That in itself wouldn't be so bad, but we still had half a volume of My Monster Secret to translate! And that one decided to be talkative, too! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaahhh!! It was really sweet though. We had about half a chapter left by bedtime (and it was the last chapter of a four-chapter arc in a very episodic series), so we decided to keep going which was fine, because by then it was less talkative and more dramatic (but still rather talkative, man), but then the bonus comic at the end got super talkative, and now here we are almost an hour past bedtime, and I promised to post a review!
So here it is, our review of My Brother the Shut-In volume six! Spoilers ahead!
Wow, the last volume. I mean, it was only six volumes, and there weren't a whole lot of characters or subplots or anything, so it's only reasonable that it ended so soon. And to be honest, we were looking forward to it, because even though we like this series, it put soooooo much stress on our schedule. Also, it was a little more mature than we prefer, so whenever it started acting like they had to have sex, we started rolling our eyes. But that shouldn't come as a surprise to our long-time readers.
By this volume, Shino's story is pretty much wrapped up, so we don't have a lot on her. But they added a little extra bit with Saki, which seems like it might have only been added so that we could follow Shino a little bit longer, because...okay, so apparently Shino and Saki had been a bit estranged since they got put in separate classes for third-year, and now they're finally together again because they both agreed to help out with a fashion show for the school festival. And they both agreed to do it as a way to get in touch with each other again, and the whole time, we were thinking, "Um, LINE? Or just talking?" They may be in different classes, but it's not like they're in different schools. They can talk during lunch. And they already made up after making up after Saki kissed Natsui, so this is like their third, "Oh, we really do care about each other!" moment, and it was nice, but seemed kind of redundant. They are cute as friends, though, and Saki really did look pretty at the fashion show. Still, we only got like one glimpse of the makeup Shino put so much time into, and it was a profile, so we didn't really get to see what Shino did. Just that Saki had super long eyelashes and a hair extension. Oh well.
On the other hand, we have a lot of stuff going on with Tamotsu. He rescued that lady's purse from the purse-snatcher, and from there, romance blossomed. We actually thought she might be related to Saki, because of all the Saki flags earlier in the series, but she was an original character. I feel like I should have more to say about her. I do think it's interesting that her name is Yuki, because we translate so many series with some kind of Yuki in them--Yukina, Yukine, Yuki, Yuki... But this Yuki doesn't have any snow in her name--her name meant "happiness." We feel like there must have been a Koyuki somewhere, but... Yukihime...
Anyway. Tamotsu really was kind of a jerk about her, being all, "Hey, she likes me! I'm in the position of power here!" It was really sweet how he liked taking Yuki and Takuto out on picnics and stuff. Then there was the fatal moment, which of course had us going a little, "Uuuugh." I just think, especially considering the existence of Takuto, that it's better, when engaging in the act of making babies, to make sure both parties are committed to follow through with whatever may result from that act. In other words, I think people should get married before they have sex. And while I understand that people have different opinions and I'm not going to condemn them for it, I'd really rather not be there watching. I will say that I was amused at the reason Tamotsu ultimately called it off.
But then it just got annoying again. Tamotsu tried to explain that he's just not used to this kind of thing, which we think is probably the best way to deal with the situation--you communicate the problem and make sure everyone's on the same page, and then you can work it out, right? Well, he chose pretty much exactly the wrong words, especially considering that Yuki was on edge, too, and so she blew up at him and they never spoke to each other again. I can see both sides of the argument. I thought it was a good idea for Yuki to ask Tamotsu if she was just a stepping stone to him, but I wish that Tamotsu had been able to say no and explain that he really loves her and everything. I guess he didn't, though, because the next thing we know, he's walking alone and crying to himself. I also agree with Shino on this: You just say you're sorry and you try again. And I think it's nice that Shino's more understanding about it than we are.
At this point, we started wondering if Tamotsu really was going to end up with Saki, since he was available again, but that's not how it went down, and that's probably for the best. In the end, he got really excited about kickboxing, and he accomplished his dream. Tadah! And everybody in the whole series went to go see his debut fight--everybody with a name except for Keshi and Shino's coworkers. Even Natsui was there, which made no sense, because he and Shino were officially over and had been for two years, so it was like, "Why...?" So they could make the natsui joke, I guess, which, as translators who were crunched, had us going, "Uuuuuuuuuuuuugh." (Oh yeah, Erina didn't go, either.) It was really cute when Shino's high school friends cheered for Tamotsu. And speaking of that, since there was still no sign of Yuki's return at that point, and all of Shino's old friends got tickets through Saki, and Shino had no idea about it, we really were wondering if Saki and Tamotsu had gotten together.
But they hadn't! Tamotsu found out later that Yuki didn't attend the fight and he was sad, but then he ran into them outside! Yuki had gotten the time wrong! And they finally made up and lived happily ever after, I guess. And Tamotsu said to her the title of the series that was originally going to be just about him, and we were kind of annoyed about it, because when they do that, we like to use the title, but the way we had translated the title, it wasn't going to work. Especially since people further down the line took out the "recovering" part, so even, "I'm just a recovering shut-in, but..." or something along those lines wouldn't really work, either. It was a really sweet moment, though. Hopefully the English filter didn't detract from it too much. I forgot to mention how cute it is that Takuto always greets Tamotsu with a cross counter. That's adorable.
And there you have it. Shino and Tamotsu have both found their purposes in life, and they're walking