Author: Aida Saki
Illustrator: Takashina You
Format: Novel, Blcd
This is the book I like THE BEST among all the Boy’s love books I have read (manga and novels) so I intend to write a VERY DETAILED review of the story. If you plan to read the novel, I don’t recommend reading my summary/review as that will inevitably spoil the fun. Deadlock is definitely a deviant from the genre of boy’s love because unlike usual boy’s love that mimic a heterosexual relationship, this one is more down to earth a description of the love between a man and another man and that’s the part that I like THE BEST.
Since all the names are in katakana, I just use the nearest English name because it’s strange to write up an English review with katakana . If you find problems with the names, please inform me. This story is totally fiction and so don’t imagine the prison in the States is like this. It is certainly NOT!
The story began with Yuhto Lennix, a DEA (Drug Enforcement Agent) being found guilty of murdering his partner Paul McLaine and was sent to the Sierga Prison that housed approximately 2,500 prisoners. Of course he insisted he was innocent and refused to admit to his crimes but he was found guilty anyway. Since he was working in New York, he really should have been jailed in New York State (I suppose then his residency is in New York State) but instead, he was sent to an institution in California because of a deal he struck with the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation). If he could find the leader of a terrorist group called Corvus, they would let him walk free. However, the FBI would offer him no assistance while he was in prison and he would be given no advantage at all. He would be just a normal prisoner, as any other prisoner. Yuhto accepted the deal and armed with just a list of suspect and a few characteristics of “Corvus”, Yuhto began his new life in a world without freedom and rights. The only characteristics he had was that Corvus was white, about 30, seemed to have military experience, and had a burnt scar on his back. When Yuhto first arrived, there was another new inmate who was on the same bus as him – Matthew Cain, a cute 20 year-old boy. Matthew was sentenced to 3 years because he tried to steal from his grandfather and when discovered, he stabbed his grandfather in a panic and the latter hit the head and got injured . When Yuhto and Matthew first arrived, they met Miguel Ronnie, who was a rather friendly bank robber who failed and was already jailed for 5 years. They also met Hose, a pretty old inmate who had been jailed for 20 years and would soon be released. Matthew was assigned in the same cell as Hose. Since Miguel’s attitude was very friendly (and even asked them to call him Mickey Mouse (can’t resist ^_^;;), Matthew seemed to be very relaxed too but Yuhto warned that anything could happen in a prison and he should be careful. Of course, they were also reminded of the possibility of being raped by other inmates (because there was no woman in a man’s prison). Still, Matthew kept his merry-go-round attitude and soon became the mascot of BLOCK A in the eastern wing of the prison which Yuhto would soon have to call “home”. For some reason, Mickey had access to a variety of resources and reminded the two that if they needed anything, they could purchase from him (something like the shopowner in an RPG game where you could replenish after a fight with a monster). There was also an extremely nice guy Nathan Clark, a very intelligent man who seemed to have studied law before he was sentenced to prison. Nathan told Yuhto that like him, he was also wrongly accused and imprisoned for a murder he never committed. He was arrested for murdering his own mother but actually someone came to murder his murder and when he woke up, the police only found him at the scene of crime and so arrested him. At the moment, he spent most of his spare time in the prison offering simple legal advice to inmates who had no knowledge of their own legal rights (not surprising since I heard the average education level in some prisons was about 7th grade). He appeared to be extremely kind and was well loved by everyone (including Yuhto). In fact, Yuhto was the one who later assisted Nathan in his job in the library. Upon their arrival, the friendly Mickey brought Yuhto and Miguel to the canteen and while he was there, a bunch of African Americans came over to harrass Yuhto. The leader of the group, Bob Trenkler a.k.a. BB tried to touch Yuhto but Yuhto told him to back off. That pissed BB off and he was ready to start a row but a huge blonde guy came over and cut the fight. The guy was Dick Bandford, the one who would share the same cell as Yuhto. When Dick interfered, BB and his men went away.
