Chiaki Sakaguchi appears to be a sociable, popular high school senior, but he carries a dark secret with him that he can tell no one about – not even his closest friends. When Chiaki meets fellow student Eiji Yukimura – an under-achieving social misfit – for the first time, he believes he’s found someone who can understand his inner pain. As the two become closer, Chiaki learns that Eiji has a secret also – a secret so dark, it threatens to overshadow his own. United by common dysfunction and angst, Chiaki and Eiji begin to search for pleasure together beyond their pain. Will the pair’s growing bond enable them to break free of their troubled pasts and create a brighter future? Or is the damage that’s been done to both of them beyond any healing that love can provide?
I love this manga. It's really cute and very sweet. It's a sweet story that tells about how two guys, who have both faced extreme hardships in the past, meet and come together to help each other with getting over their pain. It's very short but I find that though the length was short, the feelings were present and that's what makes this manga a good read.
Indeed it is a yaoi manga but unlike other yaoi, it has quite a deep story. Not too cheesy, and not completely made up of ecchi stuff (i.e. sex).
The characters have their strengths and weaknesses. Both leading males characters depend on one another. Both are (obviously) gay, yet still retain their masculinity thus CUT does not fit the stereotypical character-ing in yaoi where one is a bubbly naive baby, and the other a hard-core beast. ;)
An enjoyable read, that I must say, squeezed my heart for the better.read more
By accident one night Chiaki and his stepfather with whom he has a masochistic affair are witnessed by Chiaki's schoolmate Eiji. Chiaki feels guilty about having caused an accident that killed his real father. As a result he finds comfort in cutting himself and sleeping with his sadistic stepfather, trying to cover the feeling of one pain with another. Chiaki sees a like mind in Eiji who is hiding a secret past so dark it even surpasses Chiaki's and has problems that make Chiakis comfort in pain appear minor. Eiji who is haunted by his own terrible past cannot become close to people. Fate throws these two high school seniors together giving them a chance to work out and overcome their problems ... and grow up in the process.
The characters of this story are both disturbed boys haunted by something that happened in their past. They are like minds in some ways, but they both have enough of their own to not make them appear too similar or clichéd. They deal with their problems in very different ways, Chiaki by willful rebellion, Eiji by keeping distance.
The plot develops fast enough that the interest in reading further never really ceases. It's still slow enough to give background to the characters and not leave the reader behind without understanding reactions or feelings - the tempo is perfect that way.
I can't fully explain the art of Kawai Touko. One moment it seems like it's only just around average, not without talent but almost a bit sloppy as if drawn under time pressure and then in the next picture it is totally amazing and missing absolutely nothing. She has especially done some very nice close-ups of Eijis face. Her faces look usually very sensitive. Altogether I think her art style works very well with this kind of dark story with lots of emotions in it. And whatever you think of Kawai Touko's art style, she really at least has one of her own.
A short note to the sex - Chiaki is a sexually very active boy. Eiji is not at first, but get's drawn in by Chiaki. Despite that I have definitely seen more kinky or explicit sex scenes. The sex in this story is not the main topic, so it makes sense that the artist shows the characters engaging in some bedroom activities, as would be expected of boys in their late teens and also because of Chiaki's character and problems. But the main theme of this manga is not the sex, it isn't the romantic love either - even if that romantic element is definitely there as well. Surely the main thing is the problems both have at the beginning and how they grow by being together and how they strife to come to terms with their past.
What makes "Cut" so unique is not Kawai Touko's art but the story she tells and the depth of the characters she creates. These boys don't come from any mould, despite or maybe even because of their tragic background, their flawed characters and imperfectness they seem lifelike and realistic. It is amazing how the (sadly deceased) author manages to convey feelings. So for example only once in the story does Chiaki tell Eiji that he "likes" him in such words and Eiji in response never even says so much but just touches him. There is no flowery sweet nothings of love. But there is no doubt how much these two boys mean to each other. None of them would manage to overcome his own share of shitload without the other.
I was put off at first that this is tagged as drama as I usually prefer much lighter stories. It is certainly not tagged wrongly, but I hope without spoiling too much of the plot line I can say, that it is not one of these hopeless stories that end in desperation with everyone dead, so don't be afraid of the drama in it.
I strongly recommend CUT to every yaoi lover. This is yaoi that has a real story, not just a meaningless stringing of sex scenes in a silly plot about people that seem from another world. CUT is actually more than just yaoi: it is the story about facing one's problems or one's past and accepting who we are. It's a key character story about growing up - and the one aspect of this story that has the most impact is that we are stronger together than alone.
(This review was done as a featured series spotlight for the Anti Girly Uke yaoi club, you are invited to come and join our club discussion on this manga!) read more
I flat out love this manga! One of the fewer yaoi manga which addresses some serious issues like sexual molestation and abuse, but which gladly have the young person involved more realistic in that, you do what you have to do to get by sometimes, but you don't tell lies to yourself about "loving" this abuser even if the abuser says the disgustedly sickening crap about loving you. This is more of a realistic story of when a youth is sexually abused, yet also a love story, where there is a satisfying ending also. A bittersweet story of two young men who come together, men from different living situations and relationships, but who find the acceptance and love they crave in each other.
I've always thought its important to write stories like this, to give a view into what some people have to endure and sometimes can break free from and have a true love, but not to glamourise bad situations, or make them into a warped "romance" story between abuser and victim, especially when the ages are adult in authority to child/youth or its incestuous.
The artwork was really beautiful I thought, and the faces more expressive than many. I truly enjoyed reading this one. A powerful story, so bittersweet, with facets of what too many of us have gone through and what we want to break free from after making decisions or getting pulled into a way of life that doesn't satisfy our souls. One of the must-read's of yaoi if you want a serious, powerful theme. read more
I flat out love this manga. There isn't a single thing I don't like about it, and I can be hard to please.
I bought this book about six months ago, and I've been in love with it ever since. Reading the summary, I thought, "Well, it might be a little cliche, but I'll buy it. Why not?" I was pleasantly surprised. No, I was ecstatic.
It undoubtedly has overused themes in it, such as the fact that it is a high school story, and it involves angsty teens who cut themselves. However, despite these facts, the story and plot as a whole really doesn't have a cliche feel to it at all, at least not to me. It's such a fresh experience. The characters are alive, and have developed personalities despite the fact that the manga-ka only had one volume to do it in. The story has cliche themes without making the plot truly cliche; it is simple, yet profound. Dark, yet with the ability to be light-hearted at any given moment. You'll be rooting for the characters at every turn, and desperately flipping pages to find out what happens next.
There is no seme, there is no uke; they are just them, and they're perfect together, without either one being too dominant over the other.
You must, must read this; it's worth every minute.read more