Author: Hizaki Yuu
Illustrator: Akira Norikazu
When Kisaragi Minami was a child, his house was burgled and his parents were murdered right in front of his eyes. He was saved because the robbers did not notice his hiding place but he spent the evening with his parents’ corpses. Since then, for Kisaragi, people were not people but “objects”. When their switches were turned “off”, people would not move again. That’s why he lived a solitary life among “objects”. When he became an adult, he worked as a bartender. One night, a frequent guest – Ozaki Kazumasa collapsed after drinking too much and the master told Kisaragi to carry Ozaki home. Kisaragi had no choice but to obey and so he carried Ozaki home. When he arrived, he misplaced the key he used to open the door. Since he did not want to look for the key (and to avoid being mistaken as a thief in case anything was lost), he waited until Ozaki woke up. In the meanwhile, he fell asleep himself. While he was sleeping, he saw the dream when his parents were murdered. Everytime when he saw that dream, his body temperature would drop below normal. It dropped so much he almost entered into a state of hypodermia. Ozaki then woke Kisaragi up, asking him what happened. Kisaragi said he was alright but Ozaki insisted for him to explain and Kisaragi had no choice but to tell Ozaki his childhood trauma. Since then, Ozaki insisted Kisaragi move in with him because he could not let Kisaragi be alone in case he might die one day from hypodermia. Ozaki said Kisaragi would not have to pay for bills and rent when living with him. Kisaragi thought it was a good deal and so he took the offer. They started living together but they were neither “friends” nor “lovers”. There was no sexual contact between Kisaragi and Ozaki. All Ozaki did was to hug Kisaragi whenever he saw the dream. At the same time, Ozaki would keep bringing both men and women home and slept with them. Kisaragi did not mind because all he wanted was not Ozaki’s love but the warmth when Ozaki hugged him.
One night while at work, Kisaragi got a call from Ozaki saying he was drunk and would like Kisaragi to pick him up. Kisaragi had no choice but to go to pick him up but then when he got there, he found Ozaki not moving and lying in a pool of blood. Apparently, he was not drunk but stabbed. Kisaragi then remembered the night when his parents were murdered and he realized that like his parents, the “switch” in Ozaki’s body was switched off. However, Ozaki actually woke up again and held onto Kisaragi and said he was okay. He was there and Kisaragi was there too. Since that night, Kisaragi realized that even when the “switch” was off, the person could still wake up again but only one person could do that – Ozaki. His then saw Ozaki not as “object” but “person”. However, once he saw Ozaki as “person”, there was a major problem because he could no longer remain calm when he was around Ozaki as before. He started to “react” to the presence of Ozaki. One night while he was cleaning up and trying to find something to do, he saw a stack of AV DVDs and he watched some. The AV was really boring and he switched the TV off. However, Ozaki suddenly returned and apparently was wounded. As he dressed the Ozaki’s wounds, his body reacted to Ozaki’s body but when Ozaki asked him, he denied and said that’s because he was watching porn. Ozaki seemed angry and since Kisaragi said before that should a day come when he had biological needs, he wouldn’t mind Ozaki helping. So Ozaki helped him… but in a rather coersive way.
