It is really most likely that, on looking at the synopsis and on the lookout at the address, one particular of the very first queries a potential reader of Onmyoji and Tengu Eyes might have is, “Is this BL?” The remedy to that dilemma is a resounding “…maybe?” When Misato and Ryouji absolutely improve nearer and become critical good friends to every single other about the course of the novel, there’s small to suggest if you will find anything romantic about their emotions. It will not sense like queerbaiting, which is good, but this also isn’t the book to select up if you are specially wanting for a BL title. (So considerably, at the very least this is ebook one in a sequence.)
So what is it, then? Genre-intelligent, this is a light supernatural mystery/fantasy established in the rural mountains of Hiroshima prefecture. Primarily based on writer Yoshiko Utamine‘s hometown, the location of Tomoe is just as substantially a character as any of the folks in the story. Tomoe was initially a modest hub for a series of even smaller sized farming villages, but with municipal reorganizations and declining populations, those very small villages are now considered component of Tomoe correct, at the very least in a governmental sense. Quite a few of them are ghost cities, and which is each a literal and a figurative designation. Ryouji’s property, for example, is the only continually occupied household in what was as soon as a comprehensive village all of his neighbors are now largely absent, coming out only on weekends or in the summer season and choosing locals to are inclined their fields. Which is far better than most of the other areas Ryouji and Misato end up heading, however – almost each household they pay a visit to is isolated, surrounded by the ruins of a rural life that’s both no lengthier sustainable or appealing. Apparently, Utamine places substantially far more emphasis on the latter the textual content usually mentions that fields are continue to fertile and prosperous, it really is just that no one particular is interested in residing close to them and tending them any more. This, it is implied, is at minimum partially at the rear of the proliferation of spirits and other supernatural nuisances that plague the region, along with strongly-rooted folk beliefs.
It really is also what lands Misato on Ryouji’s doorstep in the 1st spot. The two younger guys initially meet up with when Misato comes in Tomoe to discover that his studio apartment has been rented out 2 times – and given that he obtained there next, he’s out of a home. No a single desires to stay in the outdated farming communities (or their ruins), which implies that he can not come across anyplace to stay. That is when Ryouji strategies him in the park and gives Misato the incredibly low-cost rental of the annex of his possess dwelling. Misato distrusts him at initially, but possessing no other real choice, he agrees, and therefore commences their cohabitation. Component of the deal is that Misato assists Ryouji hold the house absolutely free of huge, damaging yokai, and to some degree to his amusement he finds that Misato just leaves the lesser types be he jokes that his housemate has a yokai zoo in the yard.
The characters’ interactions and the unfolding of more key plot points, such as who Ryouji is and why he was so willing to household Misato in the to start with position, appear at a meandering tempo. The guide is very slow in terms of tale progression, and whilst we do get bits and items of facts with each chapter, its poky pacing is not likely to do the job for all visitors. You will find also some query of how time is passing in the e book it isn’t really normally clear how extended anyone’s been performing what they are carrying out, to the issue the place in some cases the mention of months owning absent by feels truly shocking. Ryouji’s also a bit more durable to get a tackle on as a character whilst Misato at occasions comes off as a bit of a unhappy sack. That’s not wonderful, mainly because he certainly has incredibly great loved ones-based mostly explanations for becoming the particular person he is, but the information and facts is doled out at these types of a speed that we really don’t truly have a very good sufficient feeling of it right until over halfway by way of the reserve.
That said, the wonderful sense of place virtually helps make up for all of these issues, and each and every description of a moldering outdated village (or, in a single scenario, a ghostly farmhouse recreating alone from its ruins) is attractive and more than a little haunting. These scenes include to the experience that both Misato and Ryouji are people adrift in the world, searching for a spot in which they can settle, and the shifting, ghostly mother nature of Tomoe starts to seem to be far more and additional welcoming to them the extra we see of it. It is really a shame we do not get many descriptions of the distinct yokai that wander through the text (with exceptions for a handful of who serve as significant plot points), but they are not definitely the emphasis: they are the window dressing for the city and the two young guys who close up there.
Onmyoji and Tengu Eyes is a sluggish, mostly tranquil tale. It has moments of motion and of cruelty, but it requires its time in finding to its point. It’s not excellent, but it is attention-grabbing, and if you love supernatural-tinted slices of life, it is really really worth examining out.