Anyway, we finished work early today! And the internet was boring as usual, so we figured we might as well post a review. So here it is, Wake Up, Sleeping Beauty volume three! Spoilers ahead!
Okay, so as we begin this review, we're in the middle of a Facebook chat with a friend. We can't turn down a Facebook chat, partially because we need social interaction and partially because there've been a few times when we did for perfectly legitimate reasons but the other person thought we were making up excuses and didn't want to be their friend anymore so we're paranoid (okay, so maybe it was only once, and it was AIM, not Facebook, but once bitten twice shy and all that). We decided it's not a great idea to edit manga when distracted, so instead we're taking care of another thing on the to-do list, and writing this review.
I want to start off by saying this volume was soooooo good! It made me cry! In fact, I think I at least teared up every time we went over it. It was Shizu cheering for Tetsu that did it, but more on that later.
The volume starts with Tetsu taking Shizu to school. Oh my goodness, this chapter was so adorable. Remember, in the last volume, Tetsu realized that Shizu doesn't have a heart, and the best way he can figure to get her one is to put her in an environment conducive to heart cultivation. The only thing she's ever shown interest in is school, so off they go. And oh man, he works so hard for her. Despite his terrible fear of ghosts, he actually lets one of Shizu's ghosts possess him to keep her safe from any other ghosts that might be wandering around. He says he's doing it just because he feels guilty, but man. That's the extra mile if I ever saw it. And then when they're in the classroom and Shizu is calling him Tetsu-kun-sensei! So cute!
We also get a glimpse of Tetsu's note-taking habits. It's really smart of him, but wow. I think I'm more impressed because I never write anything down if I don't have to. I mean, I like keeping a journal, so maybe it's a similar thing, but it's just so...school-like, and I never took notes at school. Okay, I took a few notes, but I didn't like it. So the fact that he just does it for things like this...I just think it's impressive.
In the end, Shizu falls asleep and Kanato takes over, so of course they both end up at the soccer field, dun dun DUN! And they run into the soccer team, DUN DUN DUN!!! Chihiro is still trying to get Tetsu to come back, and Tetsu's still like, "Yeah, no." But now that Chihiro has run into Shizu('s body) again, he has a potential new weapon in his arsenal. So he goes to ask Shizu to help! And that's when we finally learn what all happened between Tetsu and Chihiro.
So Chihiro was a sad lonely boy whose life was made ever so slightly brighter when Tetsu decided to make him his minion. Of course we learn that Tetsu only did it because Chihiro's mom put him up to it, which is a major bummer, but I think Tetsu was genuinely the best friend he knew how to be. He was kind of a jerk about dragging Chihiro outside, but I understand the importance of seeing the sun occasionally, so I can't fault him too much for that. Anyway, Tetsu was super obsessed with soccer, so he used Chihiro to help him be a star player...but then Tetsu's mom went to the hospital, so he had to cut back on practice in order to take care of his sisters. And in the end, he quit soccer entirely, right before he actually got a chance to play, and that's why Chihiro wants him to come back to the team, so he can finally play. Kanato is the one in Shizu's body when Chihiro tells this story, and he can relate like whoa, so he says yes of course they'll help!
Then we get an interesting comment from Chihiro. He asks why Tetsu would be friends with Shizu "of all people." Why would Chihiro be asking that? Our reaction: He can see ghosts, can't he? That's why he was so emo as a kid, because everybody knows that in anime when you can see ghosts, you tend to be brooding and creepy, and that's why everyone avoids you and you have no friends. But the more logical conclusion is that Chihiro recognizes Shizu as the girl from the haunted house on the hill. They have been there, after all. We still like to think it's both. I mean, the rest of the soccer team was confused by the personality changes, but Chihiro seemed unfazed. ...On the other hand, he generally seems unfazed about anything, so. We're still going to think it's both until it's confirmed otherwise.
