Yaoi Novel Review: Gentle Cage

Gentle Cage
Written by You Shizaki
Art by Kumiko Sasaki
Published by Juné, imprint of Digital Manga, Inc.
ISBN10: 156970712x
ISBN13: 9781569707128

Review by Linda Yau

For nearly eight years, Itsuki Hashimoto existed as the living human pet of famed artisan Yamabe-sensei. However, prior to this he was the friend of Masatsugu Tokiwa, a student of Yamabe. Forced by family circumstances though, Itsuki accepts Yamabe’s offer of shelter in exchange for obedience, and also to cut Tokiwa out of his life. Eight years later, Yamabe sends Itsuki to see Tokiwa about returning to visit him on his deathbed. How should Itsuki respond, when he suddenly gets stranded with Tokiwa for two weeks following an accident at Tokiwa’s remote home?

During this two weeks, Itsuki realizes that he was still the same person he was years ago. Tokiwa may seem cold to him at times, but underlying it there is strong passion for the human pet that Itsuki has become. This results in many passionate and hurtful scenes of love.

As mentioned, this novel has hurtful scenes, and this equates to the book being angsty yet sweet. There is angst because readers can probably imagine the mental anguish and emotions of Itsuki. But there is also sweetness because of how the tough love on how Tokiwa treats him. There is vitality in the relationship of these two men, that even though years may pass there is still a flame of love. That sounds so hopeful and for me, that’s what made this book so appealing. Perhaps it is a personal belief of mine, but I believe that with trials and years, if the love is strong then it can eventually strengthen a relationship, and this book fulfilled that personal belief. Reading this book made me think more about purchasing other June novels, which I did, so I definitely would recommend this book in a heartbeat.

Kris has also written a review for this book so be sure to check that out.

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