Kimi ga Suki datta
凪良ゆう, 宝井 理人
Nagira Yuu (novel), Takarai Rihito (art)
H Rate: 8/10
Blab: Yep, another one for Takarai Rihito’s art. For the heft price of the book (1400 yen) I was expecting more… But it’s actually a bit sparse on illustrations, and there’s a lot of filler-like dialogue especially in the second half. Don’t really agree with the single AmazonJP review I read that says the 2nd half is easier to read and more interesting. I didn’t find the drama in general all that interesting.
Seme = Takara
Uke = Mayama (Maya-chan-senpai)
3rd Wheel = Suwa
The first half focuses completely on the love triangle, and at least here I match up with that reviewer. At the end of it all, my response was “Ehh…” I felt for the main couple. It’s just the 3rd wheel in the pairing was SO unlikeable, it didn’t settle well with me.
The bottom-line for this book is that the uke was honestly a bit dimwitted to stay in such an unhealthy relationship all through those highschool days. Don’t really care that he was still young, his judgment was clouded, whatever. It was still pretty… modokashii.
In the second half, the 3rd wheel comes back and as predicted, tries to hook up again with uke. It panned out like I predicted as well, and 3rd wheel tries to redeem himself, knowing that uke is with seme, and acknowledging that seme is better for uke… even with the possibility of seme getting into an arranged marriage. And of course even the arranged marriage is all a misunderstanding. Mehhh.
So yeah, lots of predictable happenings. I say the book is worth about half the price. I wonder if the price was jacked up because of the pretty cover and fancy binding. But imo the binding sucks, you can’t even open the book properly because of the way it’s binded.
At least the H scenes were kind of nice XD;;
Nise Ouji Pina
大鳥 香弥 (著), 宝井 理人 (イラスト)
Blab: Yet another book grabbed because of Takarai Rihito’s art.
Simple names to work with in this novel, Pina (covering for Pearl Ouji) and Asuran. Pina is an orphan who had been living off trash, and by sheer coincidence ends up becoming the Prince’s double when another kingdom attacks. In order to survive, he has to become Asuran’s slave, yet everyone still assumes Pina was once the real Prince. And part of being a slave requires sleeping with the master once a week. Complicated feelings ensue, waii \o/
The cliche setups aren’t really getting to me, and Takarai has had more interesting illustrations in other novels, but I’m enjoying what I can out of the novel anyway. xD In fact, this is the first one I’ve read outside of a normal modern-day Japanese setting, if I don’t count visual novel games such as Lamento and such. o.O;
The book almost spends more time just delving into the uke’s mind as events turn about him than the actual relationship development. Fortunately, I really like this particular uke, so I could read through it all and I could sympathize. It kind of had to happen, seeing as the seme kept going in and out of the picture every other page. Busy busy man… |D…
*SPOILERS FROM HERE ON*
I totally lol’ed when Jeek barged in and told Pina that the whole “sleeping with the master once a week” thing was “optional”.
And that ending was the fluffiest I’ve ever read so far. XD At least I was in the mood for it.
The H, while hot, wasn’t as thorough as I wanted it to be,
even with the scene where the uke was on drugs. But still hot. xD
Naranai Denwa ga Koi wo Tsutaeru
坂井朱生 (著), 宝井理人 (イラスト)
H Rate: 9/10
Blab: Yet ANOTHER book I picked out solely for Takarai Rihito’s art. The single review on amazonJP (at the time of this writeup) rates this book with only 3 stars, but it seems the reviewer just has something against sweet-talkers. I don’t have a problem with it as long as it’s done tastefully. :P
I like this author’s style of writing. Maybe because I suck at doing dialogue so much myself, but this author has a pretty natural way of going about it. I felt there was a good balance of dialogue, monologue and descriptive whatever else. Kyouji’s everlasting tsun and Akiu Takayuki’s unrelenting sweet talk, moemoemoemoe. Even during their H, which fired me up in all the wrong ways XDDD
But because of that good balance, even with half the book spent on Takayuki hitting on Kyouji without getting any real affection back, everything still felt very good. XD;;; In fact, banzai for all that time because it gave me all these “IT WAS ALL WORTH IT, you’re such a good man” feels at the end.
