Inoue Satou: Smoker

This is a collection of short stories, the first four of which are connected by the theme of smoking and the company the couples work for. The name of each of the first four stories is a both a reference to the featured brand of cigarettes and an element of the story.

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“Echo” –  Okabe just seemed so sad and Yonekura’s feelings echoed his both in the way he felt about him and in his feelings of resignation. I wanted to see more of them.

“Hope” – Although he pretty much dismissed Konno’s feelings, Kikuchi hoped to hold on to the honored position in Konno’s eyes and to that effect, he kicked his work performance up a notch. However, when Konno lost hope of anything ever happening between them and decided to let go, it was then that Kikuchi finally acted on his true feelings.

“Peace” – Ashizawa and Miyoshi; they are ridiculous and can’t do anything but argue, all the time. Just when Ashizawa was looking toward a new beginning he ran into Miyoshi who was suffering from something that just ended. Once their true feelings were revealed, they were finally able to make peace with each other.

“Hi-Lite” – Yoshino and Makimura have known each other for 17 years and the story skips through some of the highlights of their friendship. After some circumstances were made known, Yoshino raped Makimura during which Makimura went from being shocked by the situation to being frustrated because he couldn’t actively participate while his hands were bound. Yeah.

The rest of the chapters are for the same story, “Beautiful Maine Coon”; a story about guy grieving over a departed cat and an assistant at an animal shelter. Yuka/Yura & Utsui were both a little sad and were both dealing with their own losses, but I think Utsui was worse off. For a moment it seemed like it was going to turn into a hybrid deal, but it didn’t. That would be strange for Inoue. And of course it turned out to be the story I liked the least that stretched beyond one chapter.



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