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Alethea & Athena
Livingstone volume 3 
3rd-Aug-2016 05:28 pm
We have now posted our intent to go to the Noragami art gallery on Facebook. We did it in the least committal way we could think of, because we're always so tentative about everything, but it's a step! Oh, but while we were working today, I kept imagining Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea, and it would be so nice to go back there... I admit, I'm a little worried that too-frequent visits will cause them to lose their sparkle, even though I'm pretty sure that's not the problem with our local Disneyland (at least not all of it, anyway).

But let's prevent ourselves from freaking out too much by changing the subject. It's Review Rednesday! And next on our list is Livingstone volume 3! Spoiler level: moderate.

I think our main thought on this volume is, "Amano IS Yukine!" I think this one is probably being released after the whole "gods' secret" business of Noragami is available Stateside, so by now everyone should understand what I'm about to write about (unless they haven't read through volume 12 of Noragami, in which case, 1)why not? and 2)if you don't, I really don't know if we can be friends, unless you've read some of Noragami and you really just don't care for it, in which case I'll never understand you, but we can still be friends).

Anyway, the point is, Amano has a flashback to when he was alive and a kid, and someone (we assume it's his mother, but you know what they say about assuming) calls him by name, and it's supposed to be all shocking and stuff. And that's when we said, "He IS Yukine!", because the whole "real name" thing is such a big deal in both now. That's not the only similarity, either, of course. Both of them are characters who used to be alive but are not anymore, and neither of them remembers his life before he started his new job. And of course we already talked about their similar appearances, and the fact that they're both punks. Since volume four is the last volume, I guess we'll be finding out more about Amano in that one.

In the meantime, this volume has some pretty fun stories. I think they're supposed to be thought-provoking, but my thoughts don't work that way. Although I did have some thoughts provoked about the first story, where Sakurai inadvertently destroyed a man's soul by saving his life. The main thought was, "Huh, I wonder why that didn't continue to bother him." Maybe because he didn't really do anything and it was kind of an accident/coincidence/whatever, and he sees shattered souls all the time. Or maybe he just doesn't have a whole lot of sympathy for rocks. Now that is thought provoking. It's easy to sympathize with someone when they're a living human being, but when you reduce that life to a rock...

Anyway, I stand by my opinion that I mentioned in an earlier review of this series, which is that if a life plan is so firmly settled already, it shouldn't be that easy to destroy it with all of these completely random accidents. This volume used the word "akkenai" a lot, which basically means "over too easily", and I feel like that word is way more appropriate than the author meant. And thinking about it, if accidents are such a major factor, it wasn't Sakurai's fault that guy lived at all; it was his camera's fault for being wonky. And if you ask me, a wonky camera leading to a coincidence that prevents some guy's death has to be an act of fate, rather than an act against fate. Unless there are two fates at work? I don't know, it's just too deep in some ways and shallow in others.

But all that aside, we really do enjoy this series. Athena pointed out that it was really nice of them to point out that sometimes it isn't a weird accident or a negative point that throws people's plans offtrack, sometimes it's their own series of bad decisions. Of all the stories that tried to be really deep and philosophical, I think that one was the one that was really on the mark. ...Okay, that one and the one about listening to the complaints of the souls. I liked that one, too, because it had a good mix of humor and "What the!?" That lady was messed up. But I also liked it because it is important sometimes to vent your frustrations and have someone validate your feelings, so I liked that they stressed the value of being a listening ear.

The graffiti story was interesting in more ways than one. First, it's when we start to see into Amano's past, which is exactly what we're interested in. And second, all the graffiti terms! We're not sure we had the characters talking exactly like graffiti artists, but we did find out that Wikipedia has a very helpful article on graffiti terms that we were able to use to at least get the lingo in there. Of course, if the lingo is in there and they're still not talking like graffiti artists, that's just going to make it sound even weirder. "I say, old chap, we're bombing under that bridge yonder. Would you care to take a gander?" ...I don't think it was that bad. I'm a little bummed that we couldn't use "slash" for Amano tagging over Rage's piece, but it just didn't quite fit, because they didn't actually say what he did. We probably could have put it in anyway, but I think that might have been trying too hard. I just like the sound of the word "slash".

The chapter with the ghost was very sweet. I always like the idea of a married couple that still loves each other so deeply after so many years.

I think we've covered all of the chapters except that last one. That one was really short, text-wise (except for all the signs, ugh), so it didn't stick in my head as much. It was just lead up for the next volume, too, so it didn't really feel like much happened, even though what happened was pretty important. We look forward to seeing where it takes us.

Today I'm thankful for being slightly ahead of schedule, getting to read a fun review of Livingstone, remembering that we still need to write a review for In/Spectre, the Noragami art gallery site updating with pictures of the merchandise, and getting a shipping confirmation for our next Tokyo Treat box.
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