Manga  > Yaoi & Shonen-Ai


Nights back

Kou Yoneda


Page 45 Review by Stephen

Three separate stories in which:

A 30-something detective is prepared to put himself out – or in fact just put out – in pursuit of a smuggler, bringing a brand new meaning to the term entrapment…

A shy mechanic falls for an emotionally reserved car salesman and, as you can imagine from that summary, this short sure takes the longest to tell as they both dither hither and yon…

Kugo, a college student so sure of himself yet completely oblivious to the bleeding obvious, spots a reticent lad called Usui bashfully eyeing up from afar Kugo’s best buddy Nakaya from whom Kugo is inseparable…

This one is brilliant, absolutely brilliant, for cock-sure Kugo takes pity on Usui and decides to help him out, befriending him so that Usui can finally make a move on Nakaya whom Kugo – who would fail even the most cursory examination in self-awareness – considers “as dumb as they come”. Our Mr. Know-It-All is nothing if not direct.

“Hey. You’ve got a crush on Nakaya, don’t you? If you want, I can help you out.”
“Wh… what are y-you talking about?”
“You don’t even try to hide the way you look at him. I thought even Nakaya would’ve noticed by now. But he’s incredibly dense. I’m always with him, so I couldn’t help but twig to it.”

“…” is right. Have you spotted the flaw in Kugo’s detective skills yet? It’s no wonder their eyes meet. Usui gratefully accepts Kugo’s interest but doesn’t seem keen on making a move on Nakaya at all.

“Just being able to talk with you about Nakaya is enough for me.”

Funny, that.

I like Kugo. He may be much, much dimmer than Nakaya but at least he’s no egotist: he doesn’t presume the world revolves around him even, so he doesn’t presume Usui’s world revolves around him even though it does. Plus he’s altruistic enough to let a lad into his friendship with Nakaya rather than getting all territorial or indeed homophobic about it.

In fact, here’s a thing about yaoi: it exists in some snowglobe utopia in which homophobia doesn’t seem to exist at any level of society or within any age bracket. I’m not objecting to that; quite the reverse. These are, after all, fantasies to fuel others’ daydreams and wet dreams. Not everything has to be some gruellingly accurate socio-political commentary on the sad state of affairs in which we appear to be going globally backwards after so much hard-fought progress (see Africa, Russia, India, parts of America and of course UKIP).

Publish enough books in which love between the same sexes is taken as the for-granted norm with no one giving a toss and maybe the bigots will blink themselves out of existence.

“I have a dream” etc.
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