Author: Yakou Hana
As usual, Yakou sensei’s work is a mystery and so I will not try to spoil the fun by revealing the truth. For that matter, it makes the synopsis section very short. Well, I might fill in the gap with spoilers in the future though. For now, I will just leave you in the dark.
Kuze Ryuuji used to have a warm family before his father entered the world of politics. Since then, his father became nothing more than a corrupted politician and his mother also started flirting with other men. Just like his family, Ryuuji’s spirit was also shattered and he had this urge to destroy. He wanted to see things explode and that’s how he got interested in bombs. Even when he was still a high school student, he secretly sneaked into the chemistry laboratory to steal the ingredients for his bombs. However, one night when he went to steal with his friend, someone came to stop him. It was his classmate Seo Yuuya, a beautiful boy with glasses. In the struggle Yuuya dropped the bottle and his hand was covered with erosive powder. Ryuuji was worried and hurried him to wash his hands. That night, Ryuuji was caught… not by the police but by the man Seo Yuuya.
Years later, Yuuya became a piano tuner and Ryuuji became a policeman. Their friendship began after the night when Yuuya caught Ryuuji stealing the chemicals to make bombs. Since then, Ryuuji never made bombs again and their friendship continued to the present day. Yuuya had a girlfriend and they had been going out for four years. However, they separated a year ago because Yuuya was infertile and he could not have children. At work, Yuuya also had problems. Though he was hardworking and had talent, he lacked emotions and when he played the piano, he was like a machine and completely lacked emotions Recently, there was a crazy person setting bombs in town and Yuuya remembered how once Ryuuji used to enjoy making explosives but he became extremely worried when he accidentally found Ryuuji making bombs in the basement of the house he inherited from his uncle. Yuuya thought Ryuuji completely gave up on making bombs but apparently Ryuuji did not stop. Yuuya then started to wonder if the recent bombings in the city was Ryuuji’s realization of his desire to “destroy”. In a panic, Yuuya struck a deal with Ryuuji. Ryuuji said he would stop making bombs if Yuuya would stay by his side (a.k.a. sleep with him). Yuuya agreed and that’s how their “beyond-friendship” relationship began. However, the bombings in the city continued and worse, more and more hints pointed out to the fact that Ryuuji could be the culprit! Hints like Ryuuji saying he wasn’t involved in the investigation of the bombings when he really was. Hints like Ryuuji’s friend whom they knew from high school suggested Ryuuji was the first person at the scene of the bombing in Shibuya. Was Ryuuji really guilty of the bombings? Find out by reading the novel yourself.
This is Yakou sensei’s second novel (after her debut in Tsuki wo daita). In my opinion, I like Champagne no Toiki better but most reviewers think this book (and the sequel) is her best by far. Plotwise, I think both are equally captivating. However, I have a problem with uke who looks and thinks like a female and that’s what Yuuya is like. I’m not saying Yuuya is a weak person but he is more like a motherly figure to Ryuuji and that I dislike. If their looks were reversed (like the more masculine seme was the one to stop a weaker but crazy and while uke), I would give this novel a perfect score. However, that’s really a personal preference. As usual, the plotline in Yakou sensei’s stories are well laid out and they keep you reading and reading because you want to know the truth behind the mystery. In this book, aside from the bombing, there is also another interesting side of the plot – the relationship between Ryuuji and Yuuya. I can’t believe how RETARDED Yuuya is to not notice the feelings of Ryuuji. Ryuuji confessed but was rejected (naturally) because Yuuya was straight until he found out he was infertile and that’s why he did not marry his girlfriend. Later on Ryuuji made it very clear how much he loved Yuuya… however Yuuya just could not accept Ryuuji’s feelings until the very end. As usual, I like Yakou sensei because her seme LOVES his uke very much… but Yuuya is a bit too annoying for my taste. Having said that though, I LOVE the ending… it’s very sweet, especially when Yuuya finally accepted Ryuuji. I almost jumped of joy because I felt like alas, Ryuuji’s love is answered!! And of course through Ryuuji, Yuuya also understood his “problem” when playing piano – because he lacked emotions and fixed that as well.
A word about the artwork. At first, I didn’t like it because I felt the art was a bit too “dense” for my taste, especially Ryuuji’s design. However, as I read through the novel, I gradually learned to love the artwork as well (dunno why). And I must urge all those who like “blindfold” smex to read this novel 🙂 as Yuuya would lose his sight at the end of this novel and I just adore that illustration.
I think I already expressed how much I dislike Yuuya because for me because it takes him TOO LONG to accept Ryuuji’s feelings!!! However, if you come to think of how SCARY Ryuuji is (hey, he used to make bombs… he STILL IS making bombs), then I can understand Yuuya’s hesitation. When I read this novel, Suzuki Chihiro’s voice immediately came into mind because of his role in ANSWER. It was similar in a certain way and I think his voice is suitable for this kind of cute megane guys who WORRY A LOT but is gentle and good at handling KIDS.
I LOVE Ryuuji . If there is one reason why I like this book, it’s Ryuuji. The fact that he likes making bombs is cool. However, I find what’s even cooler about him is the way he expresses his feelings. When he talked about how much he hated Yuuya’s girlfriend, he literally said he wanted to kill her. He wanted to rape her but he did not because he could not react to her sexually (dies). Then, when he faced Akira (Yuuya’s neighbor and the kid who was learning piano from Yuuya), he literally made the kid cry on their first meeting. More accurately, he walked into Yuuya’s house without phoning or mailing Yuuya, said the kid was a nuisance and disturbing him and Yuuya, and lied flat on the sofa and slept (dies)… then in the end when Yuuya was accusing him of making bombs, he said he could go to the police and tell them flat out. This guy is just so cool and straightforward I like him.
I guess Akira likes Yuuya and that’s why he insists having Yuuya as his piano teacher when Yuuya is not even a pianist but a piano tuner. However, sad to say it’s impossible for Akira to compete with Ryuuji because the latter is so scary but childish. Interestingly, in the second novel, Akira and Ryuuji’s relationship improved and I really liked the still where Akira was sitting on Ryuuji with the big dog on the side.
This book has a brilliant plot and nice, wild, but childish seme. I highly recommend it if you like mysteries and seme who love uke A LOT! I also recommend this novel to those who like blind-folded smex. And I apologize for this crappy review. When I have time, I’ll fill in the details but for the moment, I just write it before I forget.