The way in which this happens is the interesting part. The narration
describes Yoji's conflicting feelings; he cares for Aya and wants to help
him out of his misery, but he feels hatred and probably resentment for him
too: "Hatred for the beautiful, terrible, ice-cold creature standing there
with so much passion in him and so little capacity to demonstrate it as
anything but violence and withdrawal." Yoji's desperation is what changes
the situation from just a normal argument to something sexual. He wants to
force Aya to *feel* something rather than shutting himself off, to remind
him of his humanity.
It's a somber story. Yoji and Aya begin it unhappily and end it unhappily,
but I liked looking into Yoji's head, and seeing Aya through Yoji's eyes.
Their encounter becomes something more than it seems.
The sex is not only symbolic, but delicious to look at too. If you've never
seen P.L. Nunn's work before, know that she does absolutely gorgeous nudes.
Her art is bold and unblinking, as evidenced in the eyecatching cover of the
book: Yoji pressing a nude, bound Aya to his crotch. I liked the many little
moments within the story where it was a picture speaking the story rather
than a block of text, like Yoji slouching glumly on the windowsill, his
unnerving smile as his switchblade springs to life, Aya clutching the
shredded remains of his leather coat, the glimpse of his mixed expression of
fear and anger as he slams the door shut.
Pictures and text complement and enhance each other perfectly. I even found
myself feeling sympathetic towards Aya, whom I normally can't stand. The
mild S+M is fun, and fans of angst will certainly like this story.
--reviewed by Figbash