Koibito wa Shugorei!?
My Lover is a Guardian Spirit!?
I wrote these largely without benefit
of translations. As translations reveal what the story actually
is, I might change these--or I might not. Ignorance is amusing.
Happy birthday! Naoki and Chiho are
at Naoki's apartment, getting sloshed and celebrating Naoki's 20th
birthday. While Naoki's chatting on the phone, Chiho notices that
a strong ki has filled the apartment. Then a ghostly young man in
a kimono appears behind Naoki--oh, that's probably where the ki
is coming from.
The young man, who is none other than
our Soou, speaks to Naoki as though they knew each other. Naoki
doesn't recall a single thing about him, which shocks Soou all to
hell. He tries to tempt her to leave with him, but she freaks.
He returns to the spirit dimension,
where he, Naoki's guardian Nusaka, and Chiho's guardian Tonehara
all talk. Serious kanji are involved. Tonehara says Hikato's name,
and Soou loses it. He yells for a while, looking all tragic and
manly in his sixteen-foot-long kimono, and Hikato answers in the
form of a glowing ball. Soou doesn't like what the glowing ball
has to say. (It's probably along the lines of "You can't have
her, now get back to your day job.") More yelling happens.
Soou ends the scene looking grim and determined.
Morning! Naoki and Chiho are asleep
on the same futon. Naoki bursts awake when the sparrows start singing,
and has a brief moment of lamenting her fate before Soou (whom she'd
forgotten about) reappears. He hauls her bodily into the spirit
world and stands enclosing her in his kimono, looking romantic.
Tonehara grabs Chiho and pulls her through too. I'm not entirely
certain why he does this, but this is the beginning of a long collusion
Nusaka grabs Naoki away from Soou.
Naoki is just a rag doll by this point, hanging in Nusaka's hands
with blank, open eyes. Soou and Nusaka talk... and talk... and talk...
and the chapter ends with Soou looking black and menacing.
Much fighting happens. Chiho dresses
Tonehara down, thus beginning another long tradition. Naoki comes
back to herself and stops the fighting, then proceeds to whup Soou's
ass without lifting a finger. Okay, so Soou thinks that she's the
reincarnation of his dead girlfriend. Who cares? She's not going
to join him in the spirit world. She wants to go to Disneyland.
Soou is miserable, but what can he
He returns Naoki to her apartment,
and Tonehara returns Chiho. Soou and Nusaka have a sober talk on
the shore of a lake. Tonehara follows Chiho around--why, I'm not
sure, but she can see him.
And then Nusaka appears, and right
behind him--Soou, carrying a HUGE bouquet of roses. "I'm Soou!
Let's be good friends!"
Naoki is not pleased.
Soou cooks! Soou cleans! Soou gets
Nusaka to help him! Naoki takes it all for granted! God, I love
Koibito! Where else do you get this kind of gender-bending?
Naoki takes Soou shopping. No one is
supposed to be able to see him, but everyone is staring. Naoki knows
something is just wrong when a pair of English-speaking tourists
(with hilarious "English" accents) stop Soou and ask him
to pose for photos. Soou hams it up, then introduces Naoki to them
as his girlfriend. (In English--"garufurendo." He lives
because Naoki doesn't know enough English to understand him.) Naoki
hauls him away and drags him into Flow Marie, the boutique where
Chiho works. In a few minutes, Soou has replaced his beautiful kimono
with some truly interesting (but becoming) late 80's fashion. Now
he'll be much less conspicuous, because the streets of Tokyo are
just filled with tall blond men with hair down to their asses and
pearls around their necks.
Back home, Naoki tries to write while
Soou prepares for (a holiday whose name I've forgotten). This Japanese
holiday, which falls in January, involves tossing roasted beans
around the house to chase away the evil spirits. Soou roasts the
beans, then decides he needs a real evil spirit to throw beans at--so
he grabs Nusaka and dresses Nusaka like an oni.
Writing just isn't happening.
