24th May 2008
kicking fandom’s ass since 2000
24th May 2008
Every time I get a book by Fumi Yoshinaga, I know that I’m going to be in for a real treat. This book is no exception. Like Gerard & Jacques, this book is set around the time of the French Revolution. We have a very young man, Claude, of mixed blood who is working in a brothel. A servant of an aristocratic family finds Claude, and after finding out his age, finds him a job at the house the servant is working for. Claude is eager to please and works hard at bettering himself.
The master of the house comes to rely on Claude and trust him, but the lady of the house, who is ill both physically and mentally, wants nothing to do with him. There’s a son born to the lord and lady by the name of Antoine. Shortly after the birth, the lady of the house falls deeper into madness and then passes away, leaving her son in the care of her dissipated husband and Claude. It wasn’t much of a loss. Given the time period and the fact that she was batty as a bedbug, she wasn’t much of a mother to begin with.
Years of wenching and drinking have taken their toll on the lord of the manor as well and he passes away, begging Claude to look after his son for him. This being a Boys Love book, you all know where this is going.
Antoine and Claude develop a relationship. Claude is a perfect foil to the hotheaded, spoiled and impulsive Antoine. Despite class differences, jealousy and revolution, they manage to make it all work out in the end.
It’s definitely one of Fumi Yoshinaga’s early works and does not have quite the depth of her more recent pieces, but the utter sweetness that is the hallmark of her work is there and the sketchy, slightly messy artwork is in full-force. There’s a good reason why she’s one of my favorite artists and that reason is abundantly clear, even in this early work.