Here’s a table of the relationships among the prisoners in the East Wing (to make things easier to understand).
|Black Soldier||Roca Elmano||ABL|
|Leader||Chalker, BB (successor)||Ernesto Rivera||Henry Gellen|
However, the leader of Black Soldier would not let Yuhto go so easily. On his first day, even though he gave Matthew the warning, Yuhto got punched and beaten badly by BB’s men. Dick, Mickey tried to care for his wounds (especially Dick because he seemed to lend a helping hand at the infirmary and had some medical knowledge). After the first incident, Yuhto learned his lesson and he became a bit (just a bit) more careful. He spent most of his time with Matthew (who became a younger brother to Mickey), Mickey, and Dick. One day while playing cards and he lost (because he was too confident of himself ), Mickey made him go all the way to the sisters  where he would have to kiss the hand of one of the sisters. Yuhto at first was a bit reluctant because it felt a bit disgusting but when he noticed one of the men on his suspect list was talking to the most beautiful person among the sisters (Tonya), he changed his mind. He went over and found the man actually getting into an argument with Tonya and threatened Tonya with a pocket knife. Yuhto noticed a guard looking this way and so he quickly snatched the knife and put it into his own pocket. When the guards came over to search the man, of course there was nothing. The guy was actually a member of ABL and when Yuhto saw how the guy acted on impulse, he eliminated him on the candidate list of Colvus. He then kissed the hand of Tonya and Tonya invited him to his own room where the sisters held their party at Block C. Yuhto accepted the invitation because he wanted to know more about the leader of ABL – Henry Gellen. On the day of the “tea-party”, Dick actually accompanied Yuhto and caused some cheers among the sisters (because Dick was so handsome). From Mickey, Yuhto learned that Dick was a rather unique existence because he was certainly very powerful. He once cracked the neck veterbrae of an inmate while the latter was in shower (that inmate was hated by everyone and so no one said a word and the murder remained unsolved). Dick normally was very quiet and it’s impossible to read any sign from his poker face. However, he was not hungry for power and because of his power and lack of ambition, people usually just left him alone. When Yuhto first went to prison, he purposely stopped shaving so that he looked a lot uglier than he actually was. At the tea-party though, the sisters insisted he would look better without his beard and started to try to shave him. He looked to Dick for help but the latter just ignored his SOS signals. When the sisters were done, Dick was quite surprised to see a gorgeous beauty a handsome Yuhto. From the party, Yuhto learned nothing more about Henry Gellen than he already knew. However, he acquired a piece of information – that Tonya was Henry’s former lover but now Henry’s lover was Lindsey, a cute guy who secretly slept with other inmates for money. While walking back to their cell, Dick suddenly told Yuhto that he was gay. Yuhto was a bit shocked that Dick, who usually seemed quiet and extremely cold to him, particularly him, would suddenly tell him his sexual orientation, especially when it was a minority one.
Yuhto continued searching for Colvius and he focused on Gellen. Thus when he saw Gellen and Lindsey going into the gynnasium, he trailed the two. After a round of aegi (apparently from sex), Yuhto heard dead silence. He was worried about Lindsey and he rushed in to find Henry alone. He asked Henry the whereabouts of Lindsey but Henry said he was alone. Yuhto insisted he saw Henry with Lindsey but Henry was about to attack Yuhto when Dick and Mickey arrived. Dick asked Gellen to let go of Yuhto and since Gellen did not want a direct fight with Dick, he let go but asked Dick to “guard his woman” better. As they left, they found the body of Lindsey hidden in under some bags in the gym. He was murdered by Henry but Dick and Mickey told Yuhto to go back to the cell and pretended nothing happened. At first Yuhto was reluctant but he finally gave in. Soon after they arrived at the cell, the siren ran off and they knew Lindsey’s body was found. However, no one said anything even though almost everyone knew Gellen did it. Yuhto also realized what he did was extremely foolish because he could have been killed by Gellen as well. He apologized to Dick but Dick warned him, in a pretty cold manner, not to destroy all the things he constructed so far! Yuhto was not certain why Dick was so angry and he just distracted himself with rest.
