Author: Kannagi Satoru
Illustrator: Odagiri Hotaru
Format: Novel, Blcd
It’s a bit strange to review a series in REVERSE order but it’s also fun because in this way, it’s easy to understand some of the points in the story that I wouldn’t have understood had I only read or listened to that particular book/CD. My review is based on the manga as well as the drama CD because I left my novel at home. I might fill in the details when I go home the end of this year from the novel. This is the book that started off the “Only the Finger Knows Series”, one of the first series to be translated into English (perhaps). The English title is “Only the Finger Knows” . Please refer to my other reviews for my impressions on the rest of the series.
I’m sure many of my visitors might have already read the manga version so I will not go into the details but the story is really very simple. It began with Fujimura Wataru (CV: Suzumura Kenichi) comforting his best friend Kawamura (CV: Tsuboi Tomohiro) because the girl he liked preferred the bright model student Kazuki Yuichi (CV: Sakurai Takahiro) to him. Wataru’s impression of Kazuki, whom he met shortly after, was not as nice as what everybody believed. In fact, he was arrogant and cold and that he realized when Kazuki accidentally got his ring when he left it in the restroom temporarily while washing his face. Wataru was surprised to find Kazuki having the same ring as he had. The news also attracted a lot of attention among the girls and they all wanted to have the same ring as Kazuki. So, Wataru suddenly was caught in the space between Kazuki and his fangirls :D. More trouble came for Wataru when his sister’s friend (from a different school) asked Wataru to help her give a present to Kazuki. Wataru did not want to but he could not refuse his sister. So, he went to give Kazuki the present. At first, Kazuki seemed happy but when he knew the present was not from Wataru and Wataru was merely a messenger, his attitude changed 180 degrees and he refused to accept the gift. Wataru was pissed because Kazuki had a reputation of politely accepting gifts even if he could not return his feelings to the girl. Such rejection was uncommon and Wataru wondered what went wrong.
At the same time, people started to wonder about the relationship between Wataru and Kazuki as they had the same ring and so Wataru took the opportunity and did not deny the rumors that his sister could potentially be Kazuki’s girlfriend. That really pissed Kazuki off and the two ended up in a face off. Wataru couldn’t understand why Kazuki was so cold to him and also why he was so hurt by Kazuki’s coldness towards him. However, he would soon come to understand that was because consciously and unconsciously he had fallen in love with Kazuki. Then, accidentally, he saw Kazuki with another woman! A beautiful and mature woman! He was jealous and became upset. He even gave away his ring to a young girl who was at the park. One day, Wataru went shopping for a gift with his sister and they ended up in the shop where Kazuki’s aunt was working. At first, Wataru thought that was the lady Kazuki was going out with but when he realized she was Kazuki’s relative, he ran to find Kazuki. The latter’s birthday was just ruined because of the fangirls who came to his house on his birthday and sparkled a confusion over the rumor that Kazuki already had a girlfriend. Kazuki also produced the ring which Wataru gave away to the little girl Takako (who was really Kazuki’s cousin). Wataru was glad to get the ring again and was even more shocked to hear the whole truth. The fact was that one day, Kazuki picked up the ring accidentally and he returned the ring to the person whom he thought was the owner. When Wataru found the missing ring on the table, he was so happy he smiled and Kazuki fell in love with that smile. He asked his relative to make a ring with the exact same pattern and that explained why both had the same ring even though it wasn’t something one could easily get over the counter. Kazuki did not want to be cold to Wataru but he just could not confess to a guy he was in love with him and so his attitude backfired and he treated Wataru harsher than he intended to. The couple then reconciled and sealed off their relationship as lovers with a kiss.
Sorry about the messy summary because I heard this CD/ read the manga ages ago and forgot the details already. Going back to the first story after the third somehow made me wonder if Kannagi sensei have the second novel in mind when she wrote the story. My intuition is that she intended the story to be a one-shot but the success encouraged her to continue writing. Starting from the second novel though, she planned it to be a series (the traditional 4-book format). This is quite common the case in BL novels (except for those where the author intended to be a short series right from the start, such as Aida sensei’s S). Frankly, I would rather she stopped after the first novel because I thought it had a pretty nice ending, a bit generic but nice ending. The introduction of Asaka was “innovative” in a variety of ways but somehow shattered the image of Wataru in my mind COMPLETELY. This is SO NOT LIKE Nao in her other series Yasashiku Koroshite, Boku no Kokoro Wo. Since she planned that as a series right from the start, Nao’s (the main uke in the first book) personality was consistent throughout. Unfortunately, here Wataru’s personality collapsed a bit later on while Kazuki’s personality strengthened. In this book, I was cheering completley for Wataru but later on, I hated him ^^;; and completely fell for Kazuki.
Cute, cute, cute. Wataru was the typical “heroine” type of uke, a.k.a. GIRLISH UKE. As such, this series could easily pass on as a shoujo too because if you make Wataru a female, nothing would change. This is not my “ideal type” of uke (and that’s why I prefer the Yasashiku series to this series). I think at this point, it was a success to cast Suzumura because he’s good at this type of girlish uke and that’s quite surprising since his voice was no where close to a girl, unlike say Fukuyama Jun. I also liked the Chemistry between him and Sakurai. There there was nothing more than a kiss, it was very nice and just perfect.
Wow, back then when Sakurai was in the midst of his “uke boom”, this was one of the piece that demonstrated the attraction of Sakurai DA SEME. It also proved to the world that Cherry Bell has one of the best “chemical” in terms of high school couple in the BL world. Sakurai’s Kazuki was just perfect back then but what’s better still is that if you compare Sakurai’s voice THEN to his voice in the third CD, you can see his voice deepened and became even sexier in the third CD. That worked well because it reflected the change of Kazuki from a high school to a university student. As for the character Kazuki, he’s the typical “high school prince” whom all the girls like but only cold to the one he truly liked and that’s where our heroine comes in. He’s so “text book prince type” he sounded boring in the beginning. HOWEVER, as the story moved on, he gradually became more interesting by each book.
Although I like the third CD a lot, I still think the beginning is the best! I really loved the sweet atmosphere between this cute cute couple and Cherry Bell then was so CUTE!!! Although both Sakurai and Suzumura then were not as experienced as they are today, there’s another side of them – freshness and hope. It’s really pleasant to hear the difference between the first, second, and third CD and to hear them grow (for the better or worse). Highly recommended for Cherry Bell fans or those who like shoujo and don’t mind the absence of H-scenes.