Time past and one night when Kisaragi was about to go to work, Ozaki asked him to be very careful and to come home as soon as possible. On his way to work though, Kisaragi actually was kidnapped by the enemies of Ozaki. Ozaki was the head of a yakuza group but he was a traditional yakuza and was not the violent type. He also owned an estate agency and recently there was some dispute over a piece of land in the nearby shopping district and the other yakuza group (the more violent gang) wanted the piece of land but it really belonged to Ozaki and the banks. So they captured Kisaragi and tried to film his embarrasing pose to blackmail Ozaki into giving them the land. Kisaragi wasn’t scared or anything because for him, all those men were just “toys” who would not move once they were switched off. Nevertheless, it’s BL and so Ozaki came to rescue Kisaragi and beat the crap out of the yakuza. After the incident though, Kisaragi moved out of Ozaki’s mansion. He actually wanted to move out before when he started to feel Ozaki was no longer an “object” but this time he moved and gave the excuse that it was dangerous to stick around Ozaki. One night after he moved out, one of Ozaki’s man in his yakuza group said Ozaki collapsed from a stabwound and might not make it. Kisaragi freaked out and rushed to the hospital. When he saw Ozaki not moving, he cried and cried. Then Ozaki opened his eyes and wondered why Kisaragi cried when he only had a stomach pain 🙄 Kisaragi was tricked by Ozaki’s man but Ozaki was happy because it showed Kisaragi really loved him enough to come to the hospital and to cry for him. He also confessed that he liked Kisaragi for a long time, even before the night he collapsed in Kisaragi’s bar. Or more precisely, he purposely got drunk so Kisaragi would carry him to the apartment. He really wanted to attack Kisaragi that night but when he heard Kisaragi only thought of him as an “object”, his heart broke. He then wanted to do something to change Kisaragi’s mind and that’s why he asked Kisaragi to move into his apartment. Kisaragi also said that in his whole world, Ozaki was the only “man” (and thus the title “Only one man”).
I bought this novel when I read a Chinese review of this book that was quite positive but I shelved it because the beginning failed to excite me as much as the review. Yesterday when I was driven to madness because I don’t have a computer, I took this book out and found it wasn’t as bad as it appeared but it wasn’t as good as I had hoped for either. There are two major problems with this novel: (1) the writing is quite repetitive. Although I understand that it’s important for Ozaki to reassure Kisaragi, Hizaki sensei went a bit over the top and it felt boring. (2) Kisaragi is a bit slow to realize Hizaki’s affections. Hizaki is not a “kind” man, he’s a yakuza but why would he go SO FAR as to let him stay in his apartment for free and literally not want ANYTHING in return. There’s only one reason – he liked Kisaragi. It’s a pity that didn’t even come across Kisaragi’s mind. Probably it’s because Ozaki would sleep with anyone quite easily but then even when Ozaki was sleeping with other people, he would still prioritize Kisaragi over his partner. I thought that was clear enough. For that matter, it made this novel a bit frustrating.
I thought I would like this character before I read the book. Or more precisely, I bought the book because I have a passion for emotionless uke. However, I ended up wanting to THROW the book because Kisaragi failed to “click” with me too much. I like the fact that he’s emotionless and it was pretty “cool” of him (literally) when he was abducted because he simply treated his kidnappers as “objects”. However, I felt Kisaragi did not really work hard enough to try to consider Ozaki’s feelings. I can understand that in the first half when he did not treat him as “human” (poor thing). However, when he started seeing him as “human”, I was hoping he would at least show more consideration. Having said that though, there is one thing I like very much about Kisaragi – the confession in the end of the novel. The artwork was lovely when he held onto Ozaki and cried as he said Ozaki was the only “man” in his world.
Ozaki is cute … very cute. When Kisaragi moved out, he was so sad he got a stomach pain (dies from cuteness attack). I have a soft spot for seme who loves their uke very much and he definitely won my affection. In fact, halfway through the novel, I completely melted at Ozaki’s kindness. I could understand why he could not confess to Kisaragi – because he felt Kisaragi wouldn’t accept a confession (probably) from an “object”. I also appreciated his effort to try to help Kisaragi and probably without him, Kisaragi might already have died from hypodermia. However, I thought the way their relationship changed was a bit … too smooth. I was hoping Ozaki really “did” something to change Kisaragi (other than bleeding). The failure of Hizaki sensei to portray the “change” in the equilibrium of their relationship is probably the major failure (?) in my opinion of this novel.
Probably because the review I read made this novel sound too good my impression after actaully reading it is a bit so-so. However, it’s popular (?) enough to have a sequel this summer and so I recommend this book to those who like emotionless uke and seme who loves his uke very much. Otherwise, I’d say spend your on something better.