Utsukushii Koto

  • Title: 美しいこと
  • Author: Konohara Narise
  • Illustrator: Hidaka Shouko
  • Pairing: Honest salaryman x Succesful crosdresser
  • Dramacd: yes
    • Seme: Sugita Tomokazu
    • Uke: Suzuki Tatsuhisa
  • Summary based on: NOVEL
  • Availability in English:

There are two parts; Utsukushii Koto as the first, and Itoshii Koto as the second. Konohara-sensei has also written a shorter bangai-hen about this couple. Currently, I’ve only read Utsukushii Koto, and have listened to both dramacds. The story is filled with angst, but I think the second installment is much more cruel.
Uke finds a dress that his ex-girlfriend left after their breakup. In an urge, he dresses himself up and finds, with some makeup, that he’s even prettier than his previous girlfriend! To cope with his stress at work, he walks around all dressed up, feeling superior to all those stupid guys who are lusting after him. When one of his adventures meets a disastrous ending, a man helps him out. Experience learned to shut up in order not to reveal his true gender, and an odd relationship starts between the “mute woman” and the man who’s too honest for his own good.

Continuation of the summary
Uke had heard of this man before, he works in the same company together with his “friend”, in another department. This friend has been badmouthing seme, annoyed at his smiling face when he, a junior, got promoted before seme. Under the pouring rain, he gives barefoot uke his shoes and money for taxi. A relationship starts between the “woman” who’s unable to talk and the world-strange yet kind man. Originally uke only wants to thank him, but thanks to seme’s perseverance, they remain mailing buddies. Every time uke tries to push seme away, he melts whenever he sees that lonely shadow on the bench near the metro, waiting for his female counterpart. He can’t bear knowing that seme is suffering, and when seme is demoted to another branch, uke yet again contacts seme again. The uke realises, he’s in love with seme. Like this a romantic, but platonic relationship develops. Uke knows the truth can’t be stalled forever, and when confronted by seme about the fact that he saw uke’s male version coming and leaving out of “her” appartment, uke, after thinking things over, finally spills the beans. Seme is devastated when he hears that the woman he loves is actually male, which in turn devastates uke, who believed that seme’s love would remain, despite uke’s true gender. Uke insists in mailing and meeting each other, much to seme’s chagrin. One day, on their rare face-to-face meetings, seme gets drunk and when uke takes seme home, seme confesses his true, nasty thoughts about uke. In a desperate attempt to keep seme, uke seduces seme, but this only works against him, as the name that seme calls out is “Youko”, the name that uke made up for his female version. Uke finally gives up on seme and throws himself at work. But fate is a cruel mistress, because they meet again a few months later. Uke’s colleague wants him to meet her single kouhai, and in the double-date uke meets seme again, with seme being introduced as colleague’s new boyfriend! Uke is then forced to go on two more double-date. Uke angsts a lot and contradicts himself, he wants to avoid seme, yet still wants to catch a glimpse of seme. In mean time, seme seems to have a change of heart. Through colleague, seme hears a lot of good things about uke, and realises he might be mistaken about uke. Maybe uke doesn’t have a split personality and maybe he really was sincere about seme. Seme’s confused and asks uke for a solution to those deluded feelings. Uke refuses to respond, How the hell would he know? When he hears that seme broke up with colleague, uke softens up and agrees to stick with seme until the latter’s more certain about the feelings he has towards uke.

Seme
On the surface, he’d make an ideal husband. By following his own sense of justice, he likes to help others. He hates to lie and is serious in whatever he does. He’s also very tall and doesn’t look too bad either. However, he doesn’t stand out at all because of his (lack of) fashion sense and even though he’s truly hardworking, his clumsiness and slowness retains him getting any promotion. His perseverance in “truth” and slowness render him to overlook others’ feelings and very often he unwittingly hurts those who love him.

Uke
Uke is a man of the world. He’s a decent guy who has already thrown away the childish ideals of always helping each other out. However, everytime he’s faced to such situations he doesn’t turn a blind eye. That’s why seme impresses uke that much when the latter helps him out. Nevertheless, he’s able of self-criticism and is very capable at his work. But it’s not only this nor his good looks or great fashion sense that make him popular with the girls. He’s very considerate of others’ feelings and would go to great lengths in order not to hurt them. Even though he was determined to break all ties with seme, each time he softens up, and very often he comes out even more miserable. Even he himself doesn’t entirely understand why he loves useless seme. As Youko, he very often has criticised seme, and he’ll criticise even more in the future.

Dramacd
I’ve only listened to this drama once, and it has been months ever since. But, basing on the translation I can say that they deleted quite a few scenes. The transition of uke’s growing feelings seem so sudden, and the climax to uke’s confession isn’t done well. I think those scenes were necessary in order not to make the story feel superficial. Of course I realise that there is a time-limit in BLCDs, and that it’s already an accomplishement to have 2 cds for one book.
About the voice-actors, I like drama-seme more than novel-seme. Probably thanks to my biased Sugita-san’s favouring, I find drama-seme a bit cooler. As for Suzuki-san, well, I’m usually not fond of his ukes, especially when they have weep-scenes. But here, I could stomach him. He sounded mature, yet still young, and so very in love with seme. Exactly how the novel-uke is.

Rating: 75/100 (because I dislike seme)

A lovely story. I don’t understand the uke though. He already had a few relationships in the past, so why is he so fixated on seme? I agree, seme is a good man, but he’s also very boring. Personally I won’t ever date such a guy! An obvious lesson in this story: the one who’s more in love loses out. Look how hardworking seme was in the beginning. When truth came out, uke gave his all to convey his feelings. Later uke’s colleague tries very hard to win seme over.
About the question, whether you’d still be in love with someone when he/she confesses that he has been lying about his gender, I refuses to pounder on. We’re talking about a peaceful character like seme, so it’s of no use to reflect on this question. The ending of this volume was beautiful. Instead a clear I-love-you, we get to hear trying to find out your feelings. Feelings are so hard to analyse, especially when the other person is someone of the same gender. When are you in love? Are you in love because you believe you are in love, thus love is actually just a word? Love exists but it’s hard to recognise? Aah, but I’m making it complicated. In short, I believe that seme is trying with uke because he still can’t forget about Youko, and since uke is so deeply in love with him. It’s a known fact that if someone shows interest in you, you get interested as well, if the other person is a bit attractive.

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