So, yes! Conclusion! It was pleasing to me. Not as earth-shattering as the endings I enjoy most, but I was pleased when everything at least went back to a normal alignment.
This volume was AGONIZING to read most of the way through. Yoshizumi mentions that at this point in the series the anime hadn’t ended yet and the staff had asked her to fill out the manga so that the endings coincided. You can totally tell, because it’s so hard to read this volume since my two favorites are just angsting all the way through. It’s hard to read.
The ending with the parents, though I liked the parents a lot, I kinda hated the convenience of it. I also didn’t like seeing the parents so serious. It was extremely out-of-character for them, and I wish it hadn’t involved them so much.
But I loved this series overall. It was just the right length, I liked the pairing, and there was much less drama than your typical shoujo series. Bravo. I’m glad I made the effort to collect all of it when I heard it was out of print.
This volume made me SO SAD. Once the drama between Miki and Yuu had been cleared up from last volume, and just when things had been set right with Akizuki (who I do like, though I don’t like the fact she was still wishing for things to be set right), shit hits the fan.
Yuu is of course an asshole about it. One of the shoujo plot conventions I hate the most is when manly men keep secrets bottled up inside and alienate the womenfolk. This is an instance of that, and I just HATED seeing the two characters torn apart the way they were here. I felt so bad for Miki, and bullshit to all the characters who tried to get the reader to sympathize with Yuu.
You hear me Miwa? Bullshit.
Yeah, Kei was the other boy’s name that was introduced last volume. I don’t like Kei much either, he’s kind of a spoiled brat, and I hate how he forces himself on Miki and all the trouble he causes. I guess I just hate drama in this series that directly affects Miki and Yuu, because they’re happy together so much of the time.
And I’ll say this again: I hate Suzu. She causes no end of mayhem here. We see a lot of her, and she does a ton of things that I hate. She’s just obnoxious all around. I guess Kei has his own share of mayhem, and I hate what the two as a tag team do to Miki and Yuu. Bah. I hate that they both found happiness in the end. Curse them.
I like Akizuki a lot though, and I like what happens to her career here, thanks to Miwa. But poor, poor Miwa…
This series is great at making me feel bad for Ginta. I love the kid, but it seems like the entire thing was engineered to make him a loser in life. I’m quite pleased Arimi’s scheme begins to work it’s real magic in this volume though, because it would be sad if we got another situation like the Miwa one.
It’s admirable that there are only about four new characters introduced throughout the run of the series, because generally this type is fond of springing new love interests a lot… but I guess it isn’t long enough for that. But of Arimi, Miwa, Suzu, and the boy who develops a crush on Miki, Miwa’s the only one I wound up liking a lot, and I just sort of tolerated Arimi. I HATED Suzu. I hated everything about Suzu. I hate the story arc here where she’s introduced and does the commerical with Yuu (though I loved the eventual outcome of the commerical itself), I hate the complications she brings into the story next volume, and I just hated her as a character. Bleagh.
But lots of happy stuff between Miki and Yuu here, which is certainly a rarity in shoujo manga. I enjoyed the long stretches of happiness between the two of them immensely.
Ugh. Obligatory Christmas chapter right away. We get to see more of Arimi’s scheme in action though, which is quite cute, and I like how Miki reacts to everything, and I liked the scene where Yuu had to pull Miki and Ginta apart. The scheme worked out nicely all around, I think.
The Meiko turmoil here is just sad. I like Meiko a lot, but it hurts me when she’s a bitch to Miki, and the entire thing she goes through here with the principal is just sad. I liked Meiko a lot better after everything here was resolved, but it was good drama while it was going on, particularly the conflict between her and Miki.
Ahh… at the end, so begins the Yuu/Miwa pairing.
The Miwa/Yuu pairing in the first chapter of this volume was an absolute riot. Miwa was one of my favorites throughout the rest of the series as a result, mullet or no mullet. Miki is weirdly homophobic there, though. Perhaps it’s her crush talking.
The real subplot with Miwa and what it’s hiding, sort of the real plot of the series I guess, is annoying though. I hate how Yuu keeps everything a big secret from absolutely everybody, and does all this unnecessary stuff to hide what he’s doing. Annoying, Yuu. All the secretive business with Miwa throughout this volume was pretty boring, and I was glad to see things turn more towards Miki later on.
But yes, I liked Miwa/Akizuki better than just plain Nacchan. I was actually kind of disapplointed by that, actually.
The Akizuki/Nachan stuff threw this way into CCS-forbidden love territory for me. But I’m used to that by now, so it wasn’t so shocking.
I felt honestly bad for Ginta, and I still didn’t really like Miki. I felt like Miki needed to either stop griping about Yuu or decide what she really wanted. Please, Miki. I liked Tsutomu a lot throughout the series, but I felt like it brought out some annoying stereotypes in Ginta early on.
The tennis match was kind of boring, but I may be burned out on Tennis after Tennis no Oujisama. I LOVED Arimi’s little scheme at the end of this volume though, it brought out wonderful things in all the characters, and I liked it’s eventual long-term outcome too.
So when I found out this series was out of print, I scrambled around the city and scrounged up all but volume 2, and I bought that one off eBay. Then I let it sit on my shelf for a year. After taking a look at the list of my backlog, I thought that perhaps I should read the series I shelled out $80 for when I could least afford it.
I was afraid of this being the same sort of sugary shoujo I’ve been reading in spades lately. Perhaps I haven’t been reading it in spades, I’d have to go back through this thing, but at any rate, I’ve been getting a bit tired of high school romances.
I was actually pleasantly surprised by this one, it’s quite different and distinct, and perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised… it is MARMALADE BOY, after all. So we got the situation with the partner swap at the beginning, which didn’t strike me as the parents being swingers until I actually read the book, then I realized they had fucking swapped partners, which is pretty weird. I hated Miki initially, too. Although I think her reactions to that situation were justified, she just sort of comes off as the stereotypical shoujo overreacting heroine.
The setup with Miki and Yuu initially could kind of go both ways, but you know in this type of story the hate will eventually dissolve between the two. The one thing that I found to be different and slightly unsettling was that Yuu’s thoughts are never shared, so you don’t get to pin him down. He’s sort of this mystery man throughout the series, and I liked that, and I liked that it was sort of frustrating for the first couple volumes.
Arimi and Ginta are kind of expected, though I wondered if Miki and Ginta would go out for awhile and if the plot would only settle on Yuu/Miki at the very end.
But yeah, not Hot Gimmick/Parakiss good, but good shoujo all the same.