Tsu, i, ra, ku
Kadokawa Shoten (Kadokawa Bunko), 2007. 544 pp. ¥705. ISBN 978-4-04-183514-2.
Also published in: n/a
The work dispels the pure and beautiful, tender and vulnerable image of teenage love. The girls fall in love, immediately move on to sex, and become women in the space of a night. The boundary between love and sex is ambiguous, but this does not bother them. Perhaps the distinction between earnest affection and exultant sex is one that these young girls do not need to make. This may be the first time that the uninhibited love of teenagers has been written about so directly.
It is Himeno’s style that particularly draws the reader’s attention. With exquisitely crafted sentences and effective use of variations in tone, she describes the diverse lives of the growing girls.
Another feature is the bold use of elements meant to elicit laughter. It is difficult to employ humor in romantic fiction, but this book organically integrates these elements into the text. In overturning the rules of love stories one by one, the work achieves an unprecedented freshness and emotional heft. The unique story and combination of a variety of voices create a novel that will linger in readers’ memories. (CK)
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