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Thursday, May 7, 2015

Does the Flower Blossom? #book review #yaoi #shoko hidaka #fiction


Just as the title attests, Does the Flower Blossom, art and story by Shoko Hidaka, provides a slow intense burn—a romance that takes a considerably long time to hit a climax before it blossoms.

BCB:

Sakurai Kazuaki. At age 38, he's single, overworked, and starting to feel a bit miserable about his life. One day a young college guy at a train station bumps into Sakurai and wrecks his magazine. Fate - or coincidence - has it, Minagawa happens to own the same magazine at home, and instead of apologizing for the damaged item, he invites Sakurai to his house and replaces it with his copy. "What an arrogant young kid he is!" Sakurai dislikes him immediately. Yet, despite feeling annoyed and frustrated by Minagawa's rude and arrogant behaviour, Sakurai soon finds himself a frequent visitor of the secluded household...

Sakurai works for an advertising firm and Minagawa is a college student that kind of runs a boarding house. Sakurai is mature, self-reliant, easy-going and has a sense of humour, where in contrast Minagawa is young, immature, introverted and unsure of himself and everyone else around him. These men couldn’t be more opposite. But as the old adage states: opposites attract. And after an accidental meeting at a train station, Sakurai and Minagawa’s lengthy “getting to know one another” courtship begins or more appropriately “their friendship” starts to take shape; a journey that is rocky with highs and lows that kept me glued to each page. There is a lot back-story and a number of secondary characters, one of which, who competes against Sakurai for Mingawa’s affection, a fellow college student.

I read what is available in this series and there are a few things I didn’t care for. In the beginning, the story was stifling and terribly slow, slow to the point I nearly tossed it. And the English translation was horrible. I’m not sure if it was an oversight during the editing process or just the version I have, but unfortunately that was the one major flaw throughout the entire series that drove me batty; poorly constructed sentences and words used out of context. And thanks to confusing dialogue bubbles, I didn’t know which character was talking at times, thus I had to read certain sections through twice.

However, problematic and distracting as the dialogue was, I persevered and I’m glad I did. Hana was Saki ka is an endearing romantic story, the kind that isn’t easily forgotten. Sakurai is patient and loving and when he and Minagawa finally take their relationship to an intimate level, he’s gentle and persuasive. And believe me after reading four volumes of just kissing and sweet words, the sex scene elevated my blood pressure. I also liked the fact that the seme is much older. And the author did a great job with character development, which is something every story needs. Regardless of the issues in the translation, I will continue to read this series until it’s finished. Four stars!

Blak Rayne

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