After the Lindsey murder case, another violent act broke out not long after. This time, the victim was no other than the cute Matthew. Since Mickey liked Matthew and treated him like a little brother, the other inmates did not touch Mickey so far but a paedophile Bernal (ãƒ™ãƒ«ãƒŠãƒ«) had his eyes on Matthew. When Hose found Matthew missing for lunch, he was worried. Mickey, Yuhto, and Dick also started wondering where Matthew was when someone told them they saw Matthew with Bernal. Mickey & Dick immediately knew the situation was serious and rushed to find Matthew. They eventually found Matthew tied up with his anal areas bleeding badly. They rushed him to the infirmary where it seemed his injuries were very grave (pelvis bone broken, a few other broken bones, and wounds all over the place. Worst thing was that his right eye was injured and he probably would not be able to see very well with that eye anymore). Mickey was outraged and decided to take revenge on Bernal by stabbing him. He planned to stab him on the grounds and then passed the knife onto Dick and again onto Nathan while Yuhto would be on guard. On the day though, since there were some other injured prisoners, Dick had to help at the infirmary and told Mickey to delay his vengeance. However, Mickey would not listen to Dick and Yuhto’s advice and continued with his plan. He stabbed Bernal at the back but Bernal reacted faster than he thought and caught hold of Mickey. To save Mickey as the guards were approaching, Yuhto knocked out Bernal but was arrested by the guards. Since he would not say it was Mickey who did Bernal in (though the wound was not fatal), he was sent to solitary confinement where he could not move and was in a cell that stunk like hell. Yuhto was desperte in solitary confinement and was about to give up thinking he would never find Corvus or freedom when he found a small note stuck in the bread in his dinner from Dick, saying that he would be waiting for him (heartmark by Nanya!). After a while, he heard a knock from the adjacent cell. It was from a guy called Net. Net seemed to know everything about Yuhto, that he protected Mickey by staying quiet He even knew about Yuhto, BB, everything. Yuhto’s father was Japanese but his stepmother was latino and so he could speak Spanish (or Spanglish). Net was Mexican and so Yuhto could comfortably speak with him. Net seemed to be very knowlegeable – to the extent a bit philosophical – but Yuhto felt comfortable because it reminded him of the happy old days with his family, stepmother, brother, and sister. Nearing the end of the confinement, Yuhto finally learned that Net was really Ernesto Rivera, the leader of Roca Elmano, the largest hispanic group in the eastern wing. He also learned that Tonya was not Net’s lover as people rumored him to be, but Net’s real brother. Since Tonya had an inferiority complex (because of his own transvesdite tendency), he refused to expose the relationship between the two. Since Net was so frank with Yuhto, the latter seemed to trust Net and asked him if he knew Gellen had a burnt scar on his back. Net didn’t know but said he would ask Tonya because Tonya slept with Gellen before.
A week passed and finally Yuhto could come back to his regular cell. Of course Mickey was very happy but Dick seemed to be the same as usual. He became even more satirical when he saw how friendly Net and Yuhto was. For Yuhto, it was good to know Net because now he wouldn’t have to fear Bernal would take revenge on him when he came back from hospital. Net also kept his promise and sent Tonya over to let Yuhto know that Gellen did not have any burnt scar on his back. HOWEVER, another problem occurred. Since BB had his eyes on him but was busy fighting for power within Black Soldier as the former leader Chalker was dying, he did not bother Yuhto. However, when he saw Yuhto with Net, his anger started. Dick even joked Yuhto was Helen (of Troy) who would spark a fight between Black Soldier and Roca Elmano. Yuhto dismissed Dick’s words as a joke but the joke turned deadly.
