Author: Sano Fuyuko
Illustrator: Nara Chiharu
Format: Novel, Blcd
I never imagine I would love this book so much because it’s very much similar to S but then it gives a completely different after taste. It’s almost like eating King Prawn fried rice by two very different but equally brilliant chefs. This is the first book to probably what will become a series where each time, the seme is a yakuza and the uke representing the “animal” in the title. As you can guess from the title and the cover, our uke this time is A SNAKE and still a baby snake. This book, therefore, the awakening of a baby snake and probably over the series, we’ll see him develop to a poisonous cobra.
The story is simple and yet complicated. Enjou Nagito (20) was an ordinary art student at a university. About a year and a half ago, his painting “Ki no Ringo” (The tree of apples) won a prestigious award and attracted the attention of many people in the art industry. Since then, he was in a slump and never produced another painting that was as successful as that. Currently, he was living with his grandmother only because his mother died a few years ago. However, his grandmother was hospitalized for a complete checkup and while he was waiting for his grandmother’s return, he found a small packet that produced a “ticking” sound. Feared it would be a bomb, he rang up the Yasoshima Security Company, the company his grandma subscribed to. His decision was accurate as it was really a bomb from his brother (with a different mother). Nagito’s mother was cheated by his father and she only knew he was a yakuza and married after she had Nagito. That’s why she left (by threatening to stab herself) and she ran away with Nagito and tried to settle in a life that would be far away from the Kiryou group, the yakuza group where his father was the head. His mother named him Nagito because she wanted NOTHING to happen to his life. She wanted him to have a peaceful and ordinary life. However, her prayers were not answered because thanks to the painting “Ki no Ringo”, Nagito’s father learned about his existence and decided HE should inherit the Kiryou group and be the fourth generation leader. Thanks to his father’s decision, his life was threatened. To protect him, his father deployed the excellent bodyguard Kadono (32) to protect him. Since Nagito’s father told Kadono that Nagito would be his “toy”, therefore Kadono did play pranks on Nagito in the beginning. He kidnapped Nagito, tied his hands and feet, and imprisoned him in his own mansion. When Nagito wanted to go to the toilet, he would “lend a hand”, which made Nagito very embarrassed . Having said that though, for Kadono, Nagito was an object of protection and remained that way until one day, Nagito was kidnapped from the university by his brother Kiryou Tatsuhisa, who was a drug addict. His father knew Tatsuhisa would not be fit enough to take up the Kiryou group and he realized the potential in Nagito from the painting. That’s why he made the decision for Nagito to inherit the group. Of course, Nagito had no plans to become the leader of a yakuza group and he tried to escape but when he was kidnapped by his brother, he was forced to drink biyaku (love potion). His brother intended to auction him that night to a bunch of erotic older men. Luckily, Kadono came in time to rescue Nagito (who could not control himself and let his s*erms flow down Kadono’s suit while the latter ran down the stairs. Back at Kadono’s mansion, Nagito could no longer stand the pain from the love potion and begged Kadono to release him from the pain. Kadono did lend a helping hand but was shocked at how seductive Nagito was. In fact, Kadono had no interest in a kid like Nagito at first but he realized that the Nagito in bed was very different from the Nagito he knew in the day. The normal Nagito was not capable of creating a painting as “Ki no Ringo” but the highly seductive Nagito no doubt could manage that. It must be the Kiryou’s blood that was flowing in Nagito which rendered him that ability. While Kadono was questioning his own feelings toward Nagito, Nagito also began to realize (through his sketches) just how deeply he had fallen in love with the man who became his bodyguard. In fact, he was so much in love that he agreed (very unwillingly) to the tattoo Kadono picked for him – the tattoo of a two-headed cobra. That was “the true Nagito” in Kadono’s eyes. After the tattoo, Nagito gradually changed. His passion for Kadono became stronger but that also meant it was harder for him to accept the tragic truth – the truth that Kadono was only protecting him because it was his father’s orders. And that Kadono would leave him as soon as he became the fourth generation head of the Kiryou group.
