...DMP needs to proofread their novel translations! Geez. I can't tell you, since I actually lost count, how many easily identifiable mistakes were in this printed novel. I actually think this one had more than the first novel for this series. It wasn't that there were mispelled words, no. I'm sure DMP ran MS Word Spellcheck on it at some point, but that seems to be where they ended. There were words that were obviously meant to be other words and numerous mistakes that I could believe someone who did not read and write English as a first language would make grammatically. I would hope that a major publisher of yaoi manga in America would hire someone to do the job of an editor and fix these kinds of things, though. The translation was a little awkward, but I'm not about to blame the fact that English and Japanese are such different languages on the publisher. I can however complain that the writing style in the translation lacked cohesiveness. Sometimes thoughts were in quotations, but often they were not, and as the reader I had to spend more time trying to figure out who was saying what, or if they were saying it at all. It also seemed that in a number of the instances where thoughts were not quoted, that they originally had been, because the first letter in those thoughts was still capitalized. There were also a lot of punctuation mistakes. Some of them were unfinished sentences, and a few seemed to be the result of a paragraph or sentence being broken in the middle, but the punctuation to correct this not being added.
Also, related to this is the seemingly out of place illustrations in this volume. In the first volume the illustrations popped on the pages at just the right moments for the events they depicted, but in volume two they are often either several pages too early or too late. Odagiri does the illustrations again, and again they are beautiful. The color illustrations at the beginning of the book are even wonderful enough to make me want to have them as a poster on my wall.
Anyway, aside from my nitpicking it really isn't a bad read. My heart has a little place carved out for Yuichi and Wataru's love for each other (one of the more beautifully written in the genre), and I always enjoy reading their adventures. The story really is beautiful. It is not that anything is overwhelmingly surprising or exciting, but I would have to settle on "inspiring." This lovely couple makes you want to believe that everything, despite obstacles, fighting and misunderstandings, is going to turn out just fine.
The Left Hand Dreams of Him is a true sequel to the first novel, so if you aren't familiar with the first book, you might want to read that before giving this one a try. This one was written after the manga version, so that little extra side story that Odagiri wrote for the end of the manga makes some cameo appearances in this volume (a couple parts towards the end of the book were laugh out loud funny).
Volume two of the OTRFK novel series takes place almost a year after the first story. Yuichi is in college and Wataru is about to get busy with his exams in a couple months, much like Yuichi had been back in part two of the first novel, so Yuichi plans a vacation. To do this he has to make some money, so he gets a job working for his senior, who bears a striking resemblance to himself in both appearance and personality. This of course creates a lot of drama for the couple. Part two, Eternity of the Palm, takes place during the vacation itself, and another person comes to try to stand in the way of Yuichi and Wataru's relationship, so they have their hands full even as they try to relax and enjoy themselves away from the prying eyes of Tokyo and their lives there.
As far as graphic content goes, Kannagi has a beautifully descriptive style that lends itself to being vague enough not to feel erotic, but clear enough to be entirely romantic when it comes to the lovemaking scenes of our heroes (of which which there are numerous in this volume).
I give it four stars because of the awkward translation, but otherwise a wonderful story. If you liked the first novel, I highly recommend continuing through the series. I know I will be ordering volume three just as soon as it comes out.