I got around to rereading Seven Days and I’m still not moved by it. Reading it this time was like reading it for the first time–I don’t think I remembered much of anything about it (especially Shino). I do remember thinking it was slow and that’s pretty much how I feel about it now, the only difference now is that I know why a storytelling style that usually works for me wasn’t working with this. I enjoy slow paced stories when they’re meditative or nuanced. Seven Days is neither. On top of that, the methods Tachibana employs to maintain the clip of dripping molasses did nothing but irritate me.
In a nutshell, the story is that a guy, Shino Yuzuru, fresh from a breakup decides to entertain himself by asking out a guy, Seryou Touji, who is known for accepting the offer from the first girl that asks him out on Monday mornings and, like clockwork, breaking up with her a week later. Though Yuzuru was only out to satisfy his curiosity, Seryou accepts in earnest and thus begins their week. Interesting for sure and the pace of the story was just right for a (relatively) slow building love that unfolds a day at a time. However, by the end of the story, two major misunderstandings remained unaddressed.
[toggle title_open=”Close Me” title_closed=”Spoilers ho!” hide=”yes” border=”yes” style=”default” excerpt_length=”0″ read_more_text=”Read More” read_less_text=”Read Less” include_excerpt_html=”no”]First, even up to the point at which they begin dating for real, Yuzuru thought Seryou’s previous dating habits were just a joke–the weekly routine of a playboy. And when Seryou discovered that Yuzuru saw it that way, he was troubled because it wasn’t. Though his approach was unconventional, he was sincere; he treated all the girls the way he treated Shino–the one he had actually been in love with–with the peculiar exception that he tried to keep them at a distance physically. It isn’t explored in the story, but I think that had a lot to do with how touchy-feely Shino was and him not wanting that to cloud his judgment. You could say that it doesn’t matter much since they ended up together anyway, but the fact remains that Yuzuru misunderstood that aspect of his personality. He seriously thinks that there’s this frivolous part of him (well there is, but not in this respect). Yuzuru had no idea that Seryou was yearning for something and that it wasn’t exactly Shino.
Second, Seryou’s relationship with Shino–past or present–was never explained to Yuzuru. We knew, we saw, we understood–to a certain degree–but Yuzuru didn’t. He didn’t give the other Shino much thought when she was first mentioned and why should he? They were only going to be together for a week. But then he meets her and that point his feelings had already begun to develop. He gets angry enough at witnessing Shino and Seryou’s interaction to run off, yet at the end, still with no explanation of how or why Seryou and Shino are still connected, he just accepts that Seryou loves him more simply because he said so. Though I don’t see it as a major departure, I find it to be strange and not quite in keeping with Yuzuru’s character.
The other two issues I have are with Shino and Seryou’s relationship with her. I don’t like to see women written or portrayed that way in BL (in general, really). She was overbearing, selfish, manipulative, disloyal, and insensitive. Her presence was very awkward for me. And we never learn what type of relationship Seryou has with his brother, Natsuki. Obviously one that disconnects him enough that he’s okay with fooling around with his girlfriend and aiding her in cheating on him. But what is that? Even after she made up with, Natsuki, she was still all over Touji.
And with this, Yuzuru’s at a disadvantage because he doesn’t know what his boyfriend is/was capable of. Cheating is not the kind of thing that falls under “everyone has their secrets”; it is clearly in the full disclosure column. So where does that really leave them?[/toggle]
Now, I don’t particularly dislike the story. The premise is interesting–a week turning into ever after and all that–and a lot could be done with it, but here, the execution leaves much to be desired.