A Strange and Mystifying Story Series
by Tsuta Suzuki.
Original Japanese title: Konoyo Ibun.
Genre: Manga. Romance. M/M Romance.
Volumes 1&2:Blurb taken from Baka-Updates .
In the immediate family of the story’s protagonist everyone seems to die early, and other relatives talk about a curse. When soon after his grandfather’s death he comes down with an incurable disease, and is overwhelmed by grief and loneliness, in desperation he remembers his grandfather’s last words — that somebody was watching over them. He can only find an odd fossil tooth where his grandfather had pointed, but when he picks it up and accidentally gets some of his blood on it, that summons a guardian spirit, who promises to cure him. Maybe he should be pleased, but said guardian has some strange methods for healing.
Tsumugi Shirota is your typical high school student. He’s handsome, kind, and for some strange reason, surprisingly adept at household chores. On his 16th birthday, a rather unusual but special guest comes to meet him—Master Kurayori, the guardian deity of the Shirota household. Imagine Tsumugi’s surprise when he finds out this deity is also his fiancé!
I often hesitate to write about yaoi as it has so many problematic issues surrounding it. Just to name a few there are often issues with non-consent, the books often present unrealistic relationships and there is a distinct lack of understanding on how the human body works. To be fair, the same could be said for a large number of m/m romance novels.
However, A Strange and Mystifying Story is a yaoi series that I am happy to share and talk about because I find it just so interesting. The books explore the dichotomy between old Japan and new Japan. All of the novels are filled with references to Edo Japan and explore how deities from these periods interact with the modern day Japan. Which is to say, with mixed results.
Of the two main story arches explored in the seven volumes, I do prefer the second one. Which is not to say that the first isn’t great but I does feel a bit rushed and it does step into some non-con areas that had me pursing my lips. The second story is explored in far more detail and is slow burn which had me much more emotionally engaged in the romantic pair.
I am a fan of Tsuta Suzuki because not only does she tell an interesting and romantically engaging stories, but her art is beautiful to read. While this series might not be to everyone’s taste, for any yaoi fan looking for a good series, look no further than A Strange and Mystifying Story.
A Strange and Mystifying Story is scattered with intimate scenes but they are never completely graphic. While when I purchased the books they came wrapped in plastic because of their ‘mature’ content, they are relatively tame.
There are no in your face moments and when there are sexual scenes they are hidden in ways that soften and make them not so detailed. I am aware that Japanese censorship is quite strict so with this in mind, there are no moments where a censor has had to step in and pixelate something.
Either way, graphic or not, the intimate scenes are just that, intimate. The first story arch features more aggressive scenes and the second has a slow burn with less frequent scenes.