The family vacation is over, and we're back to a somewhat normal schedule. The only problem is we're completely wiped out and only barely able to function. So, even though ideally we'd be working away happily on a project that has already promised to be more time-consuming than originally anticipated, we're going to call it a day in the hopes that we can work more effectively after some proper rest. And we're also going to hope that the chapter of Cramer we turned in today is as coherent as we thought it was when we turned it in.
I don't really have the brain power to remember what all happened worth reporting on, so I'll save the report for tomorrow. And since three of the books we translated hit bookstore shelves this week, I really feel like we're falling behind on reviews. I meant to post one on Wednesday, but we were busy doing family vacation stuff. So how about one right now? Unfortunately, I don't have a catchy name for reviews on Friday, but anyway, here's a review of Say I Love You volume 15. Spoiler level: moderate.
Say I Love You. 15. I think the thing we had the biggest reaction to was Yamato's mother. Not the fact that she showed up, but the fact that she didn't recognize Mei. She showed up, and we were like, "Is that Yamato's mother? No, it can't be; she would know what Mei looks like." Then she said, "I was supposed to come with my other son," and we were like, "It is her, isn't it?" So then it was like, "Do you mean to tell me that Yamato has been dating Mei for three years and this woman has never seen the girl even once?" Well, maybe she's just away on business or something all the time, and she just happens to always be gone whenever Mei comes over, and how is she supposed to know what she looks like otherwise? I mean, it's not like Yamato would have a lot of pictures of Mei lying around, or like he's suddenly an aspiring photographer, with a photo blog where he posts mainly pictures of his girlfriend. Well, maybe his mother just isn't tech savvy and all of the printed pictures of Mei have been given away or something. It's not like there'd be a giant poster of Mei somewhere that his mother would visit regularly, maybe to see her other son or get her hair cut. Maybe she just has too mainstream taste in hair so Daichi refuses to cut it? Well whatever is going on, it seems like Yamato's mother is the least supportive supportive mother of all time.
Our other explanation is that she has face blindness.
Okay, so let's talk about the rest of this volume. This is where Ren gets all sneaky about confessing his love to Mei. On the one hand, I think it's cute, but on the other hand, Ren is an annoying jerk. And yet I can't help liking him for some reason. ...Maybe "like" is too strong a word. He still just tends to do the most interesting stuff of anybody else. This series is so incredibly "slice of life" that it almost feels like nothing is happening sometimes. Anyway, it was cute, and I was amused at how he ended up blurting it out. Then we get the obligatory reaffirmation that Mei really loves Yamato, and Yamato was kind of cute about that, too.
And that reminds me of the phone business, and how Mei was being short with him (Yamato, I mean). Since they had just showed the two of them having sex at Christmas, we were both kind of hoping she was moody because she was pregnant. Okay, "hoping" is too strong a word, but we thought it would be interesting and maybe a little vindicating because we're still opposed to the whole premarital sex thing. On the other hand, then the issue of abortion would come up, and that might be a little too heavy a subject...not that this series is afraid of confronting heavy topics.
But let's change the subject. This volume also has a lot of Megumi/Kai interaction, and she's always talking about how she's going to improve herself by being a great model, and how Kai should think better of himself because he was able to date a model, and I gotta say, for a series so beloved by progressive people, it really seems to put a lot of value on physical appearance, which I'm pretty sure is not a progressive thing to emphasize. Come to think of it, I don't remember seeing anyone complain about the beauty pageant in volume eight. Sometimes I wonder if all the articles posted on Facebook about how we shouldn't focus so much on appearance are posted because people have such a hard time letting go of the idea themselves. On the other hand, of course there's nothing wrong with wanting to look your best.
This volume also features the graduation ceremony! Tadah! It almost seemed like an afterthought, but maybe that's because the ceremony itself really is just a brief moment in time compared to all the worrying about future careers and stuff, which has been a major focus for several volumes now. And when I look at it that way, it shouldn't come as any kind of surprise that the graduation is nowhere near signifying the approach of the end of the series. Hazuki-sensei says most of her best memories are post-high school, so I'm hoping the series reflects that, too. I feel bad talking about it that way, but in all honesty, we really just aren't invested in any of the characters. I'm not sure what could happen to change that. But anyway, the graduation chapter was kind of a nice little reminiscent thing, and was a good overview of one of the main themes of the series, about how the bad stuff doesn't last forever so just make more good stuff to outnumber it.
Today I'm thankful for getting to have a delightful vacation with our family, managing to finish that chapter of Cramer, Page posing like she's trying to touch her toes, still having our emergency ice cream (we bought it in case we got home from Disneyland one day and were in desperate need of more calories, since we tend to not eat enough when we go to Disneyland with people), and not having to go to the store today.