The Guilty, Vol. 2: Original Sin
written by Katsura Izumi
illustrated by Hinako Takanaga
Toya Sakurai is an editor at Sozan Publishing. Recently, he found success when he discovered a new author named Kai Hodaka. His first novel, Emergence, is a bestselling hit. What nobody knows is that Toya had to pay a hefty price to persuade Hodaka to write. Hodaka used to challenge Toya to a game of pool. If Toya won, Hodaka would write 20 pages. If Hodaka won, he would get to do whatever he desired with Toya’s body. Eventually, Toya fell in love with Hodaka and broke up with his fiancée to be with him.
Now Toya must ask him to write a new novel, but Hodaka demands to keep playing his game. Toya finds that his secret love is eating him up inside. Hodaka is a distant and cruel lover, unable to verbally express his affection for Toya, causing him to second guess if Hodaka even loves him back.
Meanwhile, Sozan Publishing is so pleased with Toya’s work that they ask him to find another novice author who has the potential to become a new best seller. Toya happens to come across a book that bears a striking resemblance to Emergence by a young author named Yo Amano. Amano is a kindhearted young man with modelesque good looks who finds himself quite taken with Toya. When Hodaka notices that Toya’s found himself a new protégé, his jealousy causes him to be all the more cruel.
Caught between the two men, Toya can’t let go of his feelings for Hodaka no matter how much Amano tries to make him realize that the relationship is abusive and virulent. And when Toya gets wind of a possible new girlfriend in Hodaka’s life, he realizes that he needs to make a decision: Confront Hodaka or break it off completely.
It is difficult to say exactly who should read The Guilty, Vol. 2. With its adult themes and explicit sex scenes, it is clearly meant for mature readers. The story and translation are rather simplistic and it becomes the type of book to breeze through on a plane ride or on a commute; but on the other hand, it’s too long and has several graphic images that could leave a reader self-conscious about reading it in public.
This book is far from being anything epic, but the best quality it has is that it’s relatable, especially to the female audience it is intended for. Almost everyone has had a relationship of some kind where a lack of communication and understanding has caused suffering. If a reader is looking for a decent guilty pleasure, something smutty and easy to read, The Guilty, Vol. 2: Original Sin will certainly deliver.