Jaryuu Dokuro “Yume Touka Endroll”
I wanted to talk about this story since I know a lot of my friends (who may or may not read my blog idk) are fans of Jaryuu Dokuro and god only knows when she’ll have enough released through Citron to have a book out. So I figured it wouldn’t hurt to post a few preview images and just… tell you all how weird this story is lmao. orz
I haven’t tried reading the interview yet since I’m still way too overwhelmed (all I can tell you is that her favorite color is emerald green) but I did read her comic and I have to agree with a few of the other people who’ve reviewed or mentioned the story: it’s really strange. In an interesting way, but strange. But there are few things that can make you constantly think about a story than it being fucking weird.
The story revolves around Tougo and Riku, two young men who have apparently known each other for quite a while now. It starts with a scene in which Tougo confesses his love to Riku, saying he has always loved him. And in a weird twist of fate, Riku simply smiles and says he’s happy—that he’s always waited for Tougo to say that to him. Normally, this is where it would end—a happy, perfect ending. But the whole point of this story, I guess, is to point out that the troubles in relationships are never over at the point of confession. In fact, they can only get worse.
I can’t promise that I understood the story 100% since I read it without the dictionary or anything, but I can only say Tougo seems to be a very high-strung individual. He’s a nice enough guy, but he’s constantly worried about his relationship with Riku no matter how well things are going. He needs to have complete assurance, which is why it’s bad when he reads in a book that death is a good way to make something completely yours. Which is similar to a conversation he had with Riku previously, during which the other man had said true love stories (referring to the ones in movies) should only end with death.
Because of this, Tougo’s demons start lurking out in the open. He strangles Riku in a bizarre attempt to make Riku belong to him and also to alleviate his worries over their relationship—or at least tries to. But Riku is able to push him off and talk him back to his senses. In a half-crazed stupor Tougo doesn’t seem to realize why Riku could possibly be crying, so in order to wake himself up he punches himself in the face. Which then leads to Riku beating the shit out of him.
Which somehow leads to a happy ending??!
Like I said before, a very weird story if only because it’s hard to read exactly what Jaryuu was trying to tell you within the pages. It has such dark themes, like obsession and neediness and even death, but then it ends in such a lighthearted, comedic note that leads you to wonder if you missed something and it was supposed to be a silly story all-along. I have to agree with Kijitora on this one—even though it said ‘end’ signalling it’s supposed to be complete, it really feels like an unfinished story. You’re left wanting to know why Tougo is the way he is, and how in the world their relationship is going to progress from there. There’s no way it would be 100% OK after you wake up in the middle of the night to your lover trying to kill you.
Though, then again, BL really is a fantasy genre so who knows…?
I think it could possibly be another case of Jaryuu dreaming too big for her constraints. She took an amazingly interesting premise but tried to easily wrap it up in just 41 pages. I think a darker story like this would have been much better-suited to a long, drawn-out plot where she could go more in-depth with the characters and their feelings and worries and how they could possibly get such a relationship to work well for them both without Tougo being too obsessively clingy and neurotic.
Still interesting, though, no matter how strange or incomplete it feels. Unfortunately it’s kind of like just a tiny taste of what Jaryuu Dokuro has to offer. Actually, at the end of her comic it said Coyote would be continuing in the next issue of Citron, but then at the end where it lists all the names of the people in the next issue she wasn’t included. Hmmm. ;; I wonder if she’ll ever be able to get over her blocks and continue with all the comics she’s become too overwhelmed by in her career.