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"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
Ai no Kusabi Vol. 4 by Yoshihara Rieko 
14th-Jan-2009 02:15 pm
Yoshihara, Rieko. Ai no Kusabi: The Space Between Vol. 4 - Suggestion. Trans. Kelly Quine. Los Angeles: Juné, 2008
          Summary: With illustrations by Michihara Katsumi. Riki submits to Iason in order to win Guy's freedom. Meanwhile, Kirie gets it on with Kluger clan scion Manon and learns that Guardian's children are being used as Eos "furniture"...and that Katze is somehow involved with the nefarious transaction.
          Comments: Why show when you can tell? And tell, and tell, and tell? It never ceases to amaze me how Yoshihara can take three brief plot points and turn it into 150+ pages of tedious backstory and explanation. I don't need to be told how manly is Riki or how hopeless is life in the slums--show me, goddammit! Whatever happened to the Japanese Zen aesthetic? Clearly, this failure of a novelist has never heard of it. But on the other hand, she's never stumbled upon a clunky mouthful of a metaphor she didn't like, more's the pity.
          And if the novel on its own terms weren't disgraceful enough, DMP persists in utilizing the worst translator still on their payroll, who does nothing but make the already horrid prose so stilted and unnatural that no ordinary amount of rewriting or editing appears capable of salvaging it. The work of DMP's newer cohort of translators just makes Quine's apparent inability to write a sentence in ordinary, colloquial English all the more unforgivable. Still, it's not as if finding a new set of people to work on this series would make it worth buying, so we might as well grit our teeth and see it through till the end.
          Rating: 1.5/10 - This series is being published in English because the franchise (especially the anime) has long had cult popularity among Western fans...not because the novels are actually (heaven forefend!) good.
14th-Jan-2009 09:16 pm (UTC)
Ahaha, is the novel really that bad? I remember the OVA was decent as yaoi anime go (not that the standards are particularly high for such things...), but then, it didn't have the long backstory that apparently the novelist inserted. Maybe there's a reason no one attempted any fan translation.
14th-Jan-2009 09:19 pm (UTC)
Ahaha, is the novel really that bad?

Yes, it really is that bad. (And yes, I'm also reading it for a very bad reason--to be able to say that I did.)
15th-Jan-2009 01:49 am (UTC)
Yes, yes it is.
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