Marcie asked me a Saezuru question about Yashiro and Doumeki’s interaction prior to the epic sex scene in Chapter 23, and I love questions… thing is, it took me a while to really think about how I wanted to put the answer. More than two months! Not just because the entire sequence I’m about to dig into, is hopelessly muddled by multiple translations in the wild, but because it really bears deep thinking. Also, I was overdosed on Saezuru and needed to step back a bit in order to think through how I wanted to approach this.
I waited until I got my own copy of Vol 5 in hand, and read the official translation, then compared it with both Another Translation’s straight Japanese to English, and then the more nuanced and down to earth translations that Lustful Cat/Saezuru Steve and team produces. Unfortunately, Another Trans appears to have dirty deleted their Tumblr, and the main website is showing “closed”. So the straight from Japanese translations she did are no longer available for me to reference, but a these translations were useful as reference only, we press on.
While it might not seem to make a difference which one you read, the truth is, this bit of dialogue (as well ass others) really needs all of them to get down to the nuanced subtlety, and even then, you kinda have to excavate. For the record, my observations come from both Lustful Cat/Saezuru Steve translations, as well as my hard copy of the English translation by June Manga.
So let’s get to it.
Why the fuck is Yashiro so angry?
At the end of the sequence in Chapter 23, it doesn’t even seem clear on the first read, certainly not to Yashiro. He is as confused and muddled about his feelings as ever. Ahh, but after your fortieth read, and multiple translated versions, it feels a bit clearer. Because anger does get shit done, at least for Doumeki, it becomes a lever to regain something he feels he’s lost in the moment.
But first… Why is Yashiro so angry?
Yashiro is angry because he feels Doumeki is forcing him to make a choice about pushing him away, and Doumeki is a comforting safe space for him that he doesn’t want to give up.
From the moment Doumeki realises his dick is starting to feel something, when he wore his new tiger sweater, and sat on Yashiro’s bed and had Spicy Story time, and watched Yashiro touch himself (allyuh remember owah?), Doumeki refused to let Yashiro suck him or touch him. And we can say it’s superficially because he ‘doesn’t want to lose control’, and he doesn’t want Yashiro to throw him away.
But as I’ve said before, Doumeki is playing an extremely long, do anything, anything it takes kinda game with Yashiro. So he deliberately misleads Yashiro, and Yashiro interprets this as a rejection. From this point on, Doumeki is the one who sucks, licks and touches. He turns his body away, and uses Yashiro’s wounded arm as an excuse to give Yashiro orgasms without ever revealing his own excitement.
Yashiro meantime thinks Doumeki is doing this without a drop of desire, as a service, and as far as Yashiro can tell, Doumeki is doing it as ‘part of his job’. He knows Doumeki may have a little crush (ok a big crush), but in his head, Doumeki cannot fuck him, not the way he tells himself he wants to be fucked. Doumeki is ‘so cute’ is what he wants to believe, keeps telling himself, despite the fact that Doumeki repeatedly proves himself to be ‘not cute’.
By hiding his erections, making Yashiro cum, and then refusing to actually fuck him, Doumeki is forcing Yashiro into a corner and he can tell Doumeki already has the upper hand. He is losing his control… over the situation, over Doumeki and finally over himself. He is angry because he doesn’t actually want to hurt Doumeki, but he is realizing Doumeki is playing his own game. And that he (Yashiro) doesn’t have control over the rules of play anymore.
It’s why he wants to torment and tease Doumeki, and does. He want to infuriate him into the point where he will get angry and fuck him hard. That he can control. He knows what to expect with a hard, brutal fuck, and for a moment he thinks he can push Doumeki into giving it to him and restore the balance of power between them to something he can manage. And Doumeki knows it… what does he do. Gets soft.
Yashiro knows he’s lost control of the situation, because Doumeki has hidden this from him and in hiding it from Yashiro, Doumeki exposes his real feelings and finally exposes Yashiro’s darkest places to the light, without even opening his mouth. Just by hiding how hard Yashiro makes him.
Doumeki has become a safe place for Yashiro and now Doumeki’s erection and his confessed feelings, are threatening that safety, Yashiro is furious because he feels Doumeki is pushing him into a choice he’s not feeling capable or equipped to make. The safety of Doumeki or the safety of sex as sport, sex as pain management, the safety of constant reenactment of his original trauma to reinforce this false identity he has created as a coping mechanism… all that is safety to Yashiro.
Doumeki’s selfish desire for Yashiro, threatens all that safety. Because Doumeki isn’t interested in maintaining Yashiro’s false identity. He’s only interested in Yashiro. The Yashiro only Doumeki sees.
Sitting on Doumeki’s lap and feeling his hard dick beneath him for the first time, Yashiro is forced by Doumeki to confront himself in a way he isn’t prepared. He’s not even really angry at Doumeki. He’s angry at himself and his own fears and his inability to process the experience in a healthy way. Cornered and frightened out of his mind, he first turns to anger because it is comfortable, but it directly leads to the full on dissociative episode in the shower right after Dou gets soft. Then when Yashiro confesses he has feelings and Doumeki finally feels like he has control over the situation again and not just ‘fucks him’, but makes love to him and devastates Yashiro’s entire emotional world (and ours in the reading… the sex scene between them was chapters long and damn near half of Volume 5!). Despite Doumeki losing his erection (in itself about his OWN loss of control over the situation and his NEED to lead Yashiro out of the dark), now the possibility of full sex between them is made very real and very scary for Yashiro.
At this point, Yashiro knows he can’t run far forever, and he is very cornered emotionally. He is utterly defenceless against ANY emotional salvo Doumeki wanted to throw at him at this point. And Yashiro knows it. Only Doumeki, young and inexperienced as he is, tangling with a prickly porcupine as he is, that doesn’t understand how much power he has over Yashiro. He is left still waiting and hoping. Right up until he actually gets inside Yashiro.
Yashiro knows his set up is to push Doumeki away, but in the disassociation, disconnection, he finally does make a connection… and he’s too stunned by himself to even stop himself from expressing it to Doumeki… and in being honest with both himself and Doumeki, Yashiro hands over control to Doumeki, letting him decide. And while that might not be consent enough for some, between these two characters, its as much as a ‘do whatever you want” as you could get from Yashiro at this point…
After this, any ‘no’ you hear out of Yashiro, is protesting the painful brick by brick dismantling of Yashiro false identity, Doumeki proceeds to do and frankly what Yashiro gives him permission to do. All anger from Yashiro once he leaves Doumeki the next day, is protesting his loss of a desperately held self view, that he immediately began to lose when Doumeki gets hard. All the resisting he does after, hurting Dou so badly in the process, is a reaction to this loss of identity. And how pointless it was, his surrender in the bathroom created an inevitable path that even four years later, we’re still seeing how he has changed.
But in that moment, in Chapter 23, Yashiro knows he has lost to Doumeki and he’s angry about it.