That is a long title. /sigh
First off, am I the only who doesn’t get the hype for Konohara Narise novels? Don’t Worry Mama is average, this one is almost the same. Heck, I can’t even sympathize with any of the characters.
It starts off okay. Kaitani does his work half-assedly. Putting him side to side with his perfect boss, Fujiwara, makes him look like less of a man. There is a point in the story where this stark contrast is funny. I find myself laughing at Kaitani’s inner thrash talking to his boss. You can’t help but sympathize with Kaitani whenever Fujiwara scolds him.
Things go down the drain when Kaitani uses blackmailing to get what he wants. It further goes downhill when at the end of volume 1, he isn’t sure whether it’s love, infatuation, or something else. Like, come onnn. Just one night with a barely conscious Fujiwara makes you think that you already love the guy? The same guy you would have wanted to punch in the face at any given chance?
The initial disgusting feeling that he feels is realistic and got me to thinking that I might actually like it. Given the pacing in volume 1, I don’t really think there is ever a moment when Kaitani could have started feeling attracted with Fujiwara.
Volume 2 begins with Kaitani already in love with Fujiwara — wait, WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN? I’m pretty sure that he isn’t sure when volume 1 ended so how can he be sure NOW? Okay, so he starts redeeming himself in his workplace. I thought that he is finally growing up. But no. He didn’t. He never grows up until the end. He blindly pushes his feelings onto Fujiwara, using the same underhanded measures. And he is damn sure that Fujiwara loves him. What gives?
Fujiwara’s character is inconsistent as well. Sure he’s got a nice backstory to back up his jerk attitude. However, the change of heart towards Kaitani… I can’t even imagine. Is it even possible for a character to go OOC in the same book? Because I swear, I thought that isn’t Fujiwara making love with Kaitani. When did he ever become so docile? Even in the pictures. He looks so feminine, very different from the Fujiwara that we know of since volume 1.
I could go and on with my rants about this but I’ll stop now. I guess, even if I’m a sucker for seme POV stories, I just can’t stomach this novel. Underhanded tactics, poorly-developed characters… no, definitely not my type of story.
7 thoughts on “[Novel] The Man Who Doesn’t Take Off His Clothes”
I think this and Don’t Worry Mama and one of Konohara’s earliest stuff and maybe it shows? Personally I’m not familiar with her stuff except for Castle Mango and her short story for Nakeru BL anthology. Castle Mango is more fluffy, whereas her short story (which got turned into a manga: Kigengire no Hatsukoi) is more uh, depressing. But not the most depressing stuff she’s capable of from what I heard from a friend.
Anyway I think you already know about Castle Mango so…as for Kigengire no Hatsukoi it just shows how pathetic and hopeless both guys are as human beings, yet kinda relatable, which I think is not common in BL. She doesn’t pretty them up at all and exposes their uglier sides for you to judge. I enjoyed the short story a lot more than the manga due to her writing (the metaphors and imagery gah) though the end was a bit rushed for me. Anyway, maybe those above reasons are why she’s popular. I heard that River’s End novel (prequel to Castle Mango) is a tear-jerker so I’m really curious about that too. But yeah, I think her stuff tend to be: either you like it or you don’t.
I tend to forget that she also wrote Castle Mango OTL. Maybe that’s why. Her first novels have so much potential yet they lacked something to be a great story.
Ah, the depressing stuff. I heard that her Cold Sleep series was depressing as well. But it has mixed reviews. Maybe I’ll give her another chance because of Castle Mango. ww
Yup I heard that Cold Sleep series was depressing. ;; I think some of the characters’ actions can be considered extreme so that’s probably where the mixed reviews come in. But yeah, hard to imagine that she could write Castle Mango right?
Yeah, extreme and complicated characters. So it’s like whom you can sympathize the most or something <– maybe the reason why her works are not for everyone? ;;;
Ahh that’s a possible reason, yup yup.
I agree that aside from Castle Mango, I have tended to be disappointed by Konohara Narise’s writing. I never read the Cold series (I’m likely to skip anything that’s tagged “tragedy”), but I read and didn’t really get into either this or Don’t Cry Mama. I hope that Castle Mango is a sign of things to come…
I’ve tried the first few pages of Cold Sleep (that’s the first book right? xD;;) and got bored right away. ;;; I guess Konohara Narise is a hit or miss for me. Though I’m hoping she’ll make more of Castle Mango-like stories. 🙂