We Were There 12

January 2, 2012

Yuki Obata – Viz – 2011 – 15+ volumes

One more book I skipped reviewing. Somewhere, there’s a volume of Knights of the Zodiac, too, and when I find it, I’ll write that one up. I also lost a copy of Seiho Boys’ High School 6, if you happen to run across it somewhere, but I already reviewed it here. Obviously I’m doing some sorting and cataloging over my winter holiday.

Anyway. This series makes it very hard to sympathize with The Other Woman. I’m not exactly sure how that works, though. The story is told from Nanami’s point of view, so we’ve been right there with her as she fell in love and went through all the teenage drama with Yano, and when he made all the promises and disappeared. And we’ve been with her into her adult years as she waited and looked and tried to get over it but couldn’t. So it’s easy to get angry at any other woman that might desire to date Yano.

On the other hand… if Yano doesn’t chose Nanami… isn’t that his choice? It’s less of a shoujo manga that way, and granted, The Other Woman isn’t written to be sympathetic. But she tried just as hard. And she succeeded. My brain is telling me that it doesn’t really matter, but that’s just not how shoujo manga works. It also doesn’t help that Yano is a complete jerk about everything. He always has been, though.

The big thing here is that the story catches up to Yano, and we find out what he’s been up to and how his life has gone once he left Nanami. His reasons are terrible, and it’s really easy to just hate his guts. He doesn’t seem that happy. Nobody does. This is where the shoujo manga logic kicks in again, because someone should be happy here. Not even The Other Woman seems all that pleased with herself. She just succeeded, is all.

Bah. Yano, you jerk. I don’t even know why I care anymore. Well, I do know why I care. This is unparalleled soap opera drama. That the characters have aged and are now doing this crap as adults is a huge bonus, since these stories never follow characters into adulthood, with adult problems like this. This is another reason why We Were There is worth reading. But I must admit, you have to have an awful high tolerance for melodrama (which I totally do) and also forgive the characters a lot of understandable faults in order to enjoy this.

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