Matsuoka is hooked on wearing his ex-girlfriend's clothes and going for nighttime walks into town, feeling the pleasure of being stared at by men wherever he goes. One night, after he is assaulted by a man during a one-off encounter, he is saved by Hirosue, a nondescript senior worker from his company. Drawn to Hirosue's innocent, pure love, Matsuoka continues to meet with Hirosue dressed as a woman, until Hirosue finally confesses to him. Narise Konohara's pinnacle of achievement portrays the pain and beauty of unrequited love, and has also been adapted to a theatrical play.
I don't usually write reviews, but I'm so disappointed with this and with myself for wasting hours of my day on this crap. I stayed up until 4 in the morning to finish it. Not because it was so good I couldn't stop, but because I was frustrated with it and just wanted to get it over with.
The premise is not a bad one, but it is badly executed. It's about a man who cross dresses and meets a man while in drag. They go out and he eventually falls for this man. The main conflict here is coming out to admit he is
a man. There are several plot holes that are arguably trivial, but not once throughout reading did they stop bothering me. Perhaps things were lost in translation but the story isn't written well. It reads to me like an uninterested narrator that is reciting a speech. The concept of cross dressing here is shallow and plain discarded at the end. The love that develops is also shallow, unfelt. The man who falls in love with the MC does so without any reason or explanation, and when the MC does eventually like him back, it all seems fake. One could argue that it seems this way because he starts to like the man as the "woman", and thus he seems fake, but this story isn't that deep. Even when he comes out as a man, his feelings still don't get across to the reader. His feelings and actions are not well developed. In fact, none of the characters get much development. The women are portrayed as such annoying and weak creatures that it gets annoying. As a whole, the story is unrealistic and frustrating. Only read if you have nothing better to do. There are worse stories out there. 4/10
WARNING FOR SPOILER BELOW
There is a particular scene that frustrated me so much I almost dropped this story but dutifully dragged on with it for sake of finishing it. The MC gets raped. Raw, no lubricant used raped. However this is never addressed! He even goes as far as to say it was consensual. It was rape. MC asked to stop multiple times but despite the blood and tears, the man did not stop. And he never shows any remorse nor does the MC resent him for it.
Finally finished reading Utsukushii Koto and Itoshii Koto and I really think this deserves a review.
Utsukushii Koto was in Matsuoka's point of view while Itoshii Koto was in Hirosue's point of view.
I guess the first word that I could think of to describe this story is... PAIN. Painful yet beautiful.
Again, just like with Hako no Naka, this feels like THIS could really happen in real life.
But this one is much more focused in "unrequited love." I really love the story because this book shows that having romantic feelings towards the same gender is not that easy. It really portrays the "pain" and "beauty" of
same sex relationship. That love has nothing to with the gender. It's just difficult.
Another reason why I love this novel so much is because Hidaka Shoko-sensei (author of Hana wa Saku ka and Yuuutsu na Asa) did the illustrations! And I really love her art because it feels realistic too and I think it conveys well the scenes.
The story of course revolves around our two main protagonists, Matsuoka (uke) and Hirosue (seme).
I really really like Matsuoka. He's kind, honest and love Hirosue so much. So much it hurts. I guess "love is blind" really applies to him.
On the other hand, I'm so conflicted with Hirosue. I keep changing my opinion about him. At first I don't really like him then the next minute I will feel so sorry for him but then I will hate him again. He's boring, a jerk, insensitive. He just doesn't have any outstanding features that will make me really like him. But I guess in the end I just couldn't hate him at all. Probably because I just want Matsuoka to be happy with him.
Enjoyment/Overall: 10/10 & 9/10
The pain. So much pain that I feel so frustrated. There was even a time that I just don't want them to end up together anymore because I don't think Hirosue deserve Matsuoka. Matsuoka deserves someone "better" and I just want them to move on and both find their own happiness.
But in the end, I thought, "I really do want them to end up together after all!"
I really enjoyed it. A lot. It was really a good read even though Hirosue did piss me off most of the time. But I hope you'll forgive him in Itoshii Koto and consider his situation. I mean let's face it, not all men will act like Hirosue did if they find out that the person they're going out with is actually a man. Usually they'll get beaten or something so I'm kind of glad that Hirosue is clumsy and harmless.