In the meantime, it's Review Rednesday, and you know what that means! Yes! It's time for a review! (I realize I sound very excited about this, and frankly, we often find our reviews to be great fun, but I also realize that this may be an attitude exclusive to us. I also realize that not all our reviews are that great.) So we now present our review of My Brother the Shut-In volume three! Spoilers ahead!
Our plan was to finish our first draft of Wake Up, Sleeping Beauty 5 and then start on Hanako-kun, but when we finished Sleeping Beauty, Page sat on Athena's lap and now she is unable to retrieve the Hanako book. Of course, I could get up and get it, but we also have kind of a weird timing thing going on, since I'm supposed to go practice for the ward Christmas program, and so! we have decided to write a review instead. It's kind of hard to switch gears, though, since this is a review for My Brother the Shut-In, and that one is always such a blur...
The main thing we remember about this one is it was super duper rushed. I mean, the first two volumes were rushed, but this one was extra rushed. Our boss asked us when we thought we could finish it, and we looked at our schedule and said, "Uh, maybe the twelfth if we're lucky?" and he was like, "How about the eighth?" and we were like, "Okay, we'll try! *twitch twitch*" (This is by no means a commentary on our boss. He's got orders from above, and we're pretty sure they wanted everything done ASAP so everybody could take time off for the holidays. (We're writing this in December.)) And the best part of it was by "the eighth," he meant the morning of the eighth in Japan. Which actually meant the afternoon of the seventh for us. We didn't realize that until the night of the sixth (totally our fault; we keep forgetting to factor these things in), so we were a liiiittle bit worried that we wouldn't finish it on time, and we'd have to say, "Okay, here's what we have so far! We'll get you the rest in a couple hours!" But fortunately, we managed to finish it a minute before the deadline! Whew.
So what happened in this book again? Let's see... So Tamotsu saw whatshername Inaba talking to Himeno, and we all suspect his dreams are crushed to itty bitty pieces because the love of his life is head over heels for his best friend. But mostly he's just surprised. I wasn't really sure what was going on with Inaba at this point, because the only clear thing is that she was using Tamotsu. So was she really in love with Himeno, or was she just messing with him? Turns out she really was, to a creepy stalkerish degree. And it's so sweet how Tamotsu reacts to this revelation--specifically the part about not knowing what the point to life was anymore. She was being kiiiinda scary, and he was just, "Oh man, I have so been there! She's adorable!" So I guess this is a good example of how our own trials help us learn to be sympathetic to others instead of being all judgmental and staying away from people and hoping they get professional help. I still think she could use a little of that to help her with her codependency. But anyway, now she has an outlet for her intense crush on Himeno, because she can talk Tamotsu's ear off about him and he's just happy to spend time with her. And he likes Himeno, too, so they can bond over their shared appreciation of Himeno's awesomeness.
But! Himeno doesn't trust Inaba (and who can blame him, really?), so when she starts to pester Tamotsu too much, he tries to step in. And that was so cute, too! Tamotsu was all, "Don't fight over me! I'm not worth it!" I really hope that line didn't get changed. For this series, we get a chance to revise the edited version, and I'm not sure what the original idea was, but what it has come to amount to is that they send us the edited version, and when we can't abide the changes, we either change it back and add a note as to why it has to be the way we had it, or we change it to something new entirely. But this time, we got the edit on a Sunday, so we were like, "Sorry, we can't revise it today; we're sure it's not too bad." (We didn't actually say that, but you all know we're self-important enough to think that.) And what that all means is that we don't know what might or might not have gotten changed, but that line is a classic, so surely it was kept, right?
And then, this was the annoying part. Tamotsu decides to write a letter, which was very cute, but! he wouldn't talk to anybody until he finished it! And we were so frustrated, because we were like, "No, seriously, you have to talk to Himeno and find out why he broke up with Inaba so you can know what in blue blazes is wrong with her!" But no, he had to write his letter. And then he didn't get it to her in time, so he didn't give it to her! Noooooooooooooooooooo!!! Well, we're with Shino anyway--we cannot recommend that girl to you. So that was fine, and then! Himeno came along and said they got back together! WHAT!? Why, Himeno!? She's clearly unhinged!!!
