August 30, 2015
Tsugumi Ohba / Takeshi Obata – Viz – 2013 – 20 volumes
On one hand, they talk a lot about Reversi anime in this volume, and I’m right there with them. They’re just so excited, and the whole series has been building up to this. The pages where they get various pieces of news are some of the best we’ve seen in awhile.
On the other hand, this of course ties in to the relationship between Mashiro and Azuki. I hate it when the series glorifies their weird relationship. The characters call it “pure” and say that the pair are “endangered species”… but both of them are in their mid-twenties now, and have been “dating” since middle school, and haven’t seen each other in years and years. I’m glad they both had a dream to work towards, and I’m glad they’re finally there, but I’m still not real clear on what that has to do with not seeing each other.
Their ambiguous relationship status causes problems here, and is a major point of contention at the end of the volume. As weird as their relationship is, fans of idols in Japan are even weirder. I actually saw two news stories today about people threatening women or being arrested for harassment, so I suspect there’s not much exaggeration in this story. Also fairly realistic was the fact that, when someone told the true story of Mashiro and Azuki’s relationship, nobody believed it.
Aside from the main event, there’s a New Year’s holiday chapter at the beginning of the volume that may be my second-favorite chapter of the series, after the one where Hanamaru tries to ask Aoki out and Yasuda tries to stop him with the world’s best backhanded compliments. The New Year’s chapter being great is somewhat more of a feat than even the Hanamaru chapter, because I don’t like Shujin, Saiko, or Kaya that much.
There’s some Nizuma in this volume too, who I do like, though other than some weird comments and stuffing his face with food, he doesn’t really have a huge role.
The next volume is the last. I do like this series, despite itself, but I think I’m ready to see it end.