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"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
Little Darling by Kouzuki Matsuri 
31st-Mar-2008 11:59 pm
Kouzuki, Matsuri. Little Darling. Trans. Kelly Quine. Gardena, CA: DMP, 2007.
          Summary: Kaie is a hermaphroditic demon dead set on becoming a "splendid specimen of a man." Might getting married to Daina, pre-pubescent brat during the day, oversexed hunk at night...and heir to the throne of Heaven, put a wrinkle in that plan? Nope, guess not. (With illustrations by Koujima Naduki.)
          Comments: Good Lord, if I were Oakla Shuppan, I would not want my logo on this sorry excuse of a translated BL novel. Okay, I get it: Oakla is welcome to take the blame for the stupid premise and storyline (including insipid subplots about a "destroying angel" that comes to assassinate Daina, a courtly education for "princess" Kaie, and the son of a succubus in heat). But let's face it: The typos, the awkward prose, the now to-be-expected "You call this a translation?!" light novel mating call have all become an integral part of Juné's "Yaoi Novel" raison d'entre. I suppose it's too much to assume Oakla would demand a higher standard of quality control. I mean, they can't read English, right? How would they know? God forbid they stick their noses into cyberspace to learn for themselves what atrocities are being perpetrated in their name. In fact, the unprofessional execution is surely distorting the materials' sales potential.
          But getting back to the novel itself. Lots of bathetically one-dimensional characterization. Fiesty uke, cool seme. And need I mention that Kouzuki's conception of angels and devils isn't on speaking terms with Christianity? That's to be expected--why hello there X and Angel Sanctuary--but while all of her characters soar on bat or bird wings, her imagination never manages to get off the ground. I mean, Daina and Kaie get married on a lucky day according to the Buddhist calendar? Oh, c'mon. Spare me. Heaven and Hell Hades, meanwhile, are reduced to little more than closely allied, and much intermarried, principalities populated by pointlessly long-lived people who prefer to follow the whims of their genitals as opposed to the (presumed) brainpower in their heads. It's is almost bizarre in its utter banality. I keep hoping that one of these days one of these light novels will actually be good...but clearly the celestial beings of Little Darling are not in the business of answering my humble prayer.
          Notes: paperback, 1st American edition; first published in Japan by Oakla Shuppan in 2001
          Rating: 1.5/10 - Yet another unbearably awful BL novel. Would you believe that it took me over a month to even bring myself to finish it off? (And I use the phrase "finish it off" advisedly.)
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