Esu -Kamiato-

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Although I talked about this novel here and there some time ago, I have not written a review about it yet. So, I’ll write one before the CD and the new novel comes out next month. I already preordered them because I’m curious as to what Cyberphase will sell in their preorder bonus package. I’ll probably combine the novel and CD review (unless they made big changes to the plot) so I just put the seiyuu names here for reference purposes. Before I proceed, I must issue a warning. If you read BL for relaxation, please STAY AWAY from this novel or drama. This is a TRAGEDY!! There is no happy end … but happy endings only exist in fairy tales…

In the first novel, we saw how Shiba Masaki (CV: Kamiya Hiroshi) successfully made the young strategist of Matsukura gumi, Munechika Keigo (CV: Konishi Katsuyuki) his S (for spy). The two got closer physically in the end of the first novel but psychologically, there are still many barriers existing. Most important of all, Shiba is still uncertain as to what is the most accurate way to treat his S. Just as Munechika says, when Shiba is in bed, he’s more irropoi than a prostitute. However, once it’s over, he returns to his cold self and there is never any follow up – no warm words, nothing from Shiba. This happens because Shiba logically understands that he cannot fall in love with his S. In fact, he must treat the relationship as a business transaction. However, deeper inside, his feelings for Munechika and once he is overpowered by these feelings, he loses control and feels he might be subtly changed by Munechika. His own unrest scares him and stimulates him to create a pseudo-distance between Munechika and himself. Just when he was puzzled, he received a new order from headquarters. Instead of his routine investigation, he is designated to cooperate with Nagakura (CV: Kuroda Takaya) to investigate Ikkoukai’s armory. His task is to contact Nagakura’s S Takanashi Mao (20) (CV: Takeuchi Ken). Takanashi is the lover of Ikkoukai’s leader Kumegi Yukihiko (CV: ?) and he uses that position to supply information to Nagakura. Nagakura treats his S quite "roughly" and Takanashi also seems to want to find the location of the arsenal quickly so that he can escape from Nagakura. As Shiba maintains contact with Takanashi and gradually barges into the world between Nagakura and Takanashi, he soon finds reality is far from what it seems. Also in that world, he soon finds the answer to his troubles.

The truth is that Nagakura did not purely investigate the Ikkoukai arsenal because that is also part of his job. He really wanted to investigate because Kumegi TOOK AWAY the happiness of both his Spies and the love of his life. Nagakura made the TRAGIC mistake of falling in love with both his S very deeply. Owing to that, his first S was raped (by several men), shamed, tortured, and murdered by Kumegi and his men. Then, when he came into contact during an investigation and met Takanashi, he made the same mistake again. Although his attitude toward Takanashi appeared to be harsh and uncaring, he really loved him very much. The same goes for Takanashi. He acted as if he wanted to leave Nagakura when he talked to Shiba in the beginning about the armory. The truth is exactly the opposite. He was AFRAID Nagakura would LEAVE him when he learned the location of the armory. So, he did not tell Nagakura even though he knew the location. He hid the fact out of love but his action ended up guiding Nagakura to his death. When Nagakura tried to find the arsenal by himself, he also saw the opportunity to kill Kumegi. That one instant, he made the decision. He fired, he committed murder, and had to flee. On the other hand, Munechika also felt Shiba was trying to create distance between the two of them. It was Shiba who first said he wanted him to be his S, it was him who said he would use his body as bait, yet to the very end, it was also Shiba who wanted to run and run away from Munechika. Angered by Shiba’s betrayal, Munechika used all his means to violate Shiba’s body. From taking away his freedom to hitting him to raping him, his violence left Shiba covered with wounds the next morning. When Shiba stared into the mirror, all he could see was the reflection of a a man who was torn completely apart – both physically and psychologically. While Nagakura was on the run, he contacted Shiba and he told Shiba about his love for Takanashi but he also liked Shiba and probably would have fallen in love with Shiba had he met him earlier. Just before he parted with Shiba, he gave him a long deep kiss. His kiss was SO POWERFUL that he left Shiba bleeding. He then continued his search for the arsenal. When the two arrived at the isolated place they believed to be the armory, Nagakura asked Shiba for a favor – to seize the armory. Then, before Shiba could take further action, he was murdered in front of Shiba and died in Shiba’s arms. That was the price he chose to pay for falling in love with both of his S.

Shiba then went to find Munechika, who was quite surprised that the very man he just injured, tortured, and shamed so much the other day would actively seek for him. He gave Shiba a chance to leave but Shiba chose to stay. Munechika then told Shiba that once he made his decision, he would set himself on a path of no return. Shiba understood but still chose to be with Munechika. The two then had sex again but this time, it was not violent at all. This is because Shiba no longer rejects Munechika. On the very contrary, he opens his heart to Munechika, he lets out his voice, and he lets himself baske in the warmth of human emotions. Although Nagakura vanished from this world forever, the bitmark he gave Shiba would remain till the end of Shiba’s time. His death also made Shiba face the destiny he chose boldly and gave him the courage to recite to Munechika the very vow he made the first time Munechika became his Esu. From now on, he would not find himself lost again. There might not be romantic love between them (not yet), but certainly there is a strong affinity between the two men – a bond so strong that even when relationships held together by "generic love" break, that bond will still hold. For Shiba, a cool beauty who has always kept his distance with other people, this is his first experience of being so tightly connected to another human being. For Munechika though, he has already experienced such a strong emotion long ago…but that is another story.

