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Twittering Birds Never Fly, Volume 2 by Kou…
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Twittering Birds Never Fly, Volume 2

by Kou Yoneda

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This second volume gives more depth to the themes previously introduced and embarks upon a complex plot about struggles between yakuza groups and their leaders, as hinted at in the first book. The graphic violence increases, both by and to Yashiro, as does the depiction of violent sex and molestation.

But the pacing and characters are beautifully done. The first section shows Doumeki growing more familiar with Yashiro and protective of him, and also his integration with the Shinesekai group. The overall mood is lowkey or even almost cheerful, as much as it can be with the melancholy mood ever present in the two men's interaction. It gets to a particularly quiet point in a porn theatre, an expression of emotional dependence from Doumeki and acquiescence from Yashiro, and then blows apart when Yashiro is immediately shot three times and nearly killed.

This sudden violence kicks the yakuza plot into gear. Doumeki cuts off his finger to atone for his failure to be Yashiro's shield, marking his permanent shedding of his former cop life. Boss of another group, Hirata, claims that the responsible party for the shooting is a boss from the Matsubara that had a dispute with Yashiro earlier, but Hirata loathes Yashiro (shown in vol. 1) so unless there's something else in the group dynamics, I'm skeptical that he's telling the truth or there's something more going on, since Ryuuzaki hasn't seemed to want Yashiro dead.

The book finishes on a flashback reflection from chief Misumi, showing how Yashiro became part of the yakuza fifteen years earlier, when Misumi was still in the position/rank that Yashiro now has. It serves to explain why Kageyama is a doctor for Yashiro and his men, which also depicts Yashiro's devotion to the people he's close to and his reluctance to allow anyone to become close.

I really hope the third volume is licensed and released in English soon. For all the violence and ugliness, I care deeply about Yashiro and want to see him make it to the top. I was unsurprised that my suspicion from the first book, that he was bound to be killed by a gun, almost came to pass, but a little startled that it happened so soon. Perhaps this means he will make it and find peace. ( )
  keristars | Aug 14, 2016 |
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