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Close the Last Door by Yugi Yamada

Close the Last Door

by Yugi Yamada

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Nagai has always been attracted to his former classmate and now coworker Saitou. When Saitou gets married, Nagai begins to more fully realize the depth of his attachment, sending him into a depression from which he is comforted by Honda, a coworker of Saitou's bride. When Saitou's bride leaves him a day after the wedding, Nagai is put in the uncomfortable situation of needing to comfort his friend whilst not only feeling attracted to him, but being unable to push Honda from his mind as well.

There are things to like here similar to strengths seen in other Yugi Yamada manga. There's a bit of a sense of humor, the characters' actions are more believable than in many yaoi, and there are actually reoccurring characters with real personalities outside the romantic couple/trio, this one even something I'm not sure I've ever seen in a yaoi before--a female that is romantically interested in one of the mains, but is neither villainized nor portrayed as a sweet self-sacrificing mouse who has a good cry but then tells him she doesn't matter and to follow his heart.

On the other hand, this title does have some weaknesses that make it less recommendable than many other Yamada manga. The root of most of them seem to be the character Saitou, the newleywed coworker/friend of the main character. He is immature, weepy, and little else, and while this "cuteness" is supposedly what the main character finds attractive about him, I didn't find it convincing. Thus any scene centering around Nagai comforting Saitou was unappealing to me, and Nagai's inability to give up Saitou for the character he had more real chemistry with became irritating. It made the manga feel strung out, especially in the latter half where Nagai's attachment to Saitou provides the main conflict.

I appreciate Yamada's attempt to look at the difference between loving someone as a person rather than as someone to take care of/idolize/be infatuated with, but Saitou's character made the attempt fall a bit flat. Honda's character also could have been a stronger contrast to Saitou, as while he certainly isn't weepy and in need of caring for, it was hard to tell what he and Nagai DID love one another for. Still, Yamada was able to convey a real sense of emotional and physical attraction between them (which is a lot more than I can say for a lot of couples in yaoi), even if I'm unclear what it was based on, thus the read was engaging overall, even if the quality of the scenes was spotty throughout. ( )
  narwhaltortellini | Nov 21, 2010 |
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