|bitching about Yoshihara Rieko
||[Jul. 11th, 2013|09:12 pm]
So. I read a lot of Yoshihara Rieko. I suppose she's still best known for Ai no Kusabi, which I personally thought was crap. The series I've been following over the years are Kusare-en no Housoku (about a trio of childhood friends, two of whom are lovers) and Nijuu Rasen (about incest, among other things). I recently got the newest volume of Nijuu Rasen, and was quite dissatisfied. I raved about volume 6 two years ago, but it feels like the following two volumes aren't going anywhere. Things happen, yes, but the narrative doesn't feel like it's moving forward. There is a lot of whining by a lot of characters (the fall-out from the cool stuff that happened in volume 6), but the characters I care about (the main character, his brothers and his school friends) don't do much of anything. In fact, I don't think the school friends show up much. Instead we get lots of self-pity by others who could die for all I care about them. It feels like she's barely treading water, and it just drives me nuts.
A couple of months ago a new volume of Kusare-en no Housoku was published after a LONG hiatus. I was ecstatic when I found out and ordered it immediately. But when I read it? It felt like the story wasn't going anywhere. The new volume introduces a bunch of new characters, with one particularly irritating one that I fear will cause much grief and annoyance in the future. What I liked about this particular series (read my summaries of the first two volumes here and here) is the school life stuff and the relationship between the three childhood friends. The new characters are totally unrelated to school. Why are you bringing in more annoying characters when not everything has been resolved with the annoying characters at school??? It feels like a distraction to me. This volume did throw me a bone with the sweetest scene between the two lovers (with a really lovely pic I will have to scan when I can find my scanner…), but..it's not enough! I just wanted a continuation (and eventual resolution) of the drama at school, not to be shoved into a different situation. GAH.
I had previously bought the first two volumes of the Hidamari ni fuku kaze series, which I've seen described as somewhat similar to Kusare-en no Housoku. I was so starved of my lovelies from Kusare-en that I figured I'd give it a try, even though the cover is such a turn off for me (the main character looks bleah, and the guy who will be his lover has a braided ponytail--a fact drives me nuts for some reason). In any case, the books did nothing for me. The characters seemed completely 2D and I couldn't understand why the other guy was so into the main character. At first the other guy is very dog-like in the way he interacts with the main guy (happy-go-lucky and completely oblivious to how much the main guy doesn't care about him). Then suddenly he is all sexual and aggressive. The main guy is not a passive sort, yet he lets the other guy just be all sexual and aggressive, even though I got zero vibes that he was into other guy in that way. Oh-kay. I knew there'd be sex at some point since this was BL, but it still felt almost random. I couldn't get either of them at all. After I read the two volumes I longed for Kusare-en with the wonderful couple who seemed to have a real relationship built on trust and love and all that other stuff. My disappointment in the new Kusare-en volume was even worse after I'd compared it so favorably to this one. *sighs*
The sad thing is that Hidamari is still better than Ai no Kusabi. I can't believe how bad an experience I had reading AnK. I feel like throwing my copies away, but my aversion to throwing away perfectly good books prevents me for now.
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