Miscellanea and Ephemeron
02/01/2008 Archived Entry: "Novel Review: Don't Worry Mama"
Review by Ryes
Don't Worry Mama is unconventional in at least one aspect. One of the characters is fat and he is mean-spirited.
Yuichi works under Imakura and the two of them are sent on a business trip to gather herbs on an isolated island. Yuichi didn't volunteer to go. Imakura chose Yuichi out of all the other employees because Yuichi is the only one that doesn't snicker or gossip about Imakura's weight and his overbearing attitude. The trip takes a disastrous turn when the boat that dropped them off at the island never stayed to pick them up.
Imakura, true to his character, blames everything on Yuichi and exhausts Yuichi's patience. Imakura doesn't share his chocolate or his shrimp crackers. Actually, he hides it from Yuichi and eats it when he thinks Yuichi is sleeping. At one point, he even steps on the carrots that Yuichi found as food for them to eat. Yuichi becomes so disgusted with Imakura that he punches him in the face and leaves him to fend for himself.
That doesn't last for very long. Yuichi actually has a conscience, so he returns to see how Imakura is doing. During that time, they fall in love. You may find it hard to believe since Yuichi says that he goes for younger guys (his boss is older), and he goes for cute guys (his boss is fat). But circumstances on the island has miraculously turned Imakura into an object of desire. Apparently, Imakura loses tons of weight due to the island diet, and he's actually very cute, despite the fact that he's older than Yuichi by about five years. I was willing to believe that, since Imakura also seems to have been cured of his attitude problems. What's a little harder to swallow is the sex. It seems very painful for Imakura, and he protests often. But don't let that put you off, because there's not that many sex scenes, and the focus is more on the plot.
The story's very positive. Imakura doesn't start out as an attractive character but being on the island with Yuichi, who tells him to stop being a Mama's boy, and having to learn to share and compromise with another person brings about a good change in his personality. He also establishes his independency from his mother by pursuing his dream of being a wine connoisseur. All good reasons for Yuichi to still be in love with Imakura.
The prose is very easy to follow, no fancy language. Narise Konohara's illustrations are also very attractive. I just wish I could've seen Imakura's fat face. Despite the small faults I might find with the plot, Don't Worry Mama is a very addicting read. It was hard to put down, and I finished it in one night. It's not what I usually read or would ever look into reading, but I still think the book is very appealing.
The Wapshott Press
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