Already Dick warned Yuhto (over and over again) to be careful but Yuhto just trusted people too readily. When Hose asked Yuhto to help him with showering because he could not move well and Matthew, who used to lend him a helping hand, was in hospital, Yuhto readily agreed. However, it was really a trap. BB threatened Hose to bring Yuhto to the shower room just so he could rape Yuhto and he did. While resisting the rape, they banged Yuhto’s head on the wall and left a deep cut that needed three stitches. Yuhto continued to resist until he passed out. When he woke up, he was already in the infirmary with Dick looking very worried. Dick even said he would kill BB but Yuhto stopped him because he did not want Dick to kill anymore. He said he would be able to overcome this difficulty himself and if he would want revenge, he would do it himself (VERY MANLY SPEECH!). A bit later when Yuhto recovered a little from the injuries from the rape, Dick helped him with showering. Yuhto said he could manage on his own but Dick INSISTED to help him. Yuhto even joked if Dick was his mother. However, when Dick tried to wash Yuhto, the sound of the running water in the shower reminded Yuhto of his recent traumatic experience and he lost control abit but Dick tried to calm him down. Then, when Yuhto was about to leave the shower, he noticed a huge burnt scar on Dick’s back. To his surprise he realized though Dick’s name was not on the list of suspect, he fit all the description of Corvus – Caucasian, 30, with military experience, had a burnt scar on his back. For a moment, Yuhto’s blood froze and he returned to his cell for a sleepless night. Yuhto then recalled an earlier conversation he had with Nathan, who seemed to be the closest person in the prison with Dick. Before the conversation, Yuhto did not know the crime Dick was convicted off. From Nathan, he knew. Dick was sentenced to 30 years in prison for killing an officer.
Technically, Yuhto should rush to inform the FBI that Dick was the prime suspect but he was a bit suspicious as to why Dick’s name was not on the list of suspects. Such an obvious scar should definitely be recorded in Dick’s medical records so he took a peep in the files when the doctor was away to attend the injurires of an inmate. To his surprise, there was no “scar” on the physical description of Dick’s body!! It was blank! Yuhto then suspected probably the doctor could have teamed up with Dick, which would not be surprising if Dick were Corvus, the leader of a terrorist group. While Yuhto was thinking, the fight between Black Soldier and Roca Elmano broke out. Soon after Yuhto was raped, Chalker died and BB became the leader of Black Soldier. Unlike Chalker who was a wise and reasonable man, BB was the violent type. Also, Net was extremely angry when he heard Yuhto was attacked and raped by BB so the two gangs’ fight began. During the chaos, Dick told Yuhto to go hide but Yuhto was worried about Nathan in the library and he went to check out if Nathan were safe. However, he was extremely shocked to find out that Nathan was really Corvus!! Using Yuhto as hostage, Nathan managed to escape from the prison. After Nathan’s escape, Dick and Yuhto ran to find somewhere to hide as they did not want to be dragged into the fight between the two large gangs. There, Dick told Yuhto about his past. He was an orphan who grew up in a facility. He was bright and earned a scholarship to an academy in the military (could it be West Point? Laughs). After his graduation, he joined a small anti-terror group in the army and he quickly became friends with his teammates. In fact, for the first time in his life, he felt he had a family. He also fell in love with one of his teammate Noel and he was very happy. Unfortunately, in one mission, when his team was sent raid a building and to arrest some of the terrorists from the group led by Corvus, the mission failed. The building exploded and killed all his teammates, leaving Dick, who was outside the building seriously injured. After that incident, he left the army and lived a few years like a zombie. A year ago, the CIA contacted him and wanted to employ him as a contract agent to track down Corvus. He wanted revenge at Corvus and so he agreed to sneak into the prison where they believed Corvus was and to try to obtain information about Corvus’ terrorist group so they could eradicate the group. Dick knew Nathan was Corvus right from the beginning but he befriended Nathan to obtain the information. He knew Nathan killed Chalker in order to start a fight between Black Soldier and Roca Elmano in order to stage his own escape. Dick wanted to use the opportunity to kill Corvus but Yuhto got in the way. Dick then said he would escape to find Nathan and asked Yuhto to go along with him. For a moment, Yuhto, who already was in love with Dick after spending the last several weeks with him, wanted to escape with Dick but he did not want to carry the name of a fugitive and he made the decision to remain. The two exchanged words of love (and something more) before bidding each other goodbye. Yuhto knew that could be the last time he would probably see Dick (in the end, Dick did not tell Yuhto his real name because he could not promise Yuhto anything at all) but Yuhto still made the decision. After Dick & Nathan’s escape, Yuhto was contacted by the FBI and he told them some of the information he acquired. He then asked for his release in exchange for the information. Two weeks later, he was released but not as part of the deal but because the FBI arrested Paul’s real murderer. That made Yuhto wonder if they knew Yuhto was innocent right from the beginning but withheld the information in his trial. Of course he would never know the answer as any sign would have been eliminated. After his release, the FBI wondered if he would join them because he was the only one who knew about Corvus. Yuhto agreed and he started his journey to Arizona where he would receive the tranining necessary to transfer from DEA to FBI.
