Monday, May 7, 2012

Only the Ring Finger Knows by Satoru Kannagi and Hotaru Odagiri

Wataru goes to a school where a ring makes a statement about the relationship you're in. Of course matching rings worn on the left ring finger mean that you're in a committed relationship. Wataru lives in ignorant bliss, as he wears a one-of-a-kind ring and therefore can't be claimed by anyone. Or at least that's what he thinks. But then there's a mix up of rings, and suddenly Wataru can't help wondering why the most popular boy at his school Yuichi has started picking on him and why he has the exact same ring as Wataru.

If you've read any shojo manga, then you'll be pretty familiar with the tropes in this novel. Oh! I want to make sure we're clear, this is a novel that was then turned into a manga a little later on because of the popularity of the novel. When I requested this from my public library I first of all assumed that there was only the manga, and then again incorrectly assumed that the manga came first and then the novel. Whoops!

I liked this, had a nice balance of angst, tribulations, and romance. Wataru's character has some understandable reservations about the relationship, and I appreciated the fact that Yuichi isn't always a cool collected dominant. Having said that this does remind me a bit of Twilight. It can't be helped! I mean Wataru is this little darling, who always questions his worth and idolizes Yuichi. He's rather oblivious to other's feelings like Bella, and tends to freak over little bumps in the road. Yuichi is a rather cool customer, who tends to emotionally dominate the relationship and always have an answer to everything.

This isn't necessarily a bad thing, it just seemed to have connections.

There are a couple drawings throughout the book. They're lovely, of course there's lots of focus on hands. There's a blog called LaineyGossip that I like, and she talks about pretty hands as "tea pouring hands and poetry arms." I think that's an appropriate phrase for the boys in this book.

Overall quite adequately done.


  1. I love this manga/novel series sooo much!
    Wataru as Bella? Lol, I just imagined it..:D:D
    Thank you for the great review!

  2. OMG, I've been going through your archives the last couple of days and I love that you review manga/light novels like these in addition to everything else. I've been aware of this series for a while, but have always avoided it because it looked a bit trope-y (but aren't most of 'em? Haha). I might actually -have- this somewhere in my "BL" pile. Maybe I'll give it a read!

    Lately, I've been into anything and everything by The Year 24 Group ( and I think you might get a kick out of them, too, if you ever feel like checking them out. These authors are pretty much the grandmothers of the Shojo genre (though I feel that they totally transcend that label).

    Their work is kind of hard to find, but I do own a few of them if you ever feel like borrowing any. I've got a few by Moto Hagio, Yasuko Aoike, and Keiko Takemiya. Yasuko Aoike's series, in particular, is totally insane - she was a huge fan of Robert Plant, James Bond, and boys kissing so there's like ALL of that and more in her works (I wouldn't classify them as "BL" though, they just feature openly LGBT characters).

    Anyway, I've rambled on...Back to digging through your archives! :)


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