Ze (3)

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This is the third volume in the series and the spotlight now moves from the main Mitou family to the branch family. Although the story itself is independent of the main story, it’s impossible to understand all the jargons unless you have read the first two volumes. The main couple is Genma (the paper master) and Himi, the paper puppet. The story is extremely straightforward. Genma’s father died with one death wish – for Himi to protect the family at all costs. Himi was Genma’s father Seima‘s paper puppet and he wanted to fulfill Seima’s wish. Realizing this fact, Waki gave Himi to Genma after Seima’s death on condition that (1) Genma would inherit the family business and would receive requests from the main family, and (2) he would grant Himi’s wish, a.k.a. to protect the Mitou branch family at all costs. Genma himself had strong kotodama powers and he used that power to obtain land by force illegally. Genma agreed to Waki’s terms and inherited both the branch family as well as his father’s paper doll Himi. One day, he saw Himi using his powers as a paper doll to heal a child for Dr. Namai. Genma was furious and cursed Dr. Namai such that the latter’s arm became crooked and paralyzed. At the same time, he also stripped Himi naked (in front of both the patient – a young girl but she seemed unconscious and Dr. Namai who was screaming in pain). He then raped Himi. Since then, he basically just coerced Himi into all kinds of sexual orgies :mrgreen: and would not let Himi sleep with clothes on. Himi could not understand why Genma was so "cruel" to him and touched and had sex with him even when Genma was not injured. He naturally came to the conclusion that Genma hated him. In the meantime, Genma seemed to maintain an intimate relationship with his partner at work – Chidori. She was the daughter of a yakuza and she and Genma were constantly being threatened because they were engaged in dangerous land dealings. One day, she brought a severely injured Genma home and Himi started to wonder what relationship Chidori had with Genma. After that incident, Genma decided that it would be better for Himi to follow him to work such that he could get healed immediately should he be seriously wounded again. While waiting in the car, someone told Himi to move the car. Himi went to find Genma to tell him to move the car but ended up getting lost himself. The rain was beating hard and since he was made out of paper, he was weak in the rain and he fainted. When he woke up, he was in a love hotel and Genma was blowdrying him. Unlike usual, Genma’s body was freezing cold. Apparently he had been searching for Himi in the rain as well. Himi really could not understand why Genma would embarrase him with all the sexual orgies and yet search for him so hard and long in the rain. He thought Genma hated him but it turned out Genma loved him. He loved him too much he could not control his own sexual desires. He fell in love with Himi way back when he was still a child. Then, his father was obsessed with Himi and would not let anyone touch or even see Himi. Genma though secretly watched Himi and when he fell in a pit and got injured, Himi kissed him to try to heal his wounds. Seima saw it all and that’s why he expelled Genma and his mother from the family. However, his father was dead and he could keep Himi all to himself. Still, his father would haunt him in his dreams and said that Himi belonged to him. While Himi understood that Genma did not hate him but liked him, there was still the Chidori problem. So when he was in the office with Chidori alone, he had the opportunity to get a reassurance from Chidori that nothing happened between him and her. In fact, Chidori hated men because when she was young, she was raped by men from her fathers’ enemies. She could be friends with Genma because Genma did not have "sexual desire" toward her. Nanya adds: But of course as Genma ONLY had eyes on Himi 🙄 All seemed to turn out well, except for the fact that Dr. Namai was back for revenge. Since Genma cursed him, he had to give up being a doctor and he was left without any means to survive. Desperate, he tried to stab Genma but Himi protected him and got stabbed instead. At that moment, Genma said Himi was a fool to get injured in his place. However, Himi said that should be his line. Then, Himi recalled what Chidori said to him earlier – that love is when you value another person before your own life. Himi realized he loved Genma, but it was a little too late as he began to vanish, leaving behind only snow of paper fragments.

17 responses »

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  4. hi nanya,

    great review as usual! ^^ but there’s one thing i don’t get. when kon was stabbed in volume 1, he remained intact. himi on the other hand, disntegrated. is it because the doctor stabbed him in the heart or what? i would love to hear what you have to say about it. 🙂

  5. Hi Ichigo-Creme san,

    Thanks for dropping by my review blog. Ah, as for that question, I think it is quite difficult to say at this stage the reason behind Himi’s disappearance. Below is my speculation only. I definitely don’t think the wound is the cause of his disappearance. I think it’s more due to the fact that he fell in love with Genma. He was the kamisama of Seima, not Genma. He stayed in the household to fulfill his duty to Seima. However, when he starts to care Genma more than his own life, he can’t live for Seima anymore and so he disappeared. The new Himi then will be Genma’s Himi, not Seima’s Himi… but of course there’s the problem because the new Himi does not have the old Himi’s memories but somehow I think the couple will work out.