5 responses »

  1. Hi there~
    I’ve been reading reviews in your site for some time and I think sometime I must show myself. Here I am~åˆ?次見é?¢è«‹å¤šæŒ‡æ•™.
    I’ve also read the 3 volumes of ESU and listened to the 2 drama so far. And also a big fan of Kamiya-san.(Also read Freezing Eye because of Kamiya, and your recommendation. It’s a great novel!) I’m looking forward to the final volume of ESU as much as you do. What a turture that we have to wait till October!>o

  2. Dear Nanya,
    Glad to meet you. I am Borgia of Seiyuuwolf, deeply eroded in Japanese anime & comics, of course BL world.
    Thanks a lot for so many reviews about novels, dramas and comics you wrote. Because I am poor at both English and Japanese, especially the latter, your reviews are in great help to know something about the original works and dramas.
    I read the reviews on Esu, Esu-kamiato, Freezing Eye, VIP and Ai de Kitsuku Shibaritai carefully for I have these dramas. As mentioned above my Japanese is near zero, though I have listened the dramas over and over, the contents I could guess is still little, so these reviews are guidances.
    I like the story of Esu series very much. I typewrote the short story Liar’s Truth in booklet of Esu-kamiato into a Word file and almost literally looked up in the dictionary of Japanese to English. Then I translated them into Chinese as I comprehended. I gave a copy to Jinyewuyin which you know of to proofread. And now I realized that it was a very stupid thing for I knew so little about the original novel. I don’t know whether you have read my translation. And here I should make an apology. The mirror writing is splendid. The future is dim even near dark, but fortunately Shiba conveyed his oath to Munechika. I also read another extra story Four Roses in booklet of Esu. Shiba seemed to have made an proposal in the trick made by Andou. But the late truth is cruel rather than compensative to the living and the dead. My appetite is so abnormal that I am fond of such a tragedy.
    And about VIP I want to say something nonsensical. I like Kudou, Satoshi even Yukari etc, but I agree with Satoshi that Kazutaka was hidoi at least in some ways. Yukari was a tender and sagacious woman also rare in BL world but not should she deserve such a cruel treat in return from Kazutaka. Namely she was his kanojyo and introduced to Kudou in such a way by Kazutaka. But when Kudou asked about her, Kazutaka completely forgot her existence. Was she the mere excuse for Kazutaka to refuse Kudou though I knew she was a prostitute from the review. And she was also the comfort when Kazutaka woke in nightmare in the first track. She was so obedient that she appeared at once when called and then disappeared automatically without command. I felt so sorry about such an character and she was wise to leave Kazutaka. I don’t know the depiction of Kadou’s injury in novel. From drama I think Kazutaka had the slow nerve of dinosaur (maybe it degraded the dinosaur) to surge into violent rage and say killing. His reaction was too oddly to understand, should be the first aid for the normal person. So I hope that Satoshi should be away from Kazutaka in a hurry. According to your introduction even Miyahara also fell in love with Kazutaka. Oh my god, another pitiful man would be heartbroken in the end definitely.
    And I am looking forward the new reviews.
    I hope that my poor English would not affect your reading too much.
    Borgia

  3. Helen, welcome to my review site and thanks for reading my reviews. I’m glad to hear there’s another Kamiyan fan *v*. The ending to Esu… I’m waiting too. This fall, this fall (and I hope they’ll hurry and also dramatize the third novel XDD).

  4. Borgia-san, WELCOME! 😉
    Thanks for the long comment and your english is brilliant. I also loved the story in Esu -Kamiato-‘s CD booklet. That was splendid as it was the first time we read the story from Munechika’s perspective. I can’t wait for the next CD to come.

    As for VIP, I think you may be slightly mistaken? Yukari is not exactly a prostitute (well she maybe). Anyway, her title is the lover of a member of the club of VIP and since she wasn’t satisfied with her lover, she used Kazutaka to comfort her unsatisfactory romance. At the same time, Kazutaka also just used her to avoid being alone on rainy nights as they would remind him of Kudou. In that sense, both did not fall in love with each other …both were just using each other to lick their own wounds from their real love. However, Yukari finally confronted her own romance and decided to bid both her lover and Kazutaka farewell. It was Kazutaka who could not confront his own relationship with Kudou (that’s why Yukai said she was more honest with herself than Kazutaka). Kazutaka could not be blamed for his cold treatment with Yukari because they never were in a relationship romantically and so when Kudou reminded her she was his girlfriend as he formerly introduced her, he forgot. ❗ but that’s just my interpretation and it may not be fully accurate 😆

    Anyway, it’s a pleasure reading your comments and please come visit this site again (though I haven’t updated it for a very long while now 🙄

  5. Pingback: Nanya’s Crazy Reviews » Blog Archive » 2006 Mid-Term Ranking

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