Memoirs of an Amorous Gentleman
(鼻下長紳士回顧録) by Moyoco Anno
Following in the footsteps of many of Moyoco Anno’s other works, Memoirs of an Amorous Gentlemen centers around a brothel and its employees and patrons in early 20th century Paris. I supposed you could call it a “slice-of-life” series but obviously the setting gives it a much more colorful angle, much like Ms. Anno’s Sakuran.
The story is told by Colette, a young working girl, with a way of observing those around her with calm despite the many odd, emotional, and dramatic happenings.
You may at first find yourself wondering why it is called Memoirs of an Amorous Gentleman if our narrator is Colette. And considering the state of her relationship with her boyfriend Leon, you’d hardly consider him the “amorous gentleman” of the title either. But it just so happens that Colette is writing down her thoughts in a borrowed book from one of her clients who encouraged her to write.
“I just knew I had to try to write these feelings down . . .
or the pain would never leave me.”
Moyoco Anno discusses some harsh realities of the girls while also portraying their friendships and loves. Many moments of levity come from the bizarre patrons of the brothel. Ms. Anno perfectly moves between these many moments and to deftly create the feeling of life’s many ups and downs.