– End of Deadlock. There would be two more books in this series with the second being the reunion of Yuhto and Dick on their quest to find Corvus.
For a moment, I almost felt like reading a BL version of Tom Clancy (laugh). Deadlock unarguably is my favorite BL book so far because it fits my taste. I like Deadlock because it is SO VERY FAKE (if prisons are like that in reality, America would be REALLY in DEEP SHIT). Of course, drug smuggling, violence, and rape DO HAPPEN in American prisons but not quite in the sense it’s portrayed in this novel. That doesn’t matter because this is a FICTIONAL piece of work and so let’s overlook the details. Back to the plot, hard-core BL fans would certainly not like this book as it violates a lot of the silent rules in writing BL. First, the “romance” portion is very thin, almost negligent, and Aida seems to focus WAY more on illustrating the power balance in prison rather than the love between Yuhto and Dick. Second, there’s a HELL lot of violence in this book. You can tell from my summary and it’s only a summary! There are many scenes I just can’t fit in because my hand is too tired from all the typing. Third, there are not many “traditional” moe points and Yuhto is definitely not the typical uke – a.k.a. a female soul trapped in a male body. He’s a MAN inside-out, so manly it’s a waste he’s uke ^^;;
Those are the negative points. Now comes the positive points. I love this novel to death because it’s so different from the rest of the novels I have read. It’s Tom Clancy in a way because of the hunt for Corvius and frankly, if this is a thriller, it certainly is not thrilling enough. Yet, what’s interesting is the little episodes of romance and jealousy that’s inserted in between. Unlike the typical BL uke who is constantly thinking about “oh does he love me”, “oh I love him but he’s a guy what should I do”? Yuhto (was certainly a bit troubled when he found himself attracted to Dick) still spent a lot of time thinking about the people around him and his job – to hunt down Corvius. Rather than reading about Yuhto’s love troubles, we are actually looking at the lives of all the different inmates from various ethnic groups, through Yuhto’s eyes. Since Aida’s Japanese, she probably examines the ethnical and human relationships within the prison from her cultural view point. As I have lived in the West for over a decade now and have been exposed to various different ethnic groups, I don’t really like to address people by “color”, which she seems to be very comfortable with. I suppose that’s the interesting part, to look at the issue from a Japanese woman’s point of view – whether you agree or disagree with it. As for the little episodes, I really love the tempo of the conversations and the balance of humor and sadness in the story. Unlike S which is mainly sad, or Sayonara which is closer to comedy, Deadlock is just right in between with its share of humor, violence, and agony. The plot is fairly easy to guess, especially because Nathan seems too good to be true and Dick seems too interesting to be not ON THE LIST, still, it’s enjoyable and gives me this doki-doki feeling. The CIA vs. FBI (fight) setting also makes me want to laugh ^_^;; Best of all is the fact that Yuhto is not just a boyish uke but a REAL MAN. Now onto the characters:
