labingi: (riki)
Rieko Yoshihara on Ai no Kusabi, Volume 7:

"From here onwards (laughter), it will be all original content…. Well, according to the schedule, it wasn't supposed to be this long. Once I started on it I couldn't stop (laughter)…" (127).

I couldn't come up with a better expression of loss of authorial distance if I tried. Honestly, as an Ai no Kusabi fan, it makes me kind of angry. Because AnK used to be a good story. For all its execrable prose and cheap porn, it justly earned its place as one of the most famous and lauded BL works of all time.

Spoilers Follow )
labingi: (riki)
(Very vague, early story spoilers. I'm not bothering to cut.)

I've seen the first two episodes of the new AnK OVA now (the second I've only seen raw). I'm liking this remake and feeling apprehensive about rumors that they're only going to air four episodes: there's no way they'll complete the story in that time, and I have a sneaking fear the whole thing's just going to die half done.

But anyway, the first episode opened--pretty much like the novel--with lots of torture. It was okay; it was AnK. I liked the introduction of Daryl (missing from the 1992 OVA). The second episode, however, has won me. It's showing excellent characterization, doing a nice job of depicting Riki-as-badass-uke and top quality work with Riki and Guy and the understated but undeniable disintegration of their prior relationship. In general, I like the fact that this version is getting the breathing room the earlier OVA lacked to explore the characters and world a little more leisurely.

I knew I would love the original OVA at the moment when Guy hugs Riki. I felt similarly here. When you get good characterization of the boys from Bison, you know you've hit on a retelling that knows what it's doing. This one has it.

I'd like to say something intelligent about Katze, but all his development was dialogue and couldn't catch squat in Japanese; I'll have to wait for the sub. The seiyuu is an interesting contrast to the 1992 choice. This time they've gone more for what you might expect: a soft, quiet voice, at least in the presence of Iason. It kind of makes more sense but is also kind of less original than the very powerful voice of the previous Katze. I wonder how he'll sound addressing his subordinates...

Verdict: So far so good! I hope someday they'll air the whole thing.
labingi: (riki)
A couple of months ago, I asked for story recs, and [ profile] asphodel did me the favor of recommending Banana Fish, for which I am eternally grateful. I have not read the whole series yet, not least because an Amazon seller has managed to lose one of my orders, but I have read enough (including the end) to attempt some meta, so here goes. I will begin by situating the story within the BL universe (as I know it).

Light Spoilers )
labingi: (Default)
My AnK fic was nominated for an AnK prize at, and thus, I was asked to contribute a statement about AnK. I thought I would post it here as well. It ended up being basically an analysis of AnK as tragedy:

AnK Spoilers if one can spoil a story from the 1980s )
labingi: (riki)
In response to my review of volume 5 of the official English translation of Ai no Kusabi, [ profile] golden_bastet advised me to read volume 6 before passing judgment. That was good advice. Volume 6, "Metamorphose," may be the best yet. It features all four of our leads and features them well. The plot progresses, and Kirie is not a huge part of the story. All of this is most welcome. While the usual shortcomings in the writing remain, the translation and editing seem smoother. I only counted a couple of dangling modifiers, and I didn't spot any typos at all!

SPOILERS for volume 6 follow )


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