So Shizu decides that she wants to help Tetsu smile, and she agrees to help Kanato get Tetsu to that game, which will be the last chance he has to play in a school tournament. It's funny, because Tetsu still resists until Kanato says that Shizu wanted him to go, and then Chihiro says Tetsu can never say no to a girl, and Kanato's all, "That's true," and we're all, "A-yup." So they go all the way to the field and then! Tetsu says he's still not going to play. I actually think that was very mature of him. If you haven't been practicing, you're not ready to play in the real thing! On the other hand, since they were planning on losing anyway, maybe he could have played, but I do think it's much more fair to the people who have been practicing. I think it goes to show how much the team loved Tetsu that they just wanted him to play anyway. Even Seita was this close to being okay with it. It's kind of funny, because Tetsu kind of comes across as a bit of a loner in the first two volumes, but as the series goes on, you realize that he's one of the most personable guys ever.
I also appreciate Kanato's reaction, when Tetsu tells him to use common sense, and Kanato's like, "I don't like common sense." We all want to see the happy ending. But I think it turned out for the best...until! Ryo showed up! Dun dun DUN!!! I'm actually really glad that Ryo is acting the way she is. I like that she's all, "Did you think we wouldn't figure it out?" Seriously, Tetsu, they may be younger than you, but they have brains you know. Tetsu's thing is, from what I can tell so far, he wants to take care of everybody, but he's not opening his eyes to see that they want to make sure he's taken care of, too. Just as much as he does everything to make his sisters happy, they want him to be happy, too. I think. That's why Ryo's upset about Tetsu quitting soccer--it's the one thing that makes him really happy. Then add to that the idea that he quit in order to take care of her, now it's her fault but she didn't even ask for that responsibility. I would be annoyed, too. Of course, we're pretty sure there's even more to Tetsu's thing that hasn't been revealed yet. We know it's partly about the money, because that's what Tetsu's narration started with, but he says to Ryo that it's not only about that. So what is it about? We suspect he feels responsible for what happened to their mother, and maybe that's what it is. Only time will tell...
Oh! And then the important thing happens! Ryo's mad enough at Tetsu to throw things at him, and I may have been supportive of that kind of action, but maybe not. I mean, I understand her side, but violence is a little extreme. At any rate, Shizu's not cool with the idea, so! she took control of her body! all on her own! so she could jump in the way and protect Tetsu. Awwwwwwww!!! She didn't care about anything at all, and now she's taking soccer bags for him.
So Shizu and Kanato are both unhappy with the results of the soccer plan, so Shizu comes up with a new plan! And Mirei kindly warns Tetsu about it, but in a super vague way so as not to give anything away. It was really cute, though. They staged a kidnapping! and to rescue Shizu, Tetsu had to follow elaborate instructions to go to the soccer stadium where Chihiro and the team had set up one last game for him to play. Come to think of it, I don't know whose idea it was that Tetsu would care enough about Shizu to rescue her, but since it was work-related and Tetsu clearly has a strong sense of duty, they were probably justified. And obviously Mirei knew that he couldn't leave Shizu stranded. It was all very cute.
But the best was when he was playing, and Kanato was watching, and he was talking to Shizu, telling her to come on out and cheer for Tetsu herself. I like that he made her do it instead of just leaving, because that's the whole point--she needs to learn to motivate herself. And then she started cheering, and she was so timid and quiet at first, but she kept trying and it was so sweet! And that's what made me cry. (The other parts that made me cry were when we saw Tetsu's flashback to deciding to quit the soccer team, even though it was his dream, because it's so hard to make those sacrifices. And when Ryo tried to make dinner and failed, so Tetsu was like, "I can't choose soccer over them." Oh, poor Tetsu.) And then was the other best, when Shizu told Tetsu she loves him. I'm glad we were alternating like and love in the previous volume, because we needed her sentence to be the same as when Tetsu first told her (as Harumichi) that he loves her. They were totally destined to be together.
Finally, we had a short bonus manga where Tetsu is forced to confront the concept of a male spirit inhabiting a female body and also constantly glomping him (Tetsu). I won't give it away. You'll just have to read it.
So we continue to have a fascinating and emotional story, and I look forward to seeing where it goes! ...But hopefully sometime when we're significantly less crunched.
Oh man, what a good series. Seriously, it just gets better and better after this volume.
As previously mentioned, we don't have any new releases this week, but tune in next week for our review of My Brother the Shut-In 3!
Today I'm thankful for getting to revisit Wake Up Sleeping Beauty, Kiss Me at the Stroke of Midnight being a quick job as usual, finally knowing when Gaston is coming down to Disneyland, string cheese, and it being snacktime.