On the day when he was supposed to meet with his father for the first time in his life, hitmen came to take his life but Kadono saved him and got shot instead. When Kadono arrived at the hospital, he was in critical condition and had to spend some time in the Intensive Care Unit. Nagito was completely crushed because his beloved Kadono was at the verge of life and death in the process of protecting him. His father also came to the hospital but Nagito said he had no interest in becoming the fourth generation leader for the Kiryou group. He admitted it was not a problem of ability but a problem of the lack of “motivation”. When his father heard “motivation”, he then made an offer – he would give Nagito Kadono should Nagito decide to become the fourth generation leader. Nagito wanted Kadono but he also feared his love for Kadono would drive the latter to meet his end. While struggling, Nagito got a call from his brother who told him to come meet him if he did not want the people around him to get hurt – like the daughter of his professor at the art university. Nagito then bid Kadono, who was still in coma, farewell and left to meet his brother. At his brother’s place, he faced the thread of being raped by multiple men. In the meantime, Kadono, who was in the coma, had a dream. In his dream, he saw Saeki, his colleague and most respected person from the time when he was still with the police. Then, he was a special police whose responsibility was to protect witnesses. He was taught by Saeki to value his client’s life over his own. However, Saeki betrayed him by shooting his client four years ago. The client was the head of a pharmaceutical company whose medicine killed many, including Saeki’s wife. Saeki died from the incident but that also shattered Kadono to the extent that he became a living zombie in the next half a year until he was recruited by Yasoshima to become a bodyguard for yakuza. For four years, he never trusted any other person or organization but Nagito gave him a reason to trust someone again. For Nagito, he was willing to give his life and that’s why once he woke up from the coma to hear Nagito was missing, he rushed to find Nagito. When he arrived at the place where Nagito was kidnapped, he was shocked to find not a shaking Nagito who was crying for help. Instead, Nagito was pressing his brother to the ground and pointing a knife at his brother’s aorta. When Nagito’s father also arrived at the scene, still pointing the knife at his brother, Nagito asked his father to give Kadono to him saying: “Father, I will be the fourth generation leader of the Kiryou Group. So, please give Kadono to me” . In the end, Nagito won Kadono and the latter vowed to be HIS forever. For the first time the two had smex “with love” but that would only be the BEGINNING for Nagito’s journey to leading the Kiryou Group had just started.
My synopsis has become shorter these days because I feel it’s better if I dont’ spoil the audience too much. In terms of the plot, as I said in the beginning, this novel shares the same elements with S in the sense that (1) it’s about yakuza, (2) biyaku is used, and (3) the uke is the one in power and the seme “belongs” to the seme. So, the real power is in the uke’s hands though in bed, the seme has the power. It’s really hard to rate this novel objectively because while this novel lacks originality, there are many elements that more compensate for this shortcoming. First, there’s the wonderful SEX SCENES. I don’t like smex which is filled with “moaning descriptions” like “Ahh… hmm…. iya…”. Sano sensei, however, does not use a lot of “moaning” in her smex. Instead, she uses a lot of heavy description, which frankly makes the smex scenes 10 times more enjoyable. On top of that, Nanya is VERY WEAK to toilet play . In fact, compared to the many smex scenes later on, the urine play as well as the shower play is way more erotic for me . This is not to mention the scene where Nagito was ejaculating (in a controlled manner) while Kadono was carrying him down the stairs . That nailed it and made this one of my favorite novels . In addition to the smex, the description of the change within both Kadono and Nagito are also fantastic. Unlike S where the monologues are completely by the uke Shiba, here, BOTH Kadono and Nagito have their share of monologues, which is wonderful because it’s important to understand the feelings from BOTH sides. Last but not the least, the characters are also very attractive. There are quite a few interesting characters but I will only concentrate on Kadono and Nagito because I feel the rest are not described in depth enough to warrant my critique.