    Having said that though, I think it’s the same with Asari. Asari wanted to return to white paper too in the first volume and that’s probably because he felt he was not Shouei’s kamisama… but then unlike Himi, Asari is tougher and more in “control” and so he did not return to white paper… not yet. Who knows what Shimizu sensei might do to Asari in the future as I don’t think the story between Shouei and Asari ended quite yet. 😀

  6. ahh…naruhodo…you’re incredible, nanya-sama! ^^ So then, from what you speculate, that means that if the kami had a previous kotodama but then started falling for another kotodama who doesn’t belong with him, then the kami is doomed to turn back into ash because it’s like betraying the first kotodama. (this really reminds me of loveless at the moment, except for the whole ash part).but if the kami really feels that the new kotodama is someone he could belong with, do you think that he could still stay intact? because then, wouldn’t kon be in the same situation? before,he rejected raizou since raizou wasn’t his kotodama but when raizou protected him, kon finally recognized him as his kotodama. this makes me think that unless the kami recognizes or acknowledges that the kotodama he’s currently with is the one he truly belongs to, he’s bound to turn into ash. do you think that could be a possibility?

  7. Ichigo-creme, that was a good observation. As for Kon, there are two possibilities:
    1) He will turn back to paper when he truly love Raizou more than anyone else just like Himi. At the moment, he just starts to like Raizou but then he might not yet “love” Raizou as much as Himi loved Genma but when the time comes, he might vanish. That might be the clue Shimizu sensei left so that she could have another climax with this couple later on in the series.

    2) Kon might not turn into white paper at all. There is a difference between Himi and Kon… Himi’s owner treated Himi as HIS PAPER DOLL and he probably placed a curse on Himi such that he could not belong to another person (who knows). However, Kon’s previous owner was not obsessed with Kon himself but only used Kon as a tool… I hope the rest of the story might address this problem. At anyrate, I bow to Shimizu sensei’s ingenuity in creating plotlines. This leaves so many opportunities for the story to end either happily or tragically

  8. i guess it really is too early to know what really happened and will happen ;_: i can’t wait till vol.4 comes out. what a cliffhanger! again, thank you nanya for your valuable insights 🙂

  9. Hi, Nanya!
    Thanks for the review!
    Waaah, I can’t wait for ZE volume 4.

    So when kami-sama died (either when receiving curse or in normal way — i.e. getting stabbed) it would return to ash?

    For Asari, he wanted to return to white paper because he was no longer able to heal properly. For kami-sama, the existance of kotodama-shi (or a master) is very important since they were made for healing purpose. Thus, when they had no kotodama-shi or could no longer heal properly, they feel like they no longer had reason to exists (that’s why Kon chose to ‘sell’ his ability so he could have a reason to exist by healing people). As for Asari, since he no longer able to heal Shoui (and Waki couldn’t fix him), he thought it’s better for Shoui to get a new kami-sama and him turned to ash..

  10. Hi Moccy,

    Thanks for dropping by. Hmmm… I don’t think the stab wound is the reason why Himi turned into paper again because kamisama can’t die. That’s also why Genma initially said he was glad Himi was a kamisama when he was first stabbed. I’d rather say it’s the fact that he cried because he realized he loved Genma so much. I think crying is the keypoint…that’s why Asari said he would never forgive Genma should he make Himi cry again.

    As for Asari, I am curious as to how exactly he lost his power to heal, what happened? It’s just because he’s too OLD? What will happen from now on? Although Shouei and Asari seems to have come to terms with each other (or at least slightly improved) by the end of volume 2, I still don’t think Asari has gotten over his barrier yet and I’m hoping there will be a more “solid” story on Shouei and Asari. Before that though, my #1 most interested character is really Waki. He seemed to have a really tragic past but I suppose we won’t know about him because to me, he’s like the last boss so his story might be used to conclude the series.

