Yoshinaga, Fumi. Don't Say Any More, Darling. Trans. Sachiko Sato. Gardena: Juné, 2007. Summary
: Originally titled Sore wo Ittara Oshimai yo
. Includes five short stories: "Don't Say Any More, Darling," "My Eternal Sweetheart," "Fairyland," "One May Day," and "Pianist." Comments
: For those of you who didn't already know, Ohta is more of a josei publisher than a BL one, and this book by Yoshinaga Fumi (despite DMP's "Sell It Now!" Juné label) falls more on the former side than the latter one. Still, it's very much the mixed bag. Two of the stories are downright disappointing, meaninglessness masquerading as profundity. Another of the stories, the one about the android who wants to have sex with his creator/brother, is tanbi--the aesthetic and emotional sentiment is
the meaning. You know...the sort of stuff shoujo and josei mangaka do an awful lot.
Which leaves the first and last stories, the most "BL" of the lot. As per Yoshinaga's best work, she studiously avoids melodrama and prefers to locate a gentle, unassuming brand of existentialist comedy to situations that would inspire much gnashing of teeth in other mangaka's writing. You can really see her coming to grips with her own adulthood in these (not to mention her most recent two series for Shinshokan, Antique Bakery
and Flower of Life
), and the manga is all the better for it. I especially loved the final moment of the last story where the failed and suicidal pianist has his romantic illusions abruptly stripped away. It's not a tragic moment because he realizes that he has gained a friend who cares about him (just not as a lover). He decides to return to normalcy and become a teacher. It's brilliant. Just brilliant. Notes
: A5 paperback, 1st American edition; first published in Japan by Ohta Shuppan in 2004 Rating
- Of course, this is a must for Yoshinaga Fumi fans, but those looking for her best would do best to look elsewhere.