But you guys aren't here for that--you're here(?) for Review Rednesdays! As promised, this week we have The Prince in His Dark Days volume three! We bumped this one up on the list, so hopefully everyone's had time to read it! Spoiler level: moderately high.
The Prince in His Dark Days volume three. I really liked this volume! Probably because it focused so much on the Ryo/Atsuko relationship, and that's what shojo manga is all about, isn't it?
I definitely agree with Daigo's comment about rich people being scary, but first, I also agree with Atsuko ("You're one of them, aren't you?"), and I would say that it's not necessarily a rich people distinction, so much as a matter of people who don't think of people as people, which I don't think is something limited to rich people, although of course they're the ones who have an easier time getting away with it. But the important thing is, that was really messed up all around.
Daigo's history with Itaru is actually the first part of the reveal about Itaru's relationships with other people. In the previous volume, he talked about what Itaru said about his house, and it sounded like he felt insulted. But when you get more context, it seemed like Itaru genuinely liked the Anzai house, and maybe that's why Daigo felt drawn to Itaru. And then it turns out that that's pretty much how everybody feels about Itaru--on the surface, it seems like they'd hate his guts, but when you look at what's really going on, they like him pretty well. I'm not sure how that connects with all the stuff in volume two, about how Itaru has to learn to be a good, caring person before he can really be beautiful, since apparently he was a nice enough guy before. On the other hand, you can be nice to people without actually caring about them. And Athena suggests that maybe it's because deep down he cares about other people and wants to be nice to them, but he only really knows how to be self-centered and self-serving. And if you look at his upbringing and the adults in his life (man, that mother of his...), then that makes sense, too.
But more importantly, Ryo and Atsuko! Oh my goodness, I loved it. I'm so glad Ryo ran into Yoko and she encouraged him to act on his impulse. And then he made it clear that he went back to stop the madness because he cared about Atsuko, not because she was pretending to be Itaru. Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww<33333! It was so cute the way he would occasionally call her Atsuko after that. Of course it only happened when she was in trouble, but that's because he's usually good at keeping up appearances, until he freaks out because he cares so much about her. Athena just pointed out that this series is very Harlequin, right down to the fact that every other romantic relationship in this series is non-heteronormative. But hey, if the characters are compelling, even Harlequin can be fun.
There was one thing that didn't make a whole lot of sense, and that's Ryo's assumption that Cora was probably male. (Incidentally, we were originally spelling that name "Cola", but when we looked it up to make sure it wasn't a thing that needed to be spelled differently, there was more stuff that sounded villainous for Cora than for Cola. Apparently Cora is the name of an Incan deity, which isn't necessarily villainous, but a villain would want a powerful name, and Cora means "heart" and Rinko loves Kokoro, which also means "heart".) I guess the reasoning is that all the girls love Itaru, so there's no reason any of them would want to destroy his reputation. And even now that we know Cora's true identity, that idea hasn't been disproven, although of course I'm skeptical. Surely some girl thinks he's annoying.
Aaaand, I don't know what else to say about this volume. Maybe I could comment on the fact that Atsuko is warming up to the idea of falling in love. ...But I don't really have anything to say about that, except, "Aww, that's nice." It was a nice volume, and I'm looking forward to the conclusion.
And that's it for this week! As for new releases, today Complex Age 4 hit bookstore shelves, featuring Riu on the cover! And you won't get to know who that is until you read it! (We pulled it out to translate it and saw her and were like, "Who...?") And stay tuned next week for Say I Love You 17!
Today I'm thankful for another lovely day at Disneyland, knowing that my extreme reaction to certain flavors is justified (more on that tomorrow!), having enough time in our schedule that it should (hopefully) be okay to stop working, getting our comp copies of Fire Force 3, and getting to go to the Pancake House this morning for breakfast.