  11. To think about it, I also never saw a kami-sama cried. When Shoui protected Asari at volume 1, I thought Asari would cry, but he’s not.. 🙂 Did Asari also appear at volume 3? Waaah, I want to read! I just can’t get enough of him these days.. 🙂

    As for Asari, well, however he’s a creature and had lived since Shoui’s grandfather’s era. He had taken much damage and might be worn off. Shoui might know that if Asari took another damages, he would finally back to white paper sooner. He once said “I’m the one who’s cruel here since I’ve been using you for cruel things”. That’s why he’s now stopped using kotodama or using it carefully so Asari as his kami didn’t have to take the damages.

    As for Waki, I didn’t quite clear about situation on volume 2 (ah, my poor Japanese.. T_T), but it seems Waki once had a kami-sama he loved deeply, so when he lost it (kidnapped?), he was half crazy (as mentioned by Konoe). He might keep that kami-sama on the black box at his room, that’s why when the man who was going to abuse Kon spit out on that box, Waki didn’t hesitate on killing him.

    I believe Shimizu-sensei will reveal Waki’s past. She always keep the best past stories the last (learning from Love Mode *grin*)

  12. Moccy, with regard to Asari, actually he is much tougher than Himi so he hadn’t cried yet but it will be lovely if Shouei died (when he got old naturally) and then Asari cried for him and vanished with him (so the two can really die like a couple). That would be the perfect end for them.

    As for Waki, I am really interested in the story about his past. What was he keeping in his black box? A kamisama? But then when Kamisama returned to paper, they would be very tiny so there’s no need for such a BIG BOX. It’s almost human size…but it can’t be human because the body will rot in this state. So what’s in there? An unconscious kamisama who hasn’t returned to white paper but who lost consciousness because of the kidnapping incident? Who are the enemies anyway who attack them? Gosh, there are so many questions I want answer but I suppose as you said Shimizu sensei won’t give us the answers so soon… she’s somewhat EVIL, haha as we’ve seen in Love Mode. Love Mode was good but I prefer Ze by a million times 😀

  13. Hi, Nanya!!

    I’ve finally got ZE 3 *yay!*
    Oh my, the whole story is very H!!! Full of posessiveness and angst. Gah, I also don’t like Genma. I don’t blame Himi since he’s not a type of brainless and submissive uke, but Genma’s domination was so strong he couldn’t help but obey.

    How Genma treated Himi was indeed cruel! But I LOVE the whole raping angst.. hahaha.. *yeah, I’m a sadist* Shimizu-sensei, you’re a MASTER in drawing readers to the character’s angst! Especially love Himi’s expression when Genma first raped him.

    There’s long-haired Asari!!!! I think Asari was just in uke mode for Shoui, but he’s a total seme to other! Even to Genma, when he said “If you made Himi cried, I’ll kill you”.. oww, scary!!! Cool!

    For the black box, I noticed Waki talked with ‘it’ and called his name, but I can’t read the kanji. It seems written with kanji “chikara” and “ichi”. I think it’s a kami in comatose mode.

    At the very last page of ZE, is it a sneak preview to next volume? It seems Waki revived Himi, but Himi’s totally forget Genma (as a result of a revived kami who will lost his previous memories) to which Genma thought “this is not the ‘Himi’ I loved”. T_T

  14. Hi Moccy,
    Congrats on getting the thrid volume!

    I think Asari was just in uke mode for Shoui, but he’s a total seme to other!
    I have to disagree on this one. Asari is the typical “QUEEN” chara and mostly queen are uke (there are reversible ones too but I don’t it’s in the case of Asari). Since he’s a “QUEEN”, this means normally at all times (except in bed), their aura suppress everyone else… but in bed they are still surpressed ^_^;;

    As for the “black box”, quite ironic as it sounds like the “black box” on a plane 🙄 … anyway, why will a kami sama be in a comatose state? I mean how can it be in a comatose state really? It’s not like human who can enter that state because of brain injuries. The only way I think that can happen is THAT kamisama close its ears, eyes, and refuse to listen to anything outside. He just chooses to sleep forever like a sleeping beauty. Wow, if so, then can Waki wake him up again? Or is Waki his fated one? I mean he could be in love with someone else, Waki stopped him or killed his lover, and that’s why he shut himself down…blah blah blah… I’m so interested in Waki’s story 😀

  15. Have anyone read Ze 4?
    It was marvelous. And there are other kami-sama introduced. I read the discussion aove and… Woah you guys really have a wild imagination. Any of it might happen. Hehe..Anyway, if someone has read and understand it, Can someone explain to me what’s goin on? I can catch the main thing but not the detailed one while, it is the detailed one that make Ze so insanely good

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