For weeks, I’ve been tittering over the premise of Kimi Shiruya – Dost thou Know? (DMP). A yaoi title about rival (ahem) swordsmen? Please! How could I not?
But it’s quite good. It has solid characterization, and Satoru Ishihara does a particularly nice job illuminating the inner lives of her protagonists, working-class Katsuomi and rich boy Tsurugi. The art is solid, illustrating scenes of domesticity, romance, and kendo matches.
But if I was tittering, I get the impression that Ishihara was laughing out loud and possibly dislocating her eye through excessive winking. The quantity of visual and verbal double entendres is impressive, to say the least.
It starts gently enough:
“At the next tournament… I’m going to breach your defenses.”
But things ramp up:
“If I could, I’d like to cross swords with you one day… (throb) …using real blades.”
What are two gifted young kendo competitors to do? They’re drawn to each other, but they don’t want their skills to “become dulled.” But they come to realize:
“When you’re strong… I’m even happier.”
And then Katsuomi raises the stakes, showing Tsurugi “a real blade”:
“Wanna hold it?”
The kendo becomes a hilarious but unexpectedly effective contest to see who gets to be the seme and who will be the uke. It’s a weird balance between tawdry and touching, and I liked it a lot.