Soou himself. In't he cute?

Finally! A page where this picture belongs!



Koibito wa Shugorei!?
My Lover is a Guardian Spirit!?

Story Summaries

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.

Volume 1

Chapter 1

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 between them.

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.

Chapter 2

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 do?

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.

Chapter 3

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.

Chapter 4

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.

Future highlights...

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 frilly apron.

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.

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