Mysterious Dam (2): Star Libra Murder Case

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Synopsis
 
 
 
 
 

Miyako Ayane and his lover Hijiri Ukina used to go the same high school and were in the same mystery club. Later, both became famous mystery authors but in different ways. Ayane’s novels were very detailed and had great plots but didn’t sell :roll:. On the other hand, Ukina’s novels were bestsellers but mostly targeted the younger population. Recently, Ukina’s hit series "Detective girls in uniforms" got a movie deal and so Ukina was very busy. Although the two became lovers since half a year ago when they were both involved in a murder case at an onsen, the two had very little interactions since then. By chance, Ukina got a ticket to the newly completed "Star Libra" and invited Ayane but Ayane got onto the boat’s virgin cruise with his own luck instead :P. While on the boat, Ayane hoped there might be a chance he could spend some sweet moments with Ukina (in short, he wanted a honeymoon 😀 ) but Ukina was busy accompanying the beautiful actress of the movie adaptation of his novel – Himeda Kimika and that really pissed Ayane off. On top of that, people were dying one by one on the boat. What would happen to both Ayane and Ukina’s honeymoon trip?

 
 
Critique

Story: This is the second book in the Mysterious Dam series which I’m collecting at the moment. I am attracted to this series because it’s rare in the BL novel genre to find murder cases. In this novel at least, probably since the emphasis is on "honeymoon", the case itself is very simple and I don’t really feel like there is any deduction at all. A good part of the novel is spent describing Amane’s worries about the way the relationship between himself and Ukina is going as they don’t have much time together. Also, there’s the jealousy factor as Himeda is a beautiful woman and he is not sure just how "gay" Ukina is yet. Also, he himself is troubled by his "fanclub", especially the gloomy guy Umezawa who seems to have taken just too much "absurd" interest in him. It is probably because of the factors above this appears more like a normal "honeymoon" romance rather than a proper "mystery" story. The format here reminds me of Shuudou Rena’s Tsumi series ;). Still, it’s quite an enjoyable read because the two characters are really cute, especially Amane. Since the story is narrated from his point of view, he appears to be like a normal "cute" uke. However, in reality, he is very smart (though he underrates himself in his descriptions) and he loves alcohol but his personality changes vehemently with alcohol. Although he’s tiny physically, he’s surprisingly brave and will confront the murderer or suspect alone (not considering the fact that he might easily be KILLED off). It’s such CUTE Amane that makes this series super enjoyable. Ukina on the other hand is completely the different type. He has a sweet tooth and can’t stand tobacco or alcohol. Although he’s got a nice figure and hangs around gorgeous people all the time, he’s ulber jealous and can’t stand Amane with ANYONE 😦 (Nanya: Oi Oi, this is not fair my boy). Still, he can be quite nice, especially when he invites Amane to live with him. Usually, the seme is the one who doen’t want a high level of intimacy and in Ukina’s case, this can risk losing his reputation if people know he’s gay but he seems to treat Amane more importantly than his own career :D.


Artwork: The illustration is by Matsumoto Katsura sensei, whom I’m a big fan of (her artwork is VERY cute and has a shota feel to it. I particularly like the color insert where Amane first meets Ukina’s producer Kuwana. His "erk" face is mechakucha kawaii!! The picture where Ukina is enjoying his parfeit is also super cute. Best of course is that we get to see Amane-chan in tuxedo although that DEFINITELY doesn’t fit him. He’s best in a school uniform.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bottomline
 
 

If you like mystery + BL and don’t mind a balance that’s overly tipped to the romance side, I recommend this novel. However, please read the first novel before attempting this one. Sadly for me, the first book was out of stock when I ordered it so it made this book a bit hard to comprehend (because there are heavy references to the first novel). In terms of Japanese level, this book should be easy to moderate and it comes with full hiragana and katagana explanations for the kanji so it will be a breeze for learners of Japanese (aka me) to read 😀

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One response »

  1. Pingback: Nanya’s Crazy BLCD Reviews » Blog Archive » Mysterious Dam (3): Murder at the Villa of the God of Death

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