This is Ame Arare Sensei's another masterpiece after Hira Hira. Once again, I would like to drive away the usual msconception - the manga may contain 1-2 intimate scenes but it, in no way, is hentai.
The manga is set in the Edo period before the geishas appeared. The courtesans at that time were called Oirans, and everything was much more complex and difficult during their time. According to Wikipedia, the Oirans had to go through difficult training and by the time, they were ready to take customers, they were proficient in many arts including calligraphy and poetry and had the power to refuse the customers
they didn't find suitable for their skills. Now off to review.
Plot (7) - Four one shots. First three are tragedies and last one has a real good happy ending. The title is a kind of saying in Japanese - something which is near you but you can't have it. The theme is love life or rather difficulty in the love life of the courtesans whether it be lack of money with the person whom she loves or rejection by the guy's parents to take the Oiran as his wife. This manga also depicts the selfishness of human beings - they may do anything for money and their own sake even if it includes trampling someone else's life. And it teaches the sane thing - they are also human beings and should be treated like one.
Art (10) - As usual, the art is very detailed. The sharp lines and the delicacy in everything make me intrigued with the artwork, the driving factor for me reading Sensei's work.
Character (8) - There are proper introductions to the characters and there are no loose ends in that respect.
Enjoyment (9) - It is full of emotions. One can experience the sadness in first three stories and the joy of happy ending in the last.
Overall (9) - It is definitely outstanding work. It lacks a little from Hira Hira though, but the art compensates for everything.