Monday, August 14, 2006

The Lonely Ring Finger

(Only the Ring Finger Knows, vol. 2)

by Satori Kannagi

OK, this is weird. I've seen — and frowned upon — novelizations of movies and television shows. But this is weird: the novelization of manga.

Not only that, but it's also the manga-ization of Victorian romance, complete with the I-love-you-so-much-I-hate-you-because-I-think-you-don't-like-me-but-you-secretly-do plot and the deliciously agonizing frustration of characters who never say what they mean and never understand what the other is implying. But instead of the poor yet intelligent and respectable middle daughter alternately pursuing and being pursued by the grotesquely rich (though still young and handsome) lord of the manor, this is manga, so it's the awkward but cute sophomore boy and the gorgeous most-popular senior boy in a torturous high school romance. How could I resist?

After the thrill of reading Play Boy Blues, and the tamer but still tingly Boys Be series, I was worried I'd be disappointed by the lack of pictures. (There are a few illustrations, but nothing too racy.) My fear was unfounded. Aside from the occasional awkward translation — and the aforementioned deliciously agonizing frustration — reading this book was time well-spent. Intense, romantic, believable: what more could one ask for?

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