It's Valentine's Day, and Naoki's all
dressed up to go to a luncheon with her girlfriends.* Soou wants
to come, but he can't, so he goes anyway. Lucky for Naoki, because
he finds her just in time to intercept a subway pervert. Thanks,
says Naoki, but now I'm going off to lunch and you still aren't
invited. Soou does what so many of us do in these hard situations,
and dresses up like a woman to join Naoki at the restaurant.
Damn, but he looks good.
Soou is a hit--she's so charming!
Soou gets home before Naoki, just in
time to answer the telephone. It's a boy. Soou instantly goes from
Superfemme Tokyo Girl to Big Angry Macho Guardian Spirit in a Kimono,
and slams down the phone. The boy wonders what in hell just happened.
Don't worry about who the guy is, we won't be able to shake him
off in a few chapters.
* In Japan, Valentine's Day is when
women give chocolate to men--not just the men they're in love with,
all the important men in their lives. This confuses Soou all to
hell. Men don't reciprocate until White Day, a month later, and
then they give white chocolate.
See Soou meet a cherry-tree spirit!
See the cherry-tree spirit ask Soou a favor! See Soou say no--with
violence! See Naoki show up, whip Soou's ass, and make him do what
the nice cherry-tree spirit wants! See Soou sulk! Sulk, Soou, sulk!
See Soou soothe his wounded heart and
find inner peace through potato-peeling.
Naoki develops a massive crush on an
anime character because he's just so damn cool, what with his demon
powers and all. Soou is understandably put out. Isn't he
cool? Doesn't he have awesome demon powers? I can't translate
Naoki's answer just yet, but I'm betting that the underlying reason
is that it's really hard to think romantically about a guy in a
That, and if Naoki did the sensible
thing and threw herself into Soou's arms like any self-respecting
red-blooded woman, the series would be maybe three chapters long.
Soou tries to make her see sense via
the time-honored method of pinning her to the floor and causing
drifts of flowers to appear in the frame. It's all very romantic
and erotic, in a creepy rape-fantasy way, until the phone rings
and Naoki pops up to answer it.
The boy on the phone, who's in another
room listening, blows out a window with the power of his mind.
Naoki leaves on an errand; the boy
appears in the apartment. Fightage happens. The boy seems to know
Soou. Why? I don't know. To tell the truth, the boy bores me. He
has short hair. He can't compete with all of the guardian spirits
drifting about. But he can kick Soou's ass, which is impressive.
We get a long flashback to Soou's childhood,
when he met Hanamera. She's cute, in a syrupy way. The whole three-way
Soou/Hanamera/Hikato relationship is dripping with SMBD overtones,
even when Soou and Hanamera are little children.
Soou wears leather pants around the
house. No reason, just loungin' around the house. You may not consider
this a highlight, but I do.
Hikato kidnaps Naoki and imprisons
her in a pillar of tendrilly goo. This rather puts the good guys
out, and they develop an unhealthy obsession with prying Naoki out
of Hikato's clutches. It takes them a while, but they succeed. And
then Naoki cuts her hair short.
There's an adorable short story about
a fox kit whom Hanamera finds and helps.
We get to see scenes of past spirit-world
court intrigues; a woman who isn't supposed to fall in love with
Nusaka does, thereby pissing her lord off to no end. Nusaka is apparently
something of a hot property in the spirit court. Why, I don't know,
what with the lord there. Sure, he's evil. But this is anime. Evil
is not a defect.
Then we get a Jack-the-Ripperish story,
set in Victorian/Edwardian London. Top hats don't go with long hair.
Soou saves Hanamera from the killer (Why? Isn't she a guardian spirit?
Can't she do this for herself?) and they act cute for a while.
Hanamera proves that Naoki got her
"kick Soou's ass without lifting a finger" trick from
Hanamera. Boy, does Soou blow up. Push them buttons, girl!
The world needs saving! Soou's not
going to do it. Well, actually he is, but he's going to kick and
scream the whole way.
Hikato steals Naoki yet again. And
she's naked this time! We're on Volume 10 now; I guess the series
needed a bit of fan service to perk circulation. Naoki saves herself--I'm
not sure how, but it involves drifts of flowers.
Personae | Stories | The Many Faces of Soou | Where to Find More Koibito | Back to Main