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Gentle Cage (Novel)  
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"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder," so goes the old adage about art, and nowhere is this truer than in the relationship between Itsuki and Tokiwa. To every one else, Itsuki is nothing more than a useless wallflower, but only Tokiwa can see that the man is actually a diamond-in-the-rough.

It all began eight years ago, when amateur painter Itsuki Hashimoto and up-and-coming sculptor Masatsugu Tokiwa became friends through their love for art. But a few years later, family circumstances forced Itsuki to cut Tokiwa out of his life. Now, Itsuki is living a confined life as the "human pet" of Yamabe-sensei, Tokiwa's former teacher.

Can Tokiwa help Itsuki break free of his cage? Or has Itsuki become too much of a living "doll," without a soul or freewill of his own?


Related Series

Associated Names
Yasashii Ori

Groups Scanlating

Latest Release(s)

Status in Country of Origin
1 Volume (Complete)

Completely Scanlated?

Anime Start/End Chapter

User Reviews


User Rating
Average: 8 / 10.0 (68 votes)
Bayesian Average: 7.55 / 10.0
 24% (16 votes)
 25% (17 votes)
 26% (18 votes)
 4% (3 votes)
 7% (5 votes)
 6% (4 votes)
 1% (1 votes)
 0% (0 votes)
 6% (4 votes)
 0% (0 votes)

Last Updated
June 13th 2017, 7:59am PST



Category Recommendations





Original Publisher

Serialized In (magazine)

Licensed (in English)

English Publisher
June (Complete/Digital & Print)

Activity Stats (vs. other series)
Weekly Pos #764 increased(+78)
Monthly Pos #1401 increased(+450)
3 Month Pos #2646 increased(+1118)
6 Month Pos #5050 increased(+558)
Year Pos #6046 increased(+1379)

List Stats
On 52 reading lists
On 136 wish lists
On 218 completed lists
On 2 unfinished lists
On 101 custom lists

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User Comments [ Order by usefulness ]

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Have a weak spot for reuniting characters   
Rating: 9.0 / 10.0
by Gattaca88
August 14th, 2011, 11:19am
I really liked this because mainly I love it when characters who once knew each other end up meeting up again and falling in love. I am a sucker for those kinds of stories, really romantic smile

Reading this, I really felt that the two characters loved each other. Even though the seme used force(which I don't like in yaoi) but I can understand that it added to the plot (yaoi plot of course). The point I think was to show us that he can't control his emotions when it comes to Itsuki. He sees how wonderful Itsuki and the fact that Itsuki doesn't acknowledge his own greatness made Tokiwa lose it. Tokiwa is very passionate to say the least.

It's actually not a bad yaoi novel. I enjoyed it.

p.s I loved the detailed smex parts "cough"

... Last updated on August 14th, 2011, 11:23am
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not my kink   
Rating: 5.0 / 10.0
by pleochroic
April 7th, 2011, 10:35pm
honestly, i get why people have rape fantasies, i get why there is an attraction in being overpowered into sensation that sweeps you away -- without any responsibility to boot; you can still be a good girl; yay. whatever you do in your own head is fine by me; your kink is ok. but it's not my kink, and to me this is a fantasy about somebody getting raped when he is at his most vulnerable (and he does in fact NOT enjoy it at all the second time). i'm not even a social worker, but i find it ... distasteful at best, totally deluded at worst.

and i don't think it's particularly deep; it's one of those dreadfully cliche BL tropes that has, IMO, been done to death, but hardly ever well. it's not done well here either. there are seeds of a better story (which could even have a rape in it; fine, i can find an excuse if needed); but i don't feel it gets there. itsuki is potentially a good character with some interesting motivations for his actions, but he's just painted as too dense and without agency -- until the end when he finally grows a spine, and by that time i was worn out from the unrelenting abuse he gets from people who all allegedly care about him. tokiwa is one of the abusers (who must REALLY love itsuki because he says "i'm sorry i was such a jerk" -- did he bring flowers too? isn't that what remorseful abusers are supposed to do the day after they beat the crap out of their "loved" partner?). how about "i'm sorry i jumped to bullshit conclusions even though you were my friend and i should have known that there was something really WRONG for you to drop out of sight?" how about "i'm sorry i raped you twice instead of supporting you when you were already hurting?" tokiwa is no different than yamabe. oh hell, he is worse, because yamabe at least gives itsuka something in return for his abuse, even though the price is too high, but tokiwa just takes what he wants. this is not the knight in shining armour i was looking for; he is part of the problem, not of the solution. and he doesn't even redeem himself by rescuing itsuka in some way; itsuka rescues himself; aided by chance. ok, i like that part, but it leaves tokiwa totally in the cold from my point of view.

technically the pacing at the end is totally off; there's an infodump that belongs either much earlier, or needs to be cut. the translation is decent, for the most part. even the editing is decent for DMP. the art is sexy, yes. the sex scenes are mostly not, because there's something off with how they are written.

