October 19, 2015
Maki Murakami – Tokyopop – 2005 – 12 volumes
I’m dragging my feet with reading these last few volumes. It didn’t help that the author notes on the first page said “Personally, I think this volume is the most uninteresting so far, but hopefully you readers were fooled into buying it. … I can’t even think of ideas to fill this dead space here anymore.” Not exactly a vote of confidence. I’ve also read 10 volumes of this series, and the humor is so bizarre that I can’t tell if she’s joking there or not.
I thought this volume was a little better than the past couple. Shuichi is back in Japan, and Rage continues to insinuate herself into his life, even scoring a (self-proclaimed, later official) position as Bad Luck’s manager. He still has ups and downs with Yuki, too. At the beginning of the volume, he’s hot to get Yuki to say he loves him, but he’s basically useless at work after Yuki tells him that he can never love anyone but the dead Yuki Kitazawa. So there’s a lot of back and forth about that, and a scheme to get Yuki to forget Kitazawa.
Musical competition starts up again towards the end of the volume, which comes after another character points out that the only gigs Bad Luck ever do are bad TV shows that aren’t music-themed.
I was happy to see a bit of Hiro again, but admittedly, the relationship between Yuki and Shuichi is still pretty messed up, and that’s never fun to slog through. It was also hard to understand where all the characters are going (there’s a huge shuffle at N-G, and a lot of the side characters are elsewhere now). But next volume might be better between Yuki and Shuichi, and we might also get to see more competition between Bad Luck and Nittle Grasper. This series isn’t great at drama, because it’s heart is in slapstick. So it’ll be nice if we see more of that next time.