Wow, how DEPRESSING. I wasn’t really expecting this series to have a happy ending, and in a way it was bittersweet and extremely Japanese, but wow. A stomach socker.
I say extremely Japanese because a mech comes out of nowhere, and I tend to avoid that particular cultural fascination the way I tend to avoid reality TV and Paris Hilton. Other than that, it was really awesome, but just really depressing. I felt like the actions weren’t necessary, and I wasn’t sure why it had to go that far, or how it got to go that far.
The one thing I was a bit mad about was that it always seemed like Shuji and Chise were being punished throughout the entire series for being shy with each other. This is NORMAL. I had a more-or-less boyfriend for about six or seven years where we never spoke of or confirmed our relationship, but there was certainly something there all the same. Should the two be taking it out on themselves for never saying the right thing? Should they be taking it out on themselves so hard for not being able to have sex with one another? God no. I felt like Chise’s slow rotting bodily destruction had a lot to do with that, and I didn’t want it to. I wanted to reach in and grab them both and shake them and say “JUST DO WHAT FEELS RIGHT AND COMFORTABLE!”
How did this rank in with my strict view of series endings? I don’t know. I don’t know. It was certainly mind-blowing, and even though it didn’t go any of the routes I foresaw, it went a route I should’ve seen coming, and it went there in such a hard and extreme way it was just… cathartic. It was really hard to deal with. Rough. Yeah, I guess it was amazing.
I did get to find out what the last love song on this little planet was too, which was nice.
I really, really liked this volume… I wanna say more than any other, but each volume has its charms. I liked this one because it got more away from the action than any of the others, and it was more about Shuji and Chise than any other volume… and this may merely be because all the other characters are dead at this point.
As a matter of fact, this steps way outside the action and poses them as a normal newlywed couple trying to get along in war-torn Japan, and it was quite charming. There were a number of sad moments as you saw how the townspeople as well as Chise and Shuji had to adapt, but overall it was a nice break from DRAMA DRAMA DRAMA.
That jumped right back in our faces at the very end though, and we have the fates of both in the balance as a cliffhanger. One of the best cliffhangers ever, and I have to wait until January for the conclusion. I am looking forward to a totally knock-your-socks-off ending to this series.
Sometimes I’m not too sure if I like this series much… it tries so very hard to be the saddest thing I ever read, and it does succeed, but I think it succeeds, then the characters just keep fucking that dead corpse of sadness, and I just have to stare and move on.
Lots of sex in this volume. I’m always all about the sex, and some of it here was very sad sex. Which I am also all about.
My favorite scene by far, the only one that made me actually cry, was when Shiuji was having a drink with all his friends in the classroom. He repeated one gesture twice… and I lost it. It was so sad. It even beat the huge scene that was probably meant to be the climax of the volume… but I also liked that scene very much. Very sad, very nice, and I think it was a good thing to have in the series, despite how I felt about the scene itself.
And the end of the volume was just… aww. I kinda wonder how it can go on two more volumes, because things seem to be reaching a head here. Looking forward to it.
I can not believe I haven’t written about this series here yet. It’s easily one of the better ones I’m reading now. One of those things that’s good for people who collect manga, so you should buy it.
I was reading some stuff at “The Trash” (go to the links section, don’t wanna hotlink too much in this log), and she was talking about how the Japanese prefered their series more “wet,” or with more emotional representation… the characters constantly talking about how they feel. Well, this series is SOAKED. This volume is largely just the characters talking about how they feel. Shuji, Chise, Akemi, and Atsushi. There’s a big event that happens, and they get into some more detail on the SDF, but mostly it’s just about those characters, their feelings, and their emotions. That can be said of the whole series, really, but this volume more than most has more talking and less action. Normally I’d be extremely put off by a pack of whiney bitches like that, but in this series, I adore it. With the exception of Shuji, who gets the majority of the focus and thus we hear a lot from him that begins to get on my nerves, I LOVED hearing from all the characters.
And I don’t wanna say nothing happened plot-wise. Action-wise, there was only one major event. Plot-wise, a lot of stuff happened, and one thing notably didn’t happen that had me aching through the whole volume because I thought it was gonna.
Yes. Buy Saikano. Do me a favor, and do it for the kittens who need the milk.