There’s also an age gap, with Kyouji being 19 and they never confirmed Takayuki’s age, but he was probably around or close to 30. M.o.e.
I couldn’t help but feel like Kyouji’s brother Ikuya’s presence was there mostly to just lead off to a possible spin-off of Ikuya and Takao’s relationship. o.O; I can’t say I care much about their story at this point though… (poke me again if Takarai does art for it~).
Oh and 3 beautiful H scenes, big thumbs up XDDDDD;
Definitely want to reread this one sometime.
Doko ni demo aru Koi no Hanashi
柊平 ハルモ (著), 宝井 理人 (イラスト)
Blab: Yet ANOTHER book I picked out solely for Takarai Rihito’s art. The summary could hardly tell me whether I was going to like this or not, so I took a big leap of faith with an unfamiliar writer. Was not disappointed. :D
Apparently the author had been on a hiatus for some time and this was her first in a few years and even longer for a one-volume?
When I started reading, I kind of wanted to picture voices in my mind to go with them. I settled with Kondou Takashi’s iyashi-kei for Hiyoshi Keita and Mizushima Takahiro for Miyagi Shuuya. But as I read on, I realized I was having a hard time REMEMBERING to put my voice choices to the characters, which wasn’t a bad thing really. xD;
There is sexual material with cousins involved (not the main pair), so if you’re squicky about it even for fictional work, avoid? Seriously, I really liked the characters in this books’ ideal of “love”, so this shouldn’t be an issue. It’s a beautifully portrayed love. I really, deeply felt for it.
H scenes for the OTP are also tastefully saved for the two-part epilogue :D
If I DO have any criticisms, it was that this writer is REALLY repetitive in getting her characterization points across. She’ll write out like 3 different ways during the same conversation how the main character is confused about something in his mind, so literally it’ll sometimes be 3 or 4 pages before a conversation moves onto the next line. I kind of laughed about it at certain points. And honestly just skipped some paragraphs altogether.
On that end, while I appreciate the focus on characterization rather than just plotplotplot, it still felt kind of filler-ish, and those pages and time spent reading them could’ve been used more effectively. XD But you can’t win them all. I’d rather they be about characterization than a sideways plot anyway. This book was still very much worthwhile and full of love. God, why aren’t there more men as loving as these guys in real life
Oborozuki Yoru ni, Aitai.
朧月夜に、あいたい。 (幻冬舎ルチル文庫) [文庫]
真崎 ひかる (著), 宝井 理人 (イラスト)
Blab: Another book I picked out for Takarai Rihito’s art. + Piano involvement. For what I paid for it, it was very worthwhile so I’m giving it the 9. XD
Finally a karami that went into some detail XD;
Some good kyunkyun on my piano-playing days. The author didn’t get too deep into the actual mechanics of playing, which is fine, but it was good enough to know that at least she wasn’t a stranger to how the music world works. I also really liked the couple as individual characters quite a bit, even though the seme had it so easygoing, envious~. The uke Niina Keito had an interesting complex with his own name, and the seme Aihara Hiroshige was… an interesting personality all-around. Dahahahahaha. It made the second half even more interesting than the first half in ways, actually. For that, I give it good plus points. I do kind of have to agree with one of the reviews on AmazonJP though, there’s really not much relationship goodness to finish up the story after they do the deed. The resolution with the parents was a good thing, but I’m kind of picky like the reviewer and would’ve wanted more too.
Also, the double-layering plot with “Nao-chan” and the piano bit didn’t quite fit in with me. I kept feeling like the Nao-chan part was just unnecessary, even though the title of the book is based on that part. But then the piano part would be the part that seemed “extra” even though I prefered that part… =w=;;; Well, it’s only a very slight complaint, and at the end it does come together a bit.
The extra part written for the volume was mostly an expansion on “Nao-chan” which I honestly skimmed through. It was generally interesting, but I just wasn’t generally interested. XD; The ending part with Aihara’s perspective was very interesting though. Ohohohoho.