God bless BL! I finally find an uke who’s cute and cool, brave and dumb at the same time! What’s interesting about Yuhto is that he’s so hetare I even once wondered if he was dellusional and invented his own resume about being a DEA. Either that or his partner Paul was a genius and saved him from all the previous troubles. Why I’m saying that is because this boy would believe any person in a state prison!! He warned Matthew prison was not a nice place but he was the one to get into trouble first, even before Matthew ^_^;; Even after being warned by Dick for a million times, he still fell into BB’s trap (sweat). I suppose he so trusted people because he came from a very happy family. His father and stepmother was kind and his brother and sister loving. His partner, Paul, was also very good to him and he was never betrayed before. After the rape though, Yuhto began to SHINE *v*/! Instead of crying or feeling upset or lost, Yuhto remained calm when Dick was at the verge of exploding (out of anger because BB raped his princess ^_^;;). Of course Yuhto was hurt more than anyone by the rape but he also knew killing BB wouldn’t really do anyone any good. It would only add to the sins of those who took revenge for him. I bowed to his manliness when he said stuff like if he wanted revenge, he would take it himself. Although Dick constantly came to his rescue (several times by chance), Yuhto never WANTED, not for a single moment, for Dick to help him. Everytime, he fought his own battle like a man. When he was defeated, he admitted defeat like a man. When he wanted to keep his memory of Dick, he said it like a man. When Dick wanted to bring Yuhto with him, he did not want to go after Dick just because he loved Dick. In fact, he valued his OWN PRIDE AS A MAN over his love for Dick (that’s where all the BL fans’ dissatisfaction came from I suppose). He would rather lose Dick forever than to leave the prison by any way other than where he walked in. Dick actually lost his calm in the end and puzzled for a while (to make the offer of bringing Yuhto with him when he would not be able to protect Yuhto). Whew-hew! Yuhto’s SO MANLY MANLY I’m totally in love with him. I love Yuhto way more than Shiba in S because unlike Shiba who became more and more otome along the way, Yuhto kept his CALM and MANLINESS right till the end! Viva Yuhto! Viva manliness in BL (sweat).
I’m already guessing his real name (hope it isn’t Apollo) <- just kidding. Dick is the typical military man, maybe like Snake in MGS. I think the next book will be extremely interesting because we’ll see Dick with all his gadgets (I hope). Wouldn’t be nice for the two to meet again where Dick greets Yuhto with a grenade and Yuhto greets him with a laser gun? Just kidding. Since the whole story’s told from Yuhto’s point of view, it’s hard to know what’s going through Dick’s mind. However, in the limited interactions between Yuhto and Dick, it’s possible to know Dick probably fell in love with Yuhto very early on. When he saw Yuhto without the beard, his expressions are SO CUTE!! Then, his humor (though rare) is also fantastic, epsecially the Helen of Troy inference …that’s his way to praising Yuhto for his beauty. Also, when he got jealous of Net and said Yuhto must be having a good time in solitary confinement because he had Net, it was ALSO CUTE! When he insisted helping to wash Yuhto, I also went MOE! When he tried to give Yuhto water when he was having a high fever (and pretty much earning his kisses), I went SNEAKY *v*. Most interesting was when Yuhto was ill and he kept coming to check on him abusing his position to the extent the doctor said he thought Dick’s kid was in the infirmary, that was FANTASTIC!!! Dick the naughty boy, getting all the other patients JEALOUS ^o^ but can’t blame the poor boy. Yuhto’s as beautiful as HELEN OF TROY! XDD. Finally, when he was holding the gun and confronting Nathan, I was screaming Kakkei! Hail to Dick!!!
