- Series: Don't Worry Mama
- Paperback: 250 pages
- Publisher: Digital Manga Publishing (March 13, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1569708762
- ISBN-13: 978-1569708767
- Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.7 x 6.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #570,843 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Man Who Doesn't Take Off His Clothes Volume 2 (Yaoi Novel) (Don't Worry Mama) (v. 2) Paperback – March 13, 2007
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Like one reviewer mentioned, I did have trouble w/ Fujiwara being forced to have sex then suddenly enjoying being the uke w/o any tranistion between that emotion.
Similar to how I felt about Fujiwara in the first volume, he's a wonderful gentleman who is a very understanding helpfull boss. Unfortunely, as a reader I still feel he was too good for Kaitani who is a manipulative ununderstanding jerk most of the series.
Overall, the seme still remains a jerk, but there is room for improvement as he comes to an ephiphany of how awful his personality has been. I enjoyed and would probably recommend this series as there really aren't that many English translated yaoi novels on the market.
On the other hand there are numerous points of contention that I cannot let alone.
First, and again I have to reprimand DMP for their un-proofed manuscripts, was the translation. The awkwardness of the OtRFK series of novels is nowhere near being approached (Kelly Quine did the translation again and the work is comparable to before), but there are so many simple typographic errors throughout the book that could have easily been corrected had they had an actual, professional, editor on staff to read the thing! DMP might be the yaoi publisher with the biggest library of titles to offer, but they are also the biggest corner cutters when it comes to proofing their translations (in both manga and novels, novels are just longer so I guess they don't even bother to do "all that work"). I find typoes in BeBeautiful titles, but it's like one or two in the whole volume, not on each page.
Anyway, setting my continuing frustration with DMP aside, there are problems I also have with the work itself.
Volume 1 set the story up from Kaitani's perspective that Fujiwara was an uptight jerk and we should not only sympathize with his plight, but cheer him on as he performs horrible act of "revenge" upon horrible act of "revenge" on his boss. At first it was comical, but in volume 2 it seems to have taken on a darker edge. Unfortunately for Kaitani, the jig is up in volume 2 and Fujiwara is reavealed to in fact be a very reasonable man and we the readers are not only left with a sense of dissatisfaction with Kaitani over his continuous childish and selfish behavior, but also one of dissatisfaction with ourselves for going along with him up until now.
I felt like an enabler who got in too deep as I watched the act of betrayal and selfishness Kaitani subjects Fujiwara to in the middle of the book (even when I saw it coming). I don't want to spoil anything so I can't get into details, but I felt dirty. Fujiwara finally trusts Kaitani, one of his first male friends ever, and Kaitani shatters that trust because he isn't getting what he wants right away! And Fujiwara still comes back to him! I actually sat there and thought, "because I didn't do anything to stop this before now I have enabled this terrible thing to happen to Fujiwara at the hands of this jerk!" It's a book! I have no influence on what happens!
I guess I should credit Konohara for making me feel such strong enotions about her characters, but is it really that she wants us to dislike her hero? I have to wonder.
A number of the characters come off differently in this volume. It's as if, as Kaitani's hold on the reader's preception is stripped away, we get to see totally new sides of old characters. For example, Higashiyama turns out to have become the equivalent of an old coot about relationships when he tells Kaitani to not act on his feelings, and it takes Tomoharu of all people to give Kaitani motivation. Even that girl that Kaitani had a crush on in volume 1 was reintroduced as a more reasonable person now that Kaitani didn't monopolize our perception of the situation.
Yet another thing I had a problem with was the baffling fact that Fujiwara enjoys the physical act! It's not too much of a spoiler to tell you that Kaitani forces a physical relationship on Fujiwara, but Fujiwara, while being forced bottom to a man, actually and mysteriously suddenly is revealed to enjoy the relationship. They start sleeping together in the volume and we all see that coming, but suddenly a month has passed and Fujiwara is not only used to it, but is enjoying it? Where does this come from? Why did Konohara skip ahead of the story like this? She left out a huge development of character motivation and I for one, refuse to just "accept" that this is how Fujiwara feels. I want to see the build-up, like the rest of the story is carefully built up, not thrown in instead of drawn out to make the book fit the page count.
At the end of the book, Konohara mentions in the afterward that the story has "for now" come to a conclusion, but the story is so open-ended that I have to wonder if this really will be the case. There are so many issues that have yet to be resolved between the characters, particularly as it concerns Fujiwara's unfathomable interest in Kaitani in the first place. I just wish Konohara had actually spent more than a paragraph establishing how that happened from his perspective. Not only has the question arisen of whether or not Fujiwara remembers what happened to him at the end of volume 1, or whether Kaitani has any interest in exposing the truth, but also of how Fujiwara's perception of the other man might change as a result of finding out. There are so many directions that could be gone with the storyline (as there were with Don't Worry Mama as well), but I don't know if we'll ever see anything of it.
Yuki Shimizu (of Love Mode) does the illustrations yet again for Konohara's novel, but again they are so few and far between and most of them (aside from one racy image in the middle to keep us interested and one "heartwarming" one at the end) are pretty uninteresting.
In all I would recommend this continuation of the story if you have liked the Don't Worry Mama series up to this point. I warn about the frustrating aspects, but I also encourage the objective eye one can use in seeing through the dirt to find the gold. Konohara has a way with words and I recommend giving her a chance. I wouldn't start with this volume though, I'd start with the first Don't Worry Mama book.