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"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
The Man Who Doesn't Take Off His Clothes 2 by Konohara Narise 
17th-Jun-2007 10:53 pm
Konohara, Narise. The Man Who Doesn't Take Off His Clothes. Vol. 2. Trans. Kelly Quine. Los Angeles: Juné, 2007.
          Summary: Originally titled Nuganai Otoko 2. Don't Worry Mama! series. With illustrations by Shimizu Yuki. Kaitani's diligence and hard work at the office has led to the development of an amicable relationship with Fujiwara. Old habits die hard, however, and pretty soon Kaitani's blackmailing Fujiwara once again into being his lover. Turns out, though, that Fujiwara likes it, and after a short snag in their relationship with regards to Kaitani's ex-girlfriend, they become an item for good. (Kaitani even stands up to the bully who made Fujiwara so self-conscious about having only "one of a pair.")
          Comments: Good grief, someone's got to put the folks at Juné out of their misery. The translation and adaptation of this already wholly unnecessary throwaway novel is abominable--the prose is forced and unnatural and positively riddled with grammar and spelling errors. (The first blooper appears in the fourth paragraph of the very first page, and the mistakes appear every 3-5 pages after that on average.)
          Even if we do not take into account the execrable English-language edition, the novel has little to recommend. While the first volume was genuinely funny, the concluding volume is merely tedious. Can't Konohara come up with anything more original than the prissy, secretly insecure toshiue uke? (Once the regular sex starts, her obligation toward creativity ends, I guess.) After all, we all know how it's going to end before we even crack open the cover; the point of it all is to make the journey to that destination as scenic as possible. Reading this felt like being caught in gridlock on the Jersey Turnpike.
          Notes: paperback, 1st American edition (first published in Japan in 2005)
          Rating: 4/10 - Stop now while you're impression, after finishing volume one, of the series still reasonably favorable...and if you don't, don't say I didn't warn you.
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