I've never read Mishima before, but he's definitely got a skill for psychological characterization, especially when it comes to developing his characters hang-ups and disappointments. A lot of authors seem to rely in uber-dense prose, or on fragmentary narrative techniques to get inside people's heads, Mishima has a lighter touch, but one that's no less effective. The contrast he builds between the adult world and the adolescent one is especially effective, 13 year old boys ARE a bunch of insecure little shits. The dynamic between Noboru, his mom and Ryuji seems a little too cheaply Freudian at times, but each of them was so interesting that I found myself not really minding, and throughout the whole thing, you always have the sea serving as this perfectly oblique leitmotif. It definitely made me want to read more of Mishima's stuff.