Bot for now, it's Review Rednesday! Please enjoy this review of the final volume of The Prince in His Dark Days! Spoiler level: It's the last volume, dude.
Oh my gosh, you guys, don't Ryo and Atsuko make the cutest couple? They're so adorable! I'm so glad to see them together!
But first, a quick summary. This is the last volume, where Ryo and Atsuko end up together. Also, there are flashbacks for Ryo, Grandfather Nogi...okay, just those two. And the big party where Itaru comes back and takes his place in the circle of life. Or whatever that's about. It was pretty admirable, actually. We do wonder why he decided to show up in a dress and a wig, since obviously that's going to make it harder to convince people that he's not the fake. I mean, Atsuko's the one who called him, and she's been at the ceremony all day, so you know she gave him advance notice, and it wasn't a last minute phone call. So he had time to choose an outfit that would be more convincing. But on the other hand, maybe he really just wanted to let everyone know who he really was, and that was the fastest way to do it. It's also a pretty good way to confront his weakness.
Also, his whole speech about how you can keep going no matter how weak you are if you just have someone to support you. That's what it's all about, people. People need people. They need support, they need a place to belong. And it doesn't matter what anyone else in the world thinks about you, as long as you have that support network who will love you no matter what (even if they do think you make bad choices sometimes--I think that's key, too. Loving someone doesn't always mean agreeing with everything they think). So even though it was a massive pain in the neck to translate that scene with all of those people being like, "Do you recognize ME!?", what happened afterward, with Atsuko and Itaru helping the Nogi people to realize what family is really about...that was nice.
Speaking of people at the party, though. We don't know how this is going to be lettered, but there are a couple of guys who talk right when Itaru shows up at the party, and they were speaking English in the original Japanese book. We tweaked it just a tiny bit, but I'm still not sure if it needed it...it probably did for the contractions, though. In English, we just use contractions. But the point is, it amuses me, because when we got to that part in the edit, I was like, "That...doesn't sound like something we wrote." And sure enough, it wasn't! Yay, I can recognize my own writing style. (Not necessarily true. I've looked at several of our translations and thought, "Somebody must have changed that! It doesn't seem like something we'd write!" And then checked our script only to find it was exactly the same. ...For better or worse.)
But you guys! I'm just curious if there are any Noragami readers who got to the part where Atsuko was like, "I only have five yen left," and thought, "!!!!" Because dude. Five yen. We wrote a note about it for the non-Noragami readers out there (it's baffling that they would be reading manga at all, but Noragami is a different genre, so it's still a possibility).
So anyway, as I suspected, it does seem like the theme of this series is that it doesn't matter how rich or poor you are, what really counts in life is love and family. I thought it was really interesting how, when it flashed back to Ryo seeing the Nogi house for the first time, he had the same reaction as Atsuko. I mean, obviously, Yamanaka-sensei wrote it that way on purpose, but still! It kind of shows that even though she grew up poor and he grew up kind of rich, they both had this longing for something more that ultimately turned out to be love. And oh my gosh, they're so cute together. I loved his evil plot to get her to come back. You have to wonder why he didn't just call her...but then I guess she probably didn't have a phone of any kind. So why didn't he confront her on one of his many stalking endeavors? I guess it was easier to set up the conversation with the evil plot. On the one hand, you have how it went down in the manga. On the other hand, you have this scene where he confronts her on the way to work: "Atsuko!" "Ryo!? What are you doing here!?" "Uh..." "I have to go to work." "Uh...but I have something to say to you! I love you!" "What!? I-I really need to get to work! Bye!"
I feel like I should also say something about the grandfather, but I don't know if I have much to say. He has a sad story, too, but all the sad stories got resolved. Speaking of which, they never explained why Itaru's mother went so far off the deep end after Susumu died. Maybe she just loved him that much. But since they ended up as a big happy family at the end, I wonder if Susumu's death meant the end of her dreams of having a daughter. She could have remarried, though... Unless that would have been some horrible taboo for the Nogi business. I don't know.
Anyway. This was another short shojo manga, and for the most part we were glad to be able to work on it. And all the stuff that was less fun to translate (business jargon, yay...) paid off in the end, because Atsuko and Ryo are so very adorable.
Aww, that was nice. It really was a cute series. If you haven't read it yet, I recommend checking it out!
As for this week's new releases, we have the latest volume of In/Spectre! (Volume 4, for anyone who lost track.) Can you believe it, we're almost caught up on reviews! Next week will by My Monster Secret 6, followed by the very volume of In/Spectre that came out today. Stay tuned!
Today I'm thankful for getting to work on a lovely series like The Prince in His Dark Days, looking back and realizing that we have accomplished things this week (sort of maybe?), getting to go back and read our reviews of Loki's story, appointment reminders, and the neighbors' attempts at keeping the kittens safely ensconced in their patio not being entirely successful (I want the kittens to be safe, but I also want to see them playing, and that's much more easily accomplished when they're in our patio).