He’s VERY TOUGH because you need a seiyuu who can change his face and I suppose NojiHiro probably would be able to do it. After some struggle, I decide to use Suwabe because he’s got this hidden evil (?) haraguroness in him. Tsuboi might also be a good choice too because he’s king of haraguro. Anyway, Nathan I suspect there’s something fishy about him right from the beginning because he’s too good to be true. An innocent man who’s extremely kind to the extent it feels like he’s the Mother Teressa of the prison. Most suspicious of all, he’s the only one who can become friends with Dick. If Dick isn’t Corvius, he must be (the others are TOO STUPID anyway and Gellen’s too OBVIOUS to be Corvius). In this novel, Corvius (who really killed Nathan’s mother… and probably the real Nathan too) did not shine much but from his speech about the lack of rights among inmates and so forth, it’s obvious he’s one of those crazy types who are too clever for the society and who hate everything about the government. Let’s see what trap he’ll have for Dick & Yuhto next time!
Net is another manly man you want to marry because he’s good looking, very charismatic, very philosophical, and would protect his love. It’s so lovely to see him touching Yuhto when they met outside of solitary confinement for the first time. What’s more interesting is that when Yuhto was raped, Net was so angry he could not bear to see Yuhto’s wounded face. Ahhh… the silent angry type! Actually, the fact that the war could start SO SOON after Chalker’s death was also partly the fault of him raping Yuhto because if he didn’t, maybe Net would have tried to find opportunities for peace. However, once he hurt his Helen, that’s it! Rot in HELL you prince of Troy (sweat).
As for the other characters, they’re all very interesting. Poor Matthew has really bad luck T___T but I hope to see him again in the next novel! Mickey is fun too and I like how he defended his friends. I also love Tonya as he’s SO ELEGANT (Tonya’s definitely Yusa in my brain as I want to hear Kamiyan KISSING Yusa XDD). Then there is Gellen who’s like a maddog but not a dumb one. In fact, he’s a good leader because he’s waiting for Black Soldiers and Roca Elcano to fight each other to death then kill off the victory group after. Finally, there’s BB, whom I hate but think he’s a necessary existence for the story. Most important of all, I think it’s wise for Aida to throw in Chalker because if there’s only BB, then it seems the African American group is the villain in the story. By throwing in Chalker, she clearly emphasizes it’s not the ethnic group but the leader that’s the problem. Good job!
I think I have said enough and really I don’t think I’m objective when I rate this novel but it’s hard to give an objective rating because it’s got ALL THE MOE factors that make me scream MOE! But these may not appeal to everyone. As usual, the writing style is VERY FLUID but for those who think kanji’s a problem, this novel is still extremely hard to read then. It’s also quite thick (the longest of Aida’s novels so far). Finally, as I’m not from America, I have very limited knowledge of the American legal system and I have only been to a minimum security prison once (as a visitor, not a criminal) in my life so I guess I can’t really compare that to a maximum security prison. For those in America, maybe this book will be even more fascinating. Anyway, I hope everyone will enjoy it as much as I do!
 I suspect this is a fictional prison but since I’m not from the States, I have no idea. Feel free to correct me.
 I suspect Aida sensei got the idea from Corvus (latin raven or crow) constellation. For details of the Greek mythology, you can check out the link@wiki!
 It is quite impossible that Matthew would be in the same sector as Yuhto because under CDC (the California Department of Corrections), the majority of inmates (roughly three-quarters) are assigned to different sectors of the prison according to the inmate classification score that ranges from 0-52 such that those who are 0-18 will be placed in Level I, 19-27 in level II, 28-51 in level III and 52 in level IV. Of course there are those who need advanced placement assessments. Aida sensei did mention Matthew originally should not be there but he was placed there because of overcrowding problem. In my opinion, even when a prison is over populated, it is still a bit strange to place a level I inmate in level II, especially when Matthew should score quite low given his age and previous records. On the other hand, Yuhto would automatically be a Level II because life imprisonment (and that probably would be what he got for first-degree murder)…. (Readers to Nanya: WHO CARE! GIMME THE STORY .
 The way they called the transvesdites (or those rather feminine) group of inmates, some of whom would get paid to have sex with other inmates.