner than I, but it means I get plenty of the cute kitty recs and not nearly enough of the good mean seme recs from my usual sources.

[Am LOVING Honto Yajuu by the way. I must post about this soon. How can they be so cute? I don't know which character is more adorable.]

Thanks for the review!
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[User Picture]From: insaneneko
2010-03-12 07:51 am (UTC)
You're welcome! Hope you like this book. XD;

I think you've asked me about repentant mean seme themed books before and I mentioned one book that came to mind immediately. Sadly, I can't think of any more off hand. Most bastard semes just don't repent in a satisfactory manner...Too often the author has the uke just cave in. :P I'll make it a point to post about any books that I remember or come across from now on, though, since I know you are on the lookout for such books.

Happy to hear you've finally gotten to Honto Yajuu!! I know what you mean, both characters are so adorable. And together they are a thousand times more adorable.
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[User Picture]From: sara_tanaquil
2010-03-12 01:53 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I forgot I'd asked you about this before -- I probably bought the book you previously recommended on the latest Japan trip and haven't read it yet. Must bump that one up higher on the list.

Unsatisfactory resolution of a mean seme dynamic really sucks... it's so disappointing. I only put up with the mean to get the groveling in the end.

I'll make it a point to post about any books that I remember or come across from now on, though, since I know you are on the lookout for such books.

Yoroshiku onegaishimasu!
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[User Picture]From: jazzy2may
2010-03-12 02:02 am (UTC)


sounds totally fantastic! ^_^
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[User Picture]From: insaneneko
2010-03-12 07:52 am (UTC)

Re: awesome!

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[User Picture]From: madamada_chan
2010-03-12 02:40 am (UTC)
This makes up for all the jerks who never realize their jerkitude in BL.

ZOMG. Do you know just how many bad memories this single statement brought back? XDDD This is my biggest frustration in, like, 99.9% of all the BL stuff I read and listen to. ;__;

But I'm so happy this book is different ^_^ Will definitely keep it in mind.

Thank you for this review! As always ♥
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[User Picture]From: insaneneko
2010-03-12 07:53 am (UTC)
You're welcome! I am always annoyed at jerk semes who remain jerks to the end. Why do the readers in general like this (I assume they like this since authors continue to write these jerk semes)? I just don't get it.
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