... Last updated on April 7th, 2011, 10:39pm
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Ah! Yaoi Fantasy At It's Finest!   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by MightyMaeve
January 4th, 2010, 8:06am
This is one of my favourite yaoi novels; it has all the typical fantasy elements that I want in a smutty sort of novel that raises the hackles of social workers! LOL!

The relationship of the seme and uke includes rage, possessiveness, ownership, angst, and non-conish-conflict all merrily alongside tender, sweet, protective and loving. It accumulates in an ultimate, if socially-unacceptable/unbelievable, happy resolution!

The art is very sexy!
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Intriguing story!   
Rating: 9.0 / 10.0
by Poemi
December 3rd, 2008, 1:54am
I can only really add my own perspective to Sleepy Sheepy's great review. The story starts off slow, imo. I had given up my first time trying to read it, and picked it up again when I was bored. I'm glad I did, because my interest really picked up once the main characters met up. Before that, I just thought, "where is this going? Is it going anywhere at all??" Yes, it can be a bit of a downer, but it pulled me in. I felt happiness, I felt righteous anger, I felt sorrow, and I felt grateful relief. It seemed to incorporate the good and bad of humanity in a sincere, non-biased way. There were misunderstandings between characters, but in the end, they were accepted for who they were and not condemned for what they did or how they seemed because they were human. That was the impression I got. Maybe I read into it too much, or maybe because that's just the main character's way of thinking? I don't know, but I thought it was deep and I was sad when I had nothing left to read.
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Gentle Cage   
Rating: 8.0 / 10.0
by Sleepy_Sheepy
August 18th, 2008, 4:18pm
I can honestly say this has better writting than most of the novels currently available, even if I wasn't too fond of the ending and didn't like the story as much as some of the others, it was at least writing style wise better than the others, it flowed well and despite most of it taking place with a two character interaction, it still read well. Most of this story is told from Itsuki's perspective, and it does get awfully annoying how dense he can be and how he thinks , but it does get better.

Though, the illustrations don't really match the story so well, on one page it clearly describes Itsuki as having black hair several times, the illustration opposite it, and even the cover, show him as a blonde. And despite the fact that Yamabe is clearly an important part of this story, he is never shown.

DMP seems to have picked up a proofreader at last, because there were only moderate typos in this publication as opposed to one on almost every page of their earlier works. They seem to still be having a few issues with things like 'it's' and 'its' but it is very infrequent now, and I only spotted one outright misspelling, 'his' written as 'hiw.'

I'd recomend it to read if you like a bit of a downer story wise and can tolerate a bit of a dense protagonist. I would not recomend it if you are just looking for porn, there are a few scenes but this is mostly story. That, and the way they write the sex scenes had me a little lost as to what was happening.

Finally, I know that the old description is right off of June's site:
""Possessions should act like possessions, and give up gracefully."

Private Secretary to a high powered businessman, Itsuki is surprised to hear that his employer has named the temperamental, sculptor Hitachi as the successor to his business. But does that include Itsuki himself? Hitachi seems to think so! Luckily, Itsuki has carried a torch for Hitachi for sometime now. So while Hitachi treats him as a doll with no free will, who exactly is the prisoner in the situation, is still up for debate…"

But, ah, aside from Itsuki and his mention of being a sort of doll like man, it's hard to say that this description is even from the same book. I mean, there isn't even a character named Hitachi. The man that loves Itsuki and who is inheriting his estate is named Masatsugu Tokiwa. Also Itsuki isn't a secretary, he's a human pet, and finally the man who owned him wasn't a 'high powered business man' he was a fellow sculptor with a large inheritance. So I'm just writing up what is on the back of the book. I sort of wonder how they botched the name of the main love interest. I know the descriptions on the site far predate the release of the books themselves, I wonder if he didn't have a name change at some point.
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