By Leroy Douresseaux
Jan 20, 2009 - 12:52
In the yaoi novel, Secret Moon, written by Siira Gou, with spot illustrations by Sato Tomoe, a vampire half-breed meets a wild man whose temperament and skills in the bed are influenced by the ebb and flow of the moon.
Nearly one hundred years ago, a spurned lover ended Viscount Akihiro Sanders Tomoe’s life. The kindly Madame, who is what we call a “vampire,” gave Tomoe new life. It has been, however, a lonely century, as Tomoe has gained and lost one lover after another. Tomoe has returned to Japan, and he’s decided that if he can’t find a longtime companion, he can certainly find a partner who is superb at sex.
On the prowl, Tomoe has a chance encounter with a wild-looking young man. His strength is abnormal, and his eyes are like fire, but this mysterious, young fellow awakens sensations in him that Tomoe has never felt – certainly not for a long time. Tomoe becomes madly in love with Taichi Yamagami, a 20-something who has just moved into Tokyo from his secluded mountain home. Tomoe practically kidnaps Taichi, taking him to his posh Tokyo home. Tomoe has plans to teach his fresh and inexperienced lover a thing or two, but when the moon is in full, the sweet mountain boy becomes a beast under the sheets, the kind of lover Tomoe has never had. In the bedroom, Taichi is suddenly the boss, leaving Tomoe to wonder just what kind of man is Taichi.
THE LOWDOWN: Yaoi manga is the sexually explicit subset of Boys’ Love manga, a genre of Japanese comics which portrays romantic relationships between two men. Yaoi manga has a prose equivalent, the yaoi novel, a combination of the erotic novel and romantic fiction, with plenty of yaoi’s sexual heat. As in light novels, illustrations dot the yaoi novel.
The following is not intended to disparage the medium of comics or manga. Secret Moon as a yaoi novel has richer character development and insight into the actions of the players than it would as a yaoi manga. Prose allows for a level of thoughtfulness and contemplation of character that comics can’t really give.
Readers looking for sex scenes will find that here – one of them being both graphic and funny, but it’s Gou’s deep look at the personality of her leads, Tomoe and Taichi, that resonates here. Tomoe is insecure and is a liar – suffering particularly from the sin of omission – which uses to turn virtually every situation his way. Taichi is shy, reserved, and conservative; when the moonlight hits him, he becomes a bold, exciting rogue who dominates the moment. It’s easy to see why Tomoe wants to bed him, and why readers will want to read about both of them.
POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: A breezy read with an exciting suspense/thriller-type subplot, Secret Moon is fun for readers looking for a light, erotic novel.
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