Otoji is an innocent boy, who's searching for his missing older brother in seedy, urban America. During this search he meets up with Joe, a fashionable prostitute who eventually joins him with his search. Joe, who knew Otoji's brother, tells him about his brother's forbidden love toward him, a thing that Otoji have never wanted to know. And more than that—Joe may know how to find him.
As the search continue, Otoji gets dragged into Joe's lifestyle—from gun fights and sexuality to body selling—and discovers new sides of himself and his personality. Is the most important person in his life is still his brother? With Joe next to him, things may change.
Hai to Diamond is one of the two works of Sadahiro I really worship so far. I haven't read every work of her yet, but Hai to Diamond and Under Grand Hotel are the ones I absolutely love.
There's not too much to say about the plot if I don't want to spoiler everything.
Kirishia Otoji searches for his brother, who's a private detective and disappeared.
Aizome Jou is a young prostitute known as "Hustler Joe" who has connections to the yakuza and knows something about Otoji's brother.
Two headstrong, stubborn boys meet but one of them is innocent, the other is everything but that.
developement's most interesting and fascinating part to me was the process as Otoji loses his innocence, physically and mentally too. First his beliefs about his brother are destroyed. Then in his grief his morals, too. As he falls in love he does not beccome the typical 17 year old in love, he becomes the obsessed, posessive lover of a likewise obsessive and posessive boy from the same age. And this kind of love is the reason I absolutely worship Sadahiro Mika: love at its fullest, maddest, most passionate and insane peak. When there's nothing else to fear but losing the other. When your own life doesn't matter anymore.
Joe is wounded and is probably having an incestous relationship with his own father. If Nedu is his father, which nobody actually knows. Joe is someone who wants to be loved but is afraid he would be betrayed. He has no morals, yet still a 17 years old kid in a love that is almost insane, it's so passionate. Joe hates to lose but has a rather interesting and practical views on who to call a winner or a loser. He is the wild horse from the cliche whom nobody can tame. Yet the manga's most beautiful moments arre those when his hidden tenderness surfaces.
I enjoyed it so much that I've read it three times in a row because I just couldn't get enough. A true masterwork from Sadahiro.
I'm not digging her artwork that much but there are scenes and pictures htat will stay forever between my favourites. Hai to Diamond is an earlier work of hers and it shows. But the trademark cocky, defiant smirks are already here, the passionate, bold sex scenes too.
Those who have enough of the stereotypical uke-seme relationships, read this manga. If you have enough of cliche love stories, this is what you want, too. If you are not afraid of rape, incest, S&M and violence, you're at the right place.
Upon reading this I became instantly enthralled. Like everything other of Sadahiro Mika's works, the artwork is beautiful and flawless. I really see no point in trying to nitpick at it.
Now for character development. The main characters: Otoji Kirishima and Joe Airan, have great development. They both progress greatly in the story. Each of them are struggling to find their place in life and have issues of their own. The romance between them is something that is quick at first because of the sudden sex they have. Of course it's unemotional. Otoji is very dependent on Joe seeing the situations and Joe is very distant,
except for the need of sexual pleasure. However when the time comes he is very protective of Otoji and in some cases possessive. There are other characters in the story such as Joe's sister and his supposed father. There is also the detective (Otoji's brother's friend and colleague). They don't seem to develope as much as Otoji and Joe do, but they contribute a lot to the story.
As the storyline, it is extremely captivating. There's romance, action, drama, and even some humor in it. The story itself, for me, was very emotional. It really drew out my emotions and caused me to really care for the protagonists. The themes were heartwarming and touching. The idea of a teenager, away from home and selling his body is a very real thing. The topics in the story are very real. So that was also easier to understand as well. As the story continues you'll notice that the characters become different people due to events and each other. Joe learns to trust Otoji and Otoji realizes what (or rather who) is most important to him.
The ending really got me scared though. I know that Sadahiro Mika killed off some of her characters before. I couldn't bare the thought of it ending that way. It didn't and I was really happy to know differently. I couldn't help but cheer for Oto and Joe as they went on pursue greater things.
Sadly I would like to buy this book (in ENGLISH) somewhere in America (preferably New Jersey), but I checked and checked till my face turned blue. No clue to where to get it. T_T Oh well. I will always remember this story as long as I live. To anyone who hasn't read it, this is a great story!!