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second time's the charm [May. 1st, 2012|08:59 pm]
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I initially didn't care for Mr. Playboy no Junan, a BL novel written by Hatomura Ian and illustrated by Fukai Youki. It's about two very attractive guys who work at different subsidiaries of the same parent company in the same building, how they become friends, and how they fall in love. I loved the premise of two attractive guys commiserating over the problems with being too popular with the ladies, but when I first tried reading it I couldn't get into it. Only when I picked it up again several months later did it click with me.

The main character, Narihara Ayumu, has a really pretty face and a less than easy-going personality that can't always deal with the attention. The other guy, Ootomo Yoshiharu, has less of an objectively stunning face, but is overall very attractive in that he's very capable and very sensitive to others. He's also tall and manly. Ayumu and Ootomo joined their respective companies at the same time and were called the "Playboy Twins" by some superior with a bad sense of humor. The name stuck. Ayumu kinda resented being compared to Ootomo, who is very good at his job. Ayumu is fine at his job, but he's a bit cold. He's learned to deal with unwanted attention by putting some distance between himself and others. But one day Ayumu finds his newest stalker (he's had to move twice because the stalking got so bad) in the lobby of his building. To avoid having to deal with her (and not wanting to take the back entrance because he's had stalkers waiting for him there before as well) he forces himself into a taxi with Ootomo, who happens to be leaving then. He offers to treat Ootomo to dinner for the trouble, and he tells Ootomo about his problems. Ootomo has his own problems, one of which is a bento-making contest he's had to enter for his company. He can't cook. He can't even hold a knife due to a childhood trauma. Lucky for him, Ayumu is a very good cook. Ayumu teaches him to cook, teaching him to use kitchen scissors and other implements to cut instead of using a knife. They can reveal bits of themselves they haven't been able to reveal to others because of their own pride and because others wouldn't be sympathetic because they seem so blessed. They bemoan the problems they've had with girlfriends who couldn't handle how popular they are with other women (even if there isn't a bit of cheating/flirting going on).

The friendship is very sweet on its own, but as this is BL we get them falling for each other. We only get Ayumu's POV, unfortunately. I would've LOVED to get Ootomo's POV at times, because I really enjoyed the shock Ayumu would feel when a situation got romantic or sexual and he'd recognize the mood and feel...out of depth. Seeing the other side would've been cool. In any case, Ayumu intellectually knew what was going on but he just couldn't deal. As the man he's always been the one to put on the moves and being the object of lust/attention/whatever is unnerving. I thought the author did a credible job of showing two very straight, experienced-with-women guys feeling their way towards each other. As Ootomo is just a smoother guy (and we don't get to see his inner turmoil) he seems less...traumatized. Ayumu does some stuff that is not very mature and rather irritated me the first time I read the book, but I felt they were pretty understandable when I reread the book. Seriously, the dude was just plain overwhelmed. And he came around in the end...Though, I think almost anyone would if someone did for them what Ootomo does for Ayumu. OMG SO ROMANTIC IF A BIT DORKY. So yeah, I like this book a lot. (I don't like the art much, though. So sad. I love art that makes OMG SO GORGEOUS GUYS actually look OMG SO GORGEOUS. :P)

In conclusion, I want a sequel.

This entry was originally posted at http://insaneneko.dreamwidth.org/483436.html. Please comment here or there.