The age gap for this one was the good kind of moeeee.
There’s apparently a spin-off 有明月に、おねがい for Tomosaka Masubi’s coupling also with Takarai’s art, but I don’t think I’m interested in his character enough for it. XD;
by 杉原 理生 (著), 宝井 理人 (イラスト)
Blab: An awful lot of general storytelling about the characters in their careers as freelance film directors/photographers which honestly didn’t interest me much. My eyes scanned through and found all the parts pertaining to the development of the pair itself XD;
Also, there was zero meaning to having the seme smoke. All he did was pop it out on occasion and ruin the atmosphere unless I ignored it altogether, and since I was already doing that with other parts of the book, I was able to do that. I just wish that part just hadn’t been part of the setting in the first place
The H was kind of hot~ Most of the BL novels I’ve read are extremely light in H content (and I’m fine with it that way), but I liked the slight daringness this piece has and I would’ve been fine seeing it go even deeper. XD
The book is divided into two parts, and the first part ends with the seme’s commitment while the second half ends with the uke’s. The age gap was moe. The basic personality differences between the two was also moe. The first half was considerably more interesting to me than the second half, especially since the second half gets into long flashbacks about alcohol abuse and domestic violence from the uke’s father, blahblahblah. That was on top of the usual career talk I didn’t have interest in. XD;
But at least Takarai Rihito’s art makes it totally worth it
by 木原 音瀬 (著), 車折 まゆ (イラスト)
Release Date: 2009/4/15
Blab: Random pickup for Konohara Narise since the summary interested me. I was a bit surprised the actual novel is smaller than my usual BL books, but there’s still plenty of material in it to read. In fact I haven’t even read the one shot that was added to the back of the book… ^^;
My interest in the couple waned off towards the end and I only brushed through the parts about coming out to the parents. But the first 2/3 of the book was pretty good. A few things irked me here and there, like the girl in the story who seemed double-personality to me >_> (at least she disappears from the story altogether relatively quickly), but the all-important male x male bonding was great on my heart >w< ~ The art is REALLY not my style but I still appreciated it.
Corn Soup ga Ochitekite
Written by: Matsumae Yuri
Illustrated by: Takarai Rihito
Blab: I picked this up for a random BL novel exploration and wanting to see more of Takarai Rihito’s nice art after re-reading Seven Days (and this title in particular because WHAT these characters look so much like the Seven Days couple, but their personalities are really different).~ It was pretty easy to get into and read through. It read like a long slice-of-life high school setting fic I would read for my favorite fan pairings XD; While it didn’t do anything AMAZING to my heart, I still felt some heart-throb and had a good time reading this piece. Wouldn’t mind seeing this one get a CD Drama some day, although I guess it’s not likely?
COLD Series 3 : COLD FEVER
(COLDシリーズ 3:COLD FEVER)
Takahisa Tooru 高久透 : Hatano Wataru 羽多野渉
Fujishima Keishi 藤島啓志 : Nojima Hirofumi 野島裕史
Hatano Wataru x Nojima Hirofumi
羽多野渉 × 野島裕史
I read the novel before I listened to the CD for the first time in the BL genre.
Will be adding the Drama CD portion when it’s out. added!
Spoilers and R-18 discussion: (more…)
COLD Series 2 : COLD LIGHT
(COLDシリーズ 2:COLD LIGHT)
Release Date: 3/25/2010
Takahisa Tooru 高久透 : Hatano Wataru 羽多野渉
Fujishima Keishi 藤島啓志 : Nojima Hirofumi 野島裕史
Hatano Wataru x Nojima Hirofumi
羽多野渉 × 野島裕史
H Rate (CD): 6/10 – Just because it gets cut off as usual… XD
H Rate (Book): 7/10 – Just because it’s a bit more descriptive, lawl.
Blab: Hoshit drama.
But omg, it hurt in a funny way to see Noji-nii play his younger role (high school). But the end of the CD made it ALLLLL worth it. I look forward to the last installment.
Akai Hana was a good listen too. Mmmmmm.
will be reading the novels before COLD FEVER is out >>