- Paperback: 208 pages
- Publisher: Blu (August 7, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1427800553
- ISBN-13: 978-1427800558
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 5.3 x 0.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,015,912 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Fumi Yoshinaga's: Truly Kindly (Yaoi) Paperback – August 14, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
"Truly Kindly" the longest of the stories is twisted and disturbing. It is not easy to read at all. At the end I just find it so sad and feel deeply for the characters, in particular the psychopath. I do not think I will forget this for awhile though I will not read it again.
Slightly Malicious Confession is distinct. Love is not easy and I marvel at the mangaka's ability to inject so much into this little story.
The 3rd story about 2 fellow students turned lovers is the lightest tone and quite funny.
Pandora, a period piece during the Samurai time on lock picking is interesting with a melancholic atmosphere to it. I wish the mangaka could have explored deeper into this story and the characters. I like the Samurai uke with his unruly hair and the artwork here.
Lastly the story which started it all for my favorite worldly wise butler and his bratty aristocratic young master (protagonists in "Lovers in the Night"), which is good enough reason for me to buy this manga. This is the missing "A Butler's Proper Place". I love Yoshinaga's depiction of the time just before and during the French Revolution expressed through these 2 memorable characters. Interspersed in this story is the poignant one on Claude's uncle which leaves sappy me teary eyed, just so sad. Ok I am repeating myself but I love Yoshinaga's distinct and expressive artwork during this period.
I am really pleased to have this in my collection.
There are two or three other stories in the collection that aren't terrible, but aren't great. One is set in Seattle, Washington, which is cool, but there seems to be an uncomfortable power differential between the two main characters. Another is set in Japan during the Meiji era (I think), and it centers around a samurai/shopkeeper couple; the story itself feels kind of odd, as if it's trying to be deep, and it involves picking locks.
The last three stories are probably the best, but they aren't spectacular. They're all set just prior to the French Revolution and belong to Fumi Yoshinaga's Lovers in the Night universe.
Overall, I would not recommend this volume to those who are not hardcore Fumi Yoshinaga fans. This collection certainly does not showcase her best work. Try Solfege or Ichigenme or Antique Bakery to get an idea of what she's capable of producing.
Her work is powerful because her characters are powerful, imperfect, noble and dastardly by turns. She's not afraid of painting with a dark brush and they aren't always happy endings. She doesn't shy away from the ugly side of history either (Western or Japanese), so much so that some of her work is pretty disturbing. But it's always different and thought-provoking. Her straight stuff is good, but her yaoi, in my opinion, is better with far more easily understood and compelling characters.
But I'm always drawn in, made to think, made to feel with her distinct stories (written in thought-provoking vignettes), intense characters and amazingly evocative drawings. She conveys so much with a look or glance, with a modicum of dialog.
This particular collection of stories were among the darker and more disturbing of her work, probably the darkest of her yaoi titles (at least published in English). We have rape and coercion, violence, misuse of a servant (historical France), crime. But I can't hate any of the main characters in any of the stories. I can see where they're coming from, why they're doing it, who they are. No one is evil; at most they are selfish and needy. Given my strong antipathy toward rape (almost pathological), it's really something to make me feel that way.
As with most of her yaoi titles, Yoshinaga doesn't shy away from graphic male-male sex, so if that's a problem, skip the book. If not, this is a very powerful book (all separate unrelated one-shots) with plenty to think about and to feel. Done like the master she is of this particular type of storytelling.