In the beginning, he was just your ordinary “cute” uke . However, he soon proved himself to be more than JUST . The Kiryou blood in him probably is the major attraction in this novel because it created a gap in Nagito. While he’s ordinarily cute, in the middle of painting and smex, he turns on fire and become a very very very seductive person. That probably is why I love Nagito SO MUCH. On top of that, Nagito can also be extremely queenlike as in the dialogue I quoted above. It’s a pity the author did not explain how Nagito managed to bounce back from being raped by a group of men to suppressing his brother and “checkmate” all of an instance. I think it’s because Sano sensei also had difficulty finding an explanation and so she took the easy way out and skipped that part. One thing I did not mention in the synopsis, when Nagito actually started to draw again while he was staying at Kadono’s mansion, he put his feelings down on canvas. In the beginning, he sketched Kadono outright and burnt his paintings to avoid his feelings being revealed. In the end though, he used a more abstract way to paint his feelings for Kadono. That ultimately became another of his masterpiece which he exhibited under a pseudonym and that painting was titled “First Love”. How romantic, especially when Kadono recognized immediately that painting was “a loveletter” to him. Nagito is still a baby snake and his awakening is very interesting. Of course, all of the readers are interested to see him grow up and become a poisonous cobra in the future. However, like many other readers, I also fear for the future of the Kiryou group as their leader is SO E.R.O.T.I.C., so beautiful, and so talented! And that bloody tattoo on his body! I just can’t keep my eyes off that bloody tattoo as it increased the erotic mood of Nagito by 10,000 fold! Brilliant job Nara sensei! I couldn’t have enjoyed Nagito or this novel half as much without the power of Nara sensei’s illustrations. She’s a TRUE GENIUS for yakuza illustrations.
I’m not sure how I should describe my feelings for this guy. While he was in a coma (with his eyes closed), he looked quite UKE to me (die). Seriously, he’s a bit soft for Nara sensei’s SEME but with his eyes open and when NAKED, he’s very sexy and manly. Unlike the “normal” yakuza, Kadono was a converted yakuza and that would be an important point because he had the “police spirit” in him and he was not brought up in the “yakuza world”. That also made him an interesting transition point because were he a PURE YAKUZA, it might be harder for Nagito to accept him but that “grey area” in him made it easier for Nagito to fall in love. His love for Nagito, I fear, began with smex but he gradually loved Nagito beyond just wanting his body. I think the best way to describe the position of Nagito in his heart is with the term “color”. When Nagito first arrived at Kadono’s mansion, it was very simple and monotone, without color or life. Nagito’s existence rendered “color” – both to Kadono’s mansion and his heart. It’s quite romantic in a way because just as Kadono thought Nagito the “taste of love”, Nagito colored Kadono’s world with “the colors of love”.
Sano sensei said she had a triangular relationship when she was writing Saeki’s scenario but I must admit I don’t feel any “romantic mood” between Saeki and Kadono. To me, Kadono merely respected Saeki – period. However, the fact that Saeki’s betrayal and death could turn Kadono into a zombie hinted Kadono might bear stronger feelings to Saeki than what I felt. It would be nice if Sano sensei would dwell a step further into Kadono’s past and explained more clearly what type of feelings Kadono had toward Saeki.
A word about the predicted voice for Sano, since I don’t know if Saeki is seme or uke given the limited information, it’s hard to provide a voice for him.
Nagito’s mother is probably the character I admire the most in this novel. It’s not easy to fall in love with a man and only to find that he’s already married and a YAKUZA. Yet, she was TOUGH enough to leave this man by threatening to stab herself. She was STRONG WILLED enough to bring up Nagito by herself and to build a safe nest for Nagito as best as she could. It’s a pity that in the end, Nagito could not escape from the destiny his blood predestined him to. However, I think she already tried her best to give Nagito at least 20 years of peace. What a fantastic woman… that’s why even after her death, Nagito’s father came to burn incense for her. I have a feeling even after all these years, Nagito’s father still loved her more than anyone else in this world .
This novel may not have the “perfect plot” or the “best characterization”, however, it’s VERY ENTERTAINING and I love it VERY MUCH because of (a) the illustration, (b) the reversed authority between the uke and the seme, and (c) the gap in the “cute” Nagito and the “seductive, poisonous” Nagito. I’m not sure how to describe it but this is definitely a series I’ll continue reading as long as Sano sensei continues writing