Anyone who has read Yugi Yamada’s captivating love triangle series “Close the Last Door / Saigo no Door wo Shimero!” (first published in 2001 in Japanese, and in 2006 in English) or has seen the anime version of the first three chapters of the series (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1e93BiM-kvY) has encountered sweet and sneaky 25-year-old Toshihisa Saitou, the adorable crush of lead character 27-year-old Atsushi Nagai. Saitou competes with 25-year-old Kenzou Honda for Nagai’s affections.

There is plenty of evidence that Saitou loves Nagai in return. But is Saitou bisexual? Is he straight? (Having had a girlfriend or even a wife means nothing in Yaoi literature, where every character is potentially a latent homosexual, no matter what his romantic past.) We can say with confidence that he is cute and flirtatious, at least where Nagai is concerned.

Below are links to parts of the story that tell us about Saitou and his feelings toward Nagai. In the final link (39.), Honda’s brother is described as the one who opened the door, while Saitou is the one who closed the door. In other words, “the door” is the entrance to the series of linked stories Yugi Yamada wrote concerning the three Honda brothers. But in a deeper sense, “the door” is the door to true love, and Nagai and Kenzou Honda will only find happiness when Saitou closes the door on his attraction to Nagai and moves on with his own life. The love between Saitou and Nagai is a powerful platonic love, and Saitou was willing to consummate it to keep it alive, but Nagai was wise enough to realize that it would have died had it been sexualized.

Yugi Yamada in this series has given us a lesson in the kind of love first described by Plato in The Symposium: “when a person meets the half that is his very own, whatever his orientation, whether it’s to young men or not, then something wonderful happens: the two are struck from their senses by love, by a sense of belonging to one another, and by desire, and they don’t want to be separated from one another, not even for a moment.” She tells us that this kind of love does not need to result in loneliness – it can be mixed with an erotic sexual love, in this case between Nagai and Honda. In connecting these two kinds of love, Yugi Yamada has delivered a powerful and profound message to gay couples everywhere.

Here’s what we know about Saitou and his feelings:

  1. Nagai met Saitou at a Nature Club in college, when Nagai was a senior and Saitou an underclassman – Nagai is an office colleague of Saitou and best man at his wedding to Remi, while Honda is an office colleague of Remi and one of her former lovers: http://www.mangatown.com/manga/saigo_no_door_wo_shimero/c001/4.html http://www.mangatown.com/manga/saigo_no_door_wo_shimero/c001/6.html
  2. After taking care of Saitou throughout their friendship, Nagai realizes he loves Saitou when he hears about the wedding while they are hiking in the mountains: http://www.mangatown.com/manga/saigo_no_door_wo_shimero/c001/9.html
  3.  Abandoned by Remi the morning after the wedding, Saitou seeks comfort from Nagai : http://www.mangatown.com/manga/saigo_no_door_wo_shimero/c001/14.html
  4. Later on the phone, Saitou tells Nagai “I should have married someone like you”: http://www.mangatown.com/manga/saigo_no_door_wo_shimero/c001/16.html
  5. Saitou first learns about Nagai’s new friendship Honda when he goes drinking with them to forget about his wedding: http://www.mangatown.com/manga/saigo_no_door_wo_shimero/c001/19.html http://www.mangatown.com/manga/saigo_no_door_wo_shimero/c002/
  6. After a drinking party at which he was reminded of the wedding, Saitou hugs, kisses and starts undressing Nagai: http://www.mangatown.com/manga/saigo_no_door_wo_shimero/c001/6.html http://www.mangatown.com/manga/saigo_no_door_wo_shimero/c002/12.html
  7. Saitou invites Honda out for a drink and reveals that: he is jealous of Nagai’s former girlfriend Ryouko; thinking about Nagai almost made him forget about Remi; he drunkenly kissed Nagai; and Nagai looked “so cute” when they kissed: http://www.mangatown.com/manga/saigo_no_door_wo_shimero/c003/4.html http://www.mangatown.com/manga/saigo_no_door_wo_shimero/c003/5.html
  8. Jealous of Saitou, Honda makes love to Nagai and asks him if he was better than Saitou, to which Nagai replies in the negative “I like Saitou!” just as Saitou walks in – both Honda and Saitou wanted to stay the night at Nagai’s apartment after the last train had left: http://www.mangatown.com/manga/saigo_no_door_wo_shimero/c003/14.html
  9. Two months after the wedding, Saitou cheers up and says he is glad when reminded that Nagai has been single for a year: http://www.mangatown.com/manga/saigo_no_door_wo_shimero/c004/13.html
  10. Upset after meeting Remi, Saitou gives Nagai a long hug and asks if he can stay at Nagai’s apartment for awhile: http://www.mangatown.com/manga/saigo_no_door_wo_shimero/c004/16.html
  11. When Nagai tucks him in, Saitou asks Nagai to stay with him while he falls asleep: http://www.mangatown.com/manga/saigo_no_door_wo_shimero/c005/4.html
  12. Saitou distracts Nagai by wandering around the apartment half naked after bathing: http://www.mangatown.com/manga/saigo_no_door_wo_shimero/c005/7.html
  13. When Nagai comforts Saitou prior to a meeting with Remi, Saitou kisses Nagai, giggles and says “I love you”: http://www.mangatown.com/manga/saigo_no_door_wo_shimero/c005/18.html
  14. Five months after the wedding, when Saitou gets a new car, he says Nagai is the one he wants to ride with, as opposed to a girl: http://www.mangatown.com/manga/saigo_no_door_wo_shimero/c005.5/
  15. When Nagai says he has to go meet Honda, Saitou asks if he likes Honda more than him, and then kisses Nagai in the street: http://www.mangatown.com/manga/saigo_no_door_wo_shimero/c005.5/4.html
  16. When Nagai is drifting off to sleep, Saitou says ” What’s happening to me, you just look so cute lately” and kisses Nagai, who sleepily mistakes him for Honda and kisses him back: http://www.mangatown.com/manga/saigo_no_door_wo_shimero/c005.5/8.html
  17. When Nagai says he has to meet with Honda instead of going for a ride, Saitou says “What do you two do together?”: http://www.mangatown.com/manga/saigo_no_door_wo_shimero/c005.5/9.html
  18. After Saitou crashes his car, he calls Nagai and runs to his embrace: http://www.mangatown.com/manga/saigo_no_door_wo_shimero/c005.5/14.html
  19. Saitou competes with Honda to buy Nagai the best Christmas presents: http://www.mangatown.com/manga/saigo_no_door_wo_shimero/c006/9.html
  20. For Valentine’s Day, Saitou buys Nagai chocolate: http://www.mangatown.com/manga/saigo_no_door_wo_shimero/c007/8.html
  21. A year after Nagai and Honda start dating, Nagai lets slip that he and Honda are practising baseball every night, and Saitou is surprised that they see each other every night: http://www.mangatown.com/manga/saigo_no_door_wo_shimero/c008/4.html
  22. Nagai still can’t tell his idol Saitou the truth about his relationship with Honda, but Saitou notices how close they are: http://www.mangatown.com/manga/saigo_no_door_wo_shimero/c008/7.html
  23. All of Saitou’s free time is suddenly taken up, and Honda suspects he has a girlfriend: http://www.mangatown.com/manga/saigo_no_door_wo_shimero/c008/9.html
  24. A humourous chart shows that Saitou is the cause of 48% of the fights between Nagai and Honda: http://www.mangatown.com/manga/saigo_no_door_wo_shimero/c008/12.html