But this series is about not judging people and stuff, so... So really all we can do is hope that Himeno helps Inaba to get help for her codependency. I mean, it's true that he only broke up with her because she was too attached to him, and not because they weren't necessarily compatible. All we can do is hope for the best. And then we find out how truly good a guy Tamotsu is, because Shino finds his letter draft, and it wasn't confessing his love to Inaba at all--it was telling her she should try to work things out with Himeno. Oh my goodness, he's so sweet. He's like the nicest guy in the whole entire world. And I do have to wonder if this is the kind of thing that Higurashi-sensei's brother does that inspired her to write a manga about him.
Anyway, moving on, Himeno tries to make it all up to Tamotsu by helping him expand his social circle. By the way, we translated "circle" as "circle" because of the circle joke. Otherwise, we might have made it "club." ...But come to think of it, that might have been changed, too. I don't know if we'll ever know. But the point is, they go to a college party. And it seems...pretty much like a college party...as perceived by someone who went to approximately maybe three? That was over a decade ago, though. Anyway, there were people there talking and drinking and goofing off, but not to the "freshman" extent. Mostly, I guess it just looked like all the parties our Japanese friend keeps posting pictures of on Facebook. And it wasn't even super traumatic!
...Until. Dun dun DUN! There was a guy there who was apparently jealous that Tamotsu was a real shut-in? He probably just resented being teased about claiming to be one himself. Anyway, he asked Tamotsu what his dream for the future was, and Tamotsu said he wanted to be a boxer, and then everyone started laughing at him, and it was so sad. Oh, poor Tamotsu, laughing with everybody else when it wasn't even funny. But this is the best part! He decided to go for it! Huzzah! Getting out and running again is probably one of the best things he can do for himself.
Meanwhile, Shino is off doing Shino things and wondering what's gotten into her brother, but more she's wondering if it's appropriate that she and Natsui have gotten to be so very physical in their relationship. She was pondering this question when she got hit by a car. OH NO!!! Fortunately, it wasn't anything serious, so she wakes up in the hospital and everything's okay, but then! her mother comes along! WHAT! Shino has been longing to see her mother for...well, at least since before this volume. And her mother says, "Well, here are some things you might need and, by the way, your father and I are officially getting a divorce." This is why I hate grownups. I think very few people think much about how divorce affects kids, because the grownups who have gotten divorced are so busy going through their own (understandable) pain. But I really think divorce messes kids up way more than people realize, even if those kids are grown when the divorce happens. Though to be fair, it probably depends on the kid. All I can say is that my own experience sucked and I don't wish it on anyone. So when I hear about grownups with children getting divorced, it makes me angry. So Shino's mother is not my favorite character right now.
But anyway, the bigger mystery is why Shino's mother didn't acknowledge Tamotsu, who was standing next to Shino's hospital bed, not shut up in his room. Shino's theory is that they had been in contact with each other and both already knew about Tamotsu leaving his room and the divorce. And that's why our current theory is that Tamotsu decided to come out of his room because he knew their mother wanted a divorce and he wanted to be there for his family. I don't know, I guess we'll see.
Oh, and I forgot to mention Sei-chan. He's an interesting character. He's the guy that Tamotsu got to be codependent on. The whole thing about talking to ghosts is pretty interesting to me. And Tamotsu ran into him at the very end of this volume, so now we'll get to see more of him. That could be interesting. At any rate, I always appreciate a guy who can look around and say, "Wow, I can do better than this," and so he does. Even though he knows it's going to be hard work. It's something I could probably learn more from...
Anyway, that's that volume. The series is still enjoyable despite our annoyance at the rushed schedule. We hope you all like(d) it!
Wow, I can't believe I managed to write about this series in a way that didn't sound annoyed at all! It's not the series' fault; it's the schedule. The never-ending schedule of overworkiness.
Anyway! This week, we had two translations come out, and they're both super good shoujo titles that are named after fairy tales! Woohoo! Kiss Me at the Stroke of Midnight and Wake Up, Sleeping Beauty! I don't know what volumes they are; just the one after the most recent ones. (Athena suggests five and four, respectively.) Check 'em out, and see if our prediction about Wake Up, Sleeping Beauty was right!
And tune in next week for our review of Waiting for Spring 5!
Today I'm thankful for making decent progress on work, having a clearer idea what our near-future schedule will be like, our Princess Principal t-shirts having finally shipped, getting to look back fondly on things that bothered us at the time, and the hummingbird that sometimes comes by the tree outside our window.