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|| Watashi no Kakurega e Douzo ||

1 volume
BL, Drama, Mystery
Publisher: BeXBoy Comics
ISBN: 4835215486
Mangaka: Ishihara Satoru

Other manga on this site by Satoru Ishihara: 38 Dousen, Afuresou na Pool, Charisma, Shounen wa Asu o Kurosu, Tokyo Boogie-Woogie, Yarouze!

This is Ishihara's latest comic release. [Where is Heavy-Duty?!] It is another collection of short stories, which had me squeeling in joy. I really think Ishihara is best at the short-story format.

The first story, Watashi no Kakurega e Douzo (Welcome to My Refuge), is a collection of snap shots of men who visit a classy gay bar and the men who work there. The first story (The Laughing Man) is about an author who is having a party to celebrate the release of his first book, but all of his 'friends' beg off because no one wants to deal with his angry personality. The only one who shows up is a guy from a rival company. The second (The Waiting Man) deals with a man who is waiting for a friend who promised to meet him there ten years ago. The third (The Man Who Can't Sleep) is about a man who can't sleep because his thoughts are filled with another man (there's a great twist to this one), and the last (Welcome to my Refuge) deals with the owner of the bar and his bartender.

World Market is a complete puzzle to me. Perhaps someone else will have more luck deciphering it. I think it's told in a kind of Ally McBeal style by a young man who writes penny porno novels. His sensei demands some odd things from him, and his life is very, very odd. Cheese graters are mentioned in ways they never should be, fighting roosters are beheaded, and some surgery is done on-the-cuff.

So wa Reirei no Yuki ni Mai ~Oni to Oborozukiyo~ (~The Demon and the Misty, Moonlit Night~) is another short story from the So wa Reiri collection. Poor Minami is sent off to deal with another strange paranormal mystery in the company of Ideizumi and Ghost Exorcist Kureha. This time it is a rich man who collects things associated with demons (including severed arms) who is certain he is being haunted.

Aun [meaning: the harmonizing, mentally and physically, of two parties engaged in an activity] is about two men who are artists in the kimono-dyeing business. They are fiercely competitive, but when they were apprentices they once made two kimonos of very different design which, when placed next to one another, harmonized eerily. Now as adults Himeno shows up on Oguri's doorstep. They fight just as they did when teenagers, but Himeno is suffering from a lung disease. The story is told from Oguri's younger brother's point of view.

Last is a very short Afuresou na Pool Side Story. Kyaa! More Kizu and Iriya! This takes place several years after the end of the series, and Kizu is a sexy office worker, while Iriya is a college student. Kizu is a very busy rising star in his company, but he finds the time for his lover.

What I Thought:
As I said earlier, I think Ishihara works best with the short-story format. The stories in this collection are all very well-polished gems. I wish World Market wasn't completely indecipherable to me, and I wish the AnP story were longer. But the title story was really interesting; I liked the new format. And the So wa Reirei story was my favorite so far. The spooky mood Ishihara evokes for her ghost stories just makes my spine tingle sometimes.