Anyway, this time I have a short(?) review of a fluffy light novel I’ve read recently, Mayonaka Chronicle (真夜中クロニクル) by Nagira Yuu, illustrated by Oyamada Ami. I’ve never read anything by Nagira Yuu before, but wow, can she write such a tsundere character. Art wise, well…I posted a preview of the extremely pink colour insert on tumblr, I’m just glad the rest aren’t coloured. However, the most important thing is that the story isn’t just all rosy pink!
Mayonaka Chronicle’s broken down into three parts/chapters. The first chapter, including the prologue, pretty much sets the background of the characters and the base for their development. While the rest touches on the relationship it self.
Long story short, our hero, Tsuna Niina suffers from photodermatosis, a skin disease that’s caused by exposure to sunlight which is actually relatively common condition. But Niina’s case is pretty severe. Ever since young, he had to wear long sleeves shirts, high collars and long pants even during summer.
Unfortunately, when he was in primary school, his teacher who thought he was being helpful gave Niina the deepest, darkest trauma in his life. Thinking that it was just a mild case and that his parents were over-reacting, his teacher told him to go out and play with other kids in the middle of summer, under the glaring bright hot sun.
It wasn’t long before red burn like blisters started to appear on his skin and he starts to sort of…bloat up? It’s not hard to imagine kids’ reaction when they see a spectacle like that. They started to tease and bully him, calling him names like “Tsuda the Monster”.
Niina had to be hospitalised right after. His teacher felt rather guilty about it but even he seemed rather disgusted or rather, unnerved by the sight. Niina saw his teacher’s reaction. So when he apologised, Niina replied with his most famous catchphrase “Die, you dumbass (しね、ボケ)”.
Lucky for him, he grew up in a loving (not to mention rich) environment with supportive parents. Even his younger, who used to shun him due to reasons we’ll get to, came to understand his brother’s plight in the end.
Once he’s recovered, he went back to school for a while. However, the kids just couldn’t stop bullying him or calling him names. Not long later, he stopped going to school all together.
If we’re going along with cliche, one who’s bullied either ends up having a weak character who’s extremely anti-social, being all emo who’s also anti-social, or emotionally stunted character who’s extremely anti-social and secretly plots to kill every single person who did him wrong. Well, Niina ended up being all those above and more.
When he was young, he used to buy voodoo dolls to curse the kids who bullied him. In fact, Niina sent one of his bullies the cursed doll and the kid went home crying to his parents. His parents went crying to the principle and…well, Niina had a grand exit out of school. :)
There’s a time skip between the end of prologue and the start of chapter one. We get a few glimpse of Niina’s past as he grew older, like the voodoo doll incident.
Niina was eighteen when he first meets his future lover (finally!), Mashita Youko (name translation: right under the sun’s rays), who was only eleven then, in a park in the middle of the night. Of course, Niina’s number one mortal enemy is the sun. So he thought this fated meeting was doomed to fail. But fortunately for us readers, Youko’s character’s true to his namesake, all sunny and jolly on the outside.
Youko is one of my favourite characters from the book. You just can’t help but to cheer for him whether if it’s for his relationship or his career. At first, he seemed like your typical happy-go-lucky character who’s the joker of the story but he’s just so complex. I really don’t do him justice here. It’s hard to tell from his exterior that he suffered from bullying at school, too. Youko’s a young actor who wasn’t really popular. Thus, other more popular artist kids tend to shun and look down on him.
Back to their first meeting, Niina tended to take a walk at night while he sleeps the day away because of his condition. As per routine, he walked to the convenience store, buy some food and take a stroll at the park. He’ll then feed a bruised up kitten which he claims to be as ugly as him, all the while talking down to the cat. But you know he’s just lamenting on his life and how similar the kitten is with him.
That’s when Youko popped in. He was glad Niina wasn’t bullying the kitten and he saw the latter feeding it the other day as well. It’s just that his personality’s rather shitty and he probably didn’t have any friends. Ouch, Youko’s just so straightforward at times. They started to chat, or Youko’s chattered non-stop anyway. Niina even graced him with his famous “die, you dumbass”. But Youko just brushed that off, saying Niina’s really beautiful, probably a devil with all that black on him. He also mentioned his family situation to a complete stranger. His dad was seeing someone called “Grace”, ahem. So his mum brought him to his grandfathers while they settled their situation apart.
So they parted ways that day with Youko making Niina promise they’ll meet at the park again. Sadly, being the tsundere that he is, Niina avoided the park at all cost. Thankfully, Youko doesn’t know how to give up. Somehow, probably fate, both their mothers knew each other.
Youko ended up crashing his place and their relationship blossomed…with a lot of bumps on the way of course. Youko found out that Niina played a lot of instrument as a mean of escaping reality.
The best part or climax of the chapter, stems from Niina’s soured relationship with his younger brother, Kiina. Kiina studied in the same primary school. But since he’s only four years younger, older kids who still remembered Niina bullied him, calling him “Tsuda the Monster No.2”. Kiina hated his brother for making his school life miserable. Even after he transferred to another school rather far away, he still held the grudge.
Well things happened and Niina was feeling pretty down. He bumped into his childhood bully on the street and to make matters worse, his brother took the piss on him. Saying he must have an easy life, leeching off his parents since he couldn’t do anything with his condition.
Youko’s family matters seemed to have settled. So he had to go back to Tokyo the very next day. He didn’t want to go back to his lonely life, to leave Niina like that. He suggested they should run away and Niina accepted his suggestion without hesitation.
Oh, I forgot to mention, they named the cat “Koniina”. Youko ended up bringing the cat back when Niina avoided the park and cared for it.
Secretly carting off with Youko’s dad’s car, they took to the highway with Niina driving dangerously at top speed. Without a license to boot! Of course, he couldn’t end their lives in the end. He pulled up at the side of the road and started to cry. Little Youko tried to comfort him, saying life’s crap anyway and that he wants to grow up soon so he could stay with Niina without interference. They slowly drifted off to slumber, under the starry sky.
Though, when they woke up to the bright noon sky, they knew they’re fucked. Without protection from the sun, Niina’s condition worsen. Youko tried to help him by leading him to the car’s trunk. He tried to get other drivers to help, but once they saw Niina’s condition, every single one of them high-tailed away. Niina remembered his past, where people looked at him with disgust. He couldn’t bear it.
With his skin burning up, he got out of the trunk, stared up at the sun for once and took in the surrounding paddy fields. Just when he’s about to give up on life, Youko pulled him back. He told him (d’aw, I can’t even DX), even if he’s covered in blisters and burns, Niina’s still the prettiest person he’s ever seen. AND, kissed him on the lips! You go, boy!
At the end of it, Niina passed out. But his tiny knight-in-shinning-armour managed to get help. Niina woke up in the hospital to the faces of his worried parents and concerned brother who finally understood the gravity of his condition. Sadly, Youko left for Tokyo already but he left Niina a love letter, wishing for his speedy recovery, that he’ll become the man that’ll protect Niina, work extremely hard on his acting career and proclaiming his undying love, or rove (mispelled on purpose).
The rest of the book though, is about their relationship. How they grew up together. With Youko taking a two hour train ride after work to visit Niina without fail whenever he’s free. I’m telling you, Youko did all the work to get their relationship started. My favourite chapter’s actually the last chapter. But to get to that point, I’ll be writing the whole plot out. So hopefully, I’ve done my job with the fair bit of teasing with the first chapter that’s just so freaking cute!
Youko did make a break with his career. But like all one-hit-wonders and typecast, his career hit a stagnant point before he’s even legal. Everybody who knows him labels him as a young-star and that kinda made it hard for him to land on important roles even though he has the skills. Niina though, while working in his uncle’s shop, he started writing songs on the side. It did became his main staple later on. Imagine him, writing children songs!
There really aren’t a lot of characters in the book. One aspect which I liked about the book. I really can’t hate the antagonist, Karasaki, of the story when he sorta ended up being Niina confident. Well, probably one of the actor is rather annoying, but he’s so insignificant, you can just brush him off.
I really highly recommend this book. It’s not very hard to understand since it’s written in a very clear-cut way. The sex talk is awesome. Not as awesome as Deadlock’s room service bit but still weird nonetheless. What I can say is, Mayonaka Chronicle’s fluffy and sweet yet slightly sour at times. And I just can’t get enough of Youko, the perfect man!
Now, to finish reading another novel!