  25. Saitou denies to Nagai that he is dating a woman, and Saitou asks why Nagai spends all his time with Honda: http://www.mangatown.com/manga/saigo_no_door_wo_shimero/c008/14.html
  26. Saitou brings his 18-year-old cousin Yuka to Honda’s baseball game because she wants to meet Nagai, who tells her that he doesn’t have a girlfriend but does have someone he loves: http://www.mangatown.com/manga/saigo_no_door_wo_shimero/c008/26.html http://www.mangatown.com/manga/saigo_no_door_wo_shimero/c008/27.html
  27. Saitou later comes by to ask whom Nagai loves – when Nagai says “you?” Saitou hugs him and says “me too!”: http://www.mangatown.com/manga/saigo_no_door_wo_shimero/c008/34.html http://www.mangatown.com/manga/saigo_no_door_wo_shimero/c009/4.html http://www.mangatown.com/manga/saigo_no_door_wo_shimero/c009/5.html
  28. Saitou turns bashful when he learns that he and Nagai will be going on a business trip together: http://www.mangatown.com/manga/saigo_no_door_wo_shimero/c009/6.html http://www.mangatown.com/manga/saigo_no_door_wo_shimero/c009/7.html
  29. An apparently drunk Saitou kisses Nagai in the street, after kissing a girl: http://www.mangatown.com/manga/saigo_no_door_wo_shimero/c009/18.html
  30. But Saitou isn’t drunk, and he hugs Nagai later in his hotel room – Nagai says “I’ve been keeping it from you for a long time, but I’ve been seeing Honda” and Saitou answers “I know, did you think I didn’t know?” and starts to make love to him – Saitou thinks Nagai and Honda are together for the sex: http://www.mangatown.com/manga/saigo_no_door_wo_shimero/c009/20.html http://www.mangatown.com/manga/saigo_no_door_wo_shimero/c009/22.html http://www.mangatown.com/manga/saigo_no_door_wo_shimero/c009/23.html http://www.mangatown.com/manga/saigo_no_door_wo_shimero/c009/24.html http://www.mangatown.com/manga/saigo_no_door_wo_shimero/c009/25.html
  31. Then Saitou says “I thought you’d never tell me … I decided to pretend I didn’t know until you said something … I thought we’d be together forever” – Nagai says “I can’t be yours because I’m already completely his” and Saitou replies “I see. I don’t stand a chance at all” and he asks to be alone for awhile: http://www.mangatown.com/manga/saigo_no_door_wo_shimero/c009/27.html http://www.mangatown.com/manga/saigo_no_door_wo_shimero/c009/28.html
  32. But Saitou correctly guesses that Nagai would rescue him before Honda: http://www.mangatown.com/manga/saigo_no_door_wo_shimero/c009/36.html
  33. Returning from the business trip, Saitou sends Honda an email telling him to pick up Nagai who is exhausted – as he is leaving the terminal, Saitou winks and says “Honda, I don’t mind a threesome”: http://www.mangatown.com/manga/saigo_no_door_wo_shimero/c009/36.html
  34. Honda is extremely relieved and happy when Nagai tells him that he told Saitou about their relationship: http://www.mangatown.com/manga/saigo_no_door_wo_shimero/c010/15.html
  35. Saitou suggests Nagai and Honda move in together to save rent so they can buy a home: http://www.mangatown.com/manga/saigo_no_door_wo_shimero/c010/19.html
  36. Saitou’s biographical information: Toshisha Saitou, born March 31st, blood type AB, 167 centimeters, 60 kg, the strongest seme in the series, even though he gets drunk easily, he likes cocktails made from rum: http://www.mangatown.com/manga/saigo_no_door_wo_shimero/c010/20.html
  37. A long time later, Saitou tells Nagai he can’t go out drinking because he has a date with a girl he met at a party, but he’ll cancel to be with Nagai – Saitou is described as “27 years old aggressive seme” – he takes Nagai to the bar tended by Honda’s brother instead: http://www.mangatown.com/manga/saigo_no_door_wo_shimero/c010/43.html http://www.mangatown.com/manga/saigo_no_door_wo_shimero/c010/46.html
  38. In “Extra Companion Story 2: Saitou’s Story” he reveals that he has a girlfriend who is three years older – she cancels on a date and he finds himself in the Demon Bar tended by Hoshino Soichi from chapter 3 in Yugi Yamada’s “Arienai Futari” series – Nagai texts Saitou asking him to join him at another bar, but Saitou knows Nagai must have fought with Honda and texts Honda to come get Nagai or he’ll steal him away – Saitou then tells Kiyoshi Mizuno that “someone I used to like is having trouble with their lover” – he makes one last prank text to Nagai before he leaves them to their happiness, thinking “I’ll always love you, Sempai”: http://www.mangatown.com/manga/saigo_no_door_wo_shimero/c010/64.html http://www.mangatown.com/manga/saigo_no_door_wo_shimero/c010/65.html http://www.mangatown.com/manga/saigo_no_door_wo_shimero/c010/66.html http://www.mangatown.com/manga/saigo_no_door_wo_shimero/c010/69.html http://www.mangatown.com/manga/saigo_no_door_wo_shimero/c010/71.html
  39. Kiyoshi Mizuno describes Saitou as an unavailable angelic demon (although he later finds happiness himself with Peach Pie Bar Mama): http://www.mangatown.com/manga/arienai_futari/v01/c004.5/2.html

 

 

 

 

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