- Mass Market Paperback: 250 pages
- Publisher: Digital Manga Publishing (November 7, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1569708770
- ISBN-13: 978-1569708774
- Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.7 x 6.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 11 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #572,164 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Man Who Doesn't Take Off His Clothes, Vol. 1 (Yaoi) Mass Market Paperback – November 7, 2006
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The main interest of this volume to me is that, with its lengthy descriptions and dramatisations, it gives a fair idea of everyday life of contemporary. Apart from this there is really little to recommend this book to its readers.
Suddenly Kaitani is obsessed w/ helping out his friend and will resort to anything so that his stonewalling boss will green light the project.
The plot of the storyline was interesting, but I couldn't agree to Kaitani's methods of actions against his boss. Clearly in the first book, Kaitani is not a very redeeming character and his slacker mentality does not impress the reader either.
I really couldn't help sympthahizing w/ his boss Fujiwara, because even though he was a strict hard ass type of boss he didn't do things w/o a reason. It just made Kaitani really an unenducated jerk the entire book.
Overall, definitely read this book before for the second book. While I didn't like this book because of Kaitani's personality sucked, I really enjoyed the second book which was more romantic and revealed more of both the lead character's personality.
The translation is by Kelly Quine, an apparent newcomer to DMP's yaoi novel series. She (assuming boldy that Kelly is a woman, sorry if I am wrong) captures the language in a very accessible way, almost making it seem like this novel is just naturally an English language work. The paragraphs and dialoguies were very natural and flowed easily. There were a number of typoes (mostly in the form of simple words like "an" and "of" being missing), though, but at this point I have come to expect less than perfection from DMP's novel translations. A writer, or translator for that matter, can't be expected to pick up every mistake, and I think DMP needs to hire some actual professional proofreaders. I can only assume they do not currently employ them, given the continued mistakes I have witnessed in these books (of which I have read the entire catalogue of 6 now).
The art is by Yuki Shimizu again (of Love Mode), though there are painfully few of them in the volume. This is presumably because according to Konohara herself, the manuscript was delivered incredibly late. As a result, none of the illustrations are particularly memoriable, not that they aren't well drawn.
The characters are interesting, and while it is indeed a carryover of the universe created in the first book, Yuichi (here referred to by his mouthful of a last name, Higashiyama) and Imakura are minor characters and Kaitani, a character who is briefly introduced in the second half of Don't Worry Mama, is the focus as is his section chief boss, Fujiwara. Imakura makes no actual appearances, though he is mentioned several times. Higashiyama's purpose seems to be in transitioning this tale of conflict between superiors and subordinates in the workplace from a drama to a yaoi romance. He's the guy that mistakenly interprets Fujiwara's presence in Kaitani's apartment for something else and introduces Kaitani to the bar of his friend, Tomoharu (yes, the same from volume 1). Tomoharu is then the one who sees the stagnant yaoi focus and pushes it along to the story's climax.
If the path leading up to the yaoi theme of the book hadn't been intentionally laughable, I would probably be complaining about it here. Throughout 3/4 of the book there is not so much as a mention of any romantic feelings between the characters, and if it hadn't been set up the way it was, I'd say it was an afterthought. I do have to complain, in my impatience and not her style, about Konohara's knack for cliffhangers. She really seems to enjoy taunting the readers by finally getting to the good stuff and then making us wait for more. I have to say though, that leaving the emotions of both Fujiwara and Kaitani about what had happened between them up in the air at the end was a very good move. Since this incident is almost completely out of nowhere, forcing some kind of love between them would have really been just that: forced. The fact that we have to read a whole third book to get the storyline completed for us gives us another 200+ pages to be transitioned into it and with a story like this, which took its time and built itself up well, it will only add to the quality of the writing.
The graphic bits are not as detailed as in the previous volume of this series, but they are definitely there. In fact, the events leading up to the consummation are so incredibly out there that you are on the edge of your seat waiting for it to happen, all the while disbelieving that a collection of coincidences like these could ever have come together to create this situation. It's quite entertaining.
The only additional problem anyone might have with this story is in the things that Kaitani does to Fujiwara. The manner in which he chooses to treat Fujiwara in response to Fujiwara's attitude and unwillingness to give Kaitani what he wants is pretty mean and somewhat juvenile. This can partly be attributed to the nature of Japanese culture, where under certain circumstances the severe teasing and bullying of people becomes justified. Basically, when an individual stands out or doesn't stand up for themselves it makes them an available target. In the United States on the other hand, targetting those weaker than yourself is generally seen as a negative attribute.
If you didn't read the first volume in this series, it's probably okay. You don't need to know about Higashiyama and Imakura's relationship beyond what is revealed in this volume in order to understand the story. It does, however, add a depth to the characters and the universe and I highly recommend it in addition to this book. I give it four stars because of my impatience to see the conclusion of the storyline as well as my continued frustration with the publisher and the somewhat slow start in introducing the yaoi theme.