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[Manga Talk] Batsuichi Monogatari by KOYAMA Yukai

Batsuichi Monogatari
交叉愛物語/ ×一物語
by
KOYAMA Yukai (小山由雅利)
Complete: 9 volumes

Description:”Marriage is not the ultimate goal of life!” For the three of them,  “being divorced” was just the beginning of their stories…

NB. This is not exactly an old-school shojo by my definition.  It was something that I have blahhed on in some other places a while ago. I needed to find it a new home, hence here….

Story: Misaki and her ex-husband married for love. But it only lasted few years after Misaki collapsed and close to have a mental breakdown. In the eyes of her in laws, she failed as a wife and daughter in law; where was her husband when she needed his support most?….. Ryosuke spent most of his time and attention on his work. He thought his wife would appreciate his hard work; after-all, it was for the sake of supporting the family. But one day, his wife “suddenly”asked for a divorce… what went wrong? Kyoko was a housewife with low self-esteem. She was always physically and mentally bullied by her accountant husband, who would bring home his mistress even. Having been raised in a single-parent family, Kyoko thought she ought to stay put with her husband for the sake of her son…. but for how long before the last straw would eventually blow?

“Marriage is not the ultimate goal of life!” For the three of them,  “being divorced” was just the beginning of their stories…

For Misaki, being divorced and having to regain her independence would perhaps, be one of the best things happened in her life.  But when she became romantically involved with a married man, marriage popped up in her mind again…

It has taken Ryosuke a long time to recover from the divorce. But just as he fell in love with another woman and was ready to move on, his (ex)-wife asked for a reconciliation.  Should he? He did love her so much that it hurts just to think about the divorce she has asked for… at least he should reconcile for the sake of their daughter, right?…

For Kyoko, her son meant everything to her, even if she has to withstand her bullying husband.  Seeing Kyoko in such a bad state, Misaki and Ryosuke advised their friend for a divorce. She lost her rage and refused – how could she “abandon” her son, just like Ryosuke did? But when the husband turned his fingers to their son, things changed……

My say:

After finished reading Yokama’s Sweet 10 and 1/2 no Ringo, I was soon lured into her other work.. this time x-ichi…

I was left disappointed with 1/2 no Ringo, which started so well but what a shame it ended in a rather hurried fashion.  Yokama could have concluded the ending a lot better than what it is now.

Having said that, it did not stop attracting me to Yokama’s other work (alongside her earlier short stories). I do fancy her unique style of storytelling on couples and marriages; these stories reflect well the true reality of the modern Japanese societies, in particular the traditional views in regards to marriages, or married women so to speak.

I have to say,  Yokama’s stories may not suit the emotionally faint-hearted… I’d turn away if I were to look for any romantic-manga-fix!  In fact, I’d read Yokama’s just as a wake-up call from those oh-too-good romantic fantasies I’ve been day-dreaming of!

A good old shoujo is like a cup of hot chocolate, with whip cream and sometimes with mash mallow on top of it. But KOYAMA Yukai’s x-ichi is probably like a double shot of Espresso- wakes you up, gives you faster heartbeat… but it’s a good espresso, so good that you cannot stop wanting more of it later…!

Thank lord it’s only an espresso and not a ristretto, yet….. 🙂

Thoughts after finished reading:

Been thinking about the story long after reading it. Was very absorbed and engaged deeply into the story, esp. since part of the story echo some parts in life – some part to mine, some part to a close friend’s…..

Very satisfied with the ending after 9 volumes. It seems Yokama is perhaps better in handling a small/medium series, esp. for a dialogue-intensive story like these.

Having said that, I am still looking forward to reading her recent new releases.

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