Close the Last Door - Yugi Yamada


Close the Last Door by Yugi Yamada (Series Review)

At first mention, this short series seems like a familiar set up. A man, in love with his best friend, drowns his sorrows at the bar after his friend gets married. There he meets someone who is mourning the loss of their love, the other person getting married. They hook up, and...

I thought it might just be a one-shot on the way to acknowledging love that's unexpected, but it's an unexpected detour into a long term relationship. It always surprises me when a yaoi manga goes deeper into exploring what desire means and how interpersonal relationships are affected by homosexuality.

Then this two volume set just got way too silly and started pitting the object of desire against the boyfriend of the main character and totally upended any sort of closure the main character got, without actually giving us a satisfying ending. There were subplots of intrigue, questions of “does my lover really care about me?” and actual gaddamn character growth. And yet! There was something too open ended for me.

But that's also a thing I've noticed about Japanese books, and it might have to do with philosophy, and literary culture. I've read several novels and many manga, so I have noticed that it's okay if the end is ambiguous, ranging from slightly to completely up in the air. More so than I've seen in western media, especially Hollywood. But I've also seen tragedy played as normal or inevitable.

Sure, it could be that there is still enough condemnation of the LGBT community that any clear happy ending is “unrealistic" or “lacking poetry" or to be blunt “encouraging a deviant lifestyle" and I certainly don't want to brush over the fact that most of the media I've consumed in the last 10 years has been queer, or I sought it out because I heard it was queer, and time and time again discovered there was no happily ever after for those who identified as (or were hinted to be) MOGAI.

This isn't exactly the case here, as the main couples biggest roadblock isn't society or their Damn Selves™ but the meddling third party. They aren't “out” by any stretch of the imagination, but quietly are arranging their lives and it's nice. Everything could be pretty good but for that third-wheel…

Pages: (408)  208 & 200
Year: 2001 & 2004
Publisher: Biblos

Read: 11 October 2017
Stars: 3 (liked it)