22nd May 2008
kicking fandom’s ass since 2000
22nd May 2008
Wikipedia defines solfege as…
…a pedagogical technique for the teaching of sight-singing in which each note of the score is sung to a special syllable, called a ’solfege syllable’ or ’sol-fa syllable’. The seven syllables normally used for this practice in the West are: Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Si. In England and America, ‘Sol’ and ‘Si’ are usually replaced with ‘So’ and ‘Ti’.
Traditionally, solfege is taught in a series of exercises of gradually increasing difficulty, each of which is also known as a ’solfege’ or ’solfeggio’. By extension, the word ’solfeggio’ may be used of an instrumental étude.
The book defines solfege as the “basics of musical studies, such as learning how to read music as well as take musical dictation.”
Either way, in case you couldn’t guess, this book revolves around music and musicians. We’ve got Tanaka, who despite his appearances as being nothing more than a juvenile delinquent, has a love for classical music and a wish to better himself. Then there’s Kugayama, a music teacher with a knack for bringing out the best in his students, but a lackadaisical attitude on life. Being born into money he doesn’t quite get Tanaka’s problems, but he does his best, setting up voice lessons and taking Tanaka in after his mother is hospitalized.
Things are going well until the night that Kugayama his having problems with his love life and has a bit too much to drink. Tanaka innocently comes over, just wanting a shoulder to cry on. Instead of getting sympathy, he ends up gaining a lover.
Kugayama knows that their relationship is wrong on a few levels, but he can’t bring himself to care. He and Tanaka are extremely compatible in bed, his teaching is improving and Tanaka’s singing is improving.
All goes well until Tanaka’s vocal coach finds out about the relationship and removes Tanaka from Kugayama’s care. Kugayama just lets him go. He’s just as lackadaisical about the relationship as he is about the rest of his life.
Tanaka goes off to Italy to study opera and Kugayama goes on with his life. Kugayama finds a new lover who bears more than a little resemblance to Tanaka and goes so far as to ask the boy to call him sensei in bed, just like Tanaka did. The new boy finds out that he’s nothing more than a empty substitute to Kugayama and takes his revenge in a spectaculary bloody fashion.
Years go by and Tanaka has been growing in fame as an opera singer. He returns to Japan to find that Kugayama has lost everything. He’s still got his money, but after being outed as gay by being stabbed by his lover in front of the elementary school he taught at and being quietly bundled away by his parents, he really is just a shell of the man he used to be.
Tanaka makes him an offer and convinces him to start getting his life back together and they start making music again.
While I really and truly do love my smutty books, there are only two manga-ka who are able to bring tears to my eyes. Fumi Yoshinaga is one of them. Take engaging stories, gorgeous artwork, add in realistic angst and enough sweetness to melt my jaded, bitter heart and I am one happy fangirl. Run out and buy this release. It’s definitely one that should be a part of every fan’s collection.