It’s always a pleasure to read a collection by Mori Natsuko, and today’s short story collection Futari no Hitori Asobi (二人のひとりあそび) is no less stimulating than any other.
The primary differences between this collection and the previous two of Mori-sensei’s work that I’ve reviewed, Sempai to Watashi and Himeyuri-tachi no Houkago are twofold: In this volume there is more straight sex than in the previous two and there’s less outrageously funny behavior. In fact, more than once, I thought to myself, “I think she’s getting old, because everyone in this book is all love-dovey and warm-hearted.” There’s less sadism in her BDSM in most of the stories, except the very first.
The first story was about a young woman who is cruelly tortured in class and falls in love with the sadist (female) who rescues her. This ends with a three-way relationship between the sadist, the protagonist and a guy who is everyone’s bitch.
This was followed by a number of straight stories that involves some light B&D and cross-dressing by the guys, including a strange story from the perspective of a crazy woman who has fantasy sex with her dead (male) lover. And a few group sex stories.
Probably the most disturbing stories follows the love/sex triangle of two men and a woman and the plant-boy that they find on a park bench and one of them takes home and raises. I can’t properly communicate how odd this story was and how awkward, as it started as porn, then sort of became sci-fi then bounced unhappily between horror, sci-fi and romance, sorta. And then there was the very yucky father/daughter incest one which I had wiped out of my head until I flipped back for this review.
As always with Mori, you have to expect at least one incest story. In this case, there was the one above and a lesbian sister with a little non-consensual sister loving. Since the older sister was named Reina, I couldn’t stop myself from imagining Elina and Reina from Queen’s Blade, which probably made the story more interesting for me than it might otherwise have been. ^_^
My favorite stories – other than the first one, which started pretty harshly, but I began to like the sadist when she responded to “I like you” by slapping the protagonist across the face – were the last two.
In the next to last story, a woman starts to recognize that she may be a lesbian, and is approached by a classmate who confesses that she is, in fact, gay. Kanae then offers to help Noriko learn what women do in bed. As their relationship develops, Noriko realizes that Kanae actually is in love with her and she sheds her childish crush on another classmate. Their relationship deepens a bit and threatens to become an actual thing, as the curtain is drawn on them.
The final story is the title story. If you know any Japanese (or indeed anything about Mori-sensei’s work) you’ll know exactly what the story is about. Nao meets Isako on a chat board and they play with themselves, together.
So, as I said, it was an entertaining read, but it definitely lacked the crazy humor and hard edge to the BDSM that I expect from Mori-sensei. All the warm, soft feelings for people in the throes of bound ecstasy was sort of cute and fuzzy, but I think I like her better when she’s making me shriek with appalled laughter.
Story – Variable, from 3-8
Characters – Same
Lesbian – 10 when it’s a 10
Overall – 7
The last two stories might be something I’d hand to another lesbian, particularly the next to last one. It actually dealt with some of those “what does it mean to be a lesbian” questions that Yuri rarely deals with.