We Were There 13

November 12, 2011

Yuuki Obata – Viz – 2011 – 15+ volumes

I like this series, and I’m happy to see that it’s continued after its hiatus in Japan. But this volume… I was thinking that there wasn’t too much story left to tell, either Nanami would or wouldn’t find Yano. But this volume makes it seem like Nanami and Yano are going to go through all this emotional stuff all over again. We Were There is one of the best at emotional stuff, to be sure. No series captures drama with quite the same degree of melancholy, cutting accuracy. You really feel just how depressed all these characters are. The supporting characters’ concern oozes off the page. And you can taste Yano’s lies in your own mouth.

All the same, we’ve been over all this before. Has the story really circled back around to become about whether Yano loves Nanami enough to be with her? Are we really still dealing with Yamamoto? And I hate that Yano seems to deny himself because he’s surrounded by clingy women he can’t say no to. He’s basically just put his mother, Yamamoto, and her sister Nana all in the same camp, and denies himself because he can’t say no. They’re not strong enough to live without him. Really?

I’m not sure how I feel about the marriage proposal, and how much of the volume was devoted to Nanami. She made many good decisions along the way, and I like that there was no right answer to her problem. Yes, Takeuchi has been there for her all this time. Yes, she shouldn’t marry him if she can’t forget Yano. Yes, she should just forget Yano since he made such a point of dropping off the face of the Earth. She put serious thought into this problem, and whether or not she should let her chance to see Yano pass since he clearly doesn’t want to see her. But this was basically what went on through the entire book. I hated seeing it stretched out over so many pages and situations.

But I can’t overstate how well it’s written. It may be circling itself, and it may be dragging its feet and filling 200 pages with stuff that can be condensed in 50, but I can’t stop reading it. It still really knows how to tug your heartstrings, and that’s what I like best about reading shoujo manga. I can’t give up on Nanami and Yano until they get together as adults. And I still really like the fact this graduated from high school romance into adulthood. It may be circling, but now that Nanami and Yano have full control of their lives, once they’ve made up their minds there won’t be any outside forces to take them apart. I’m in it for the long haul, now.

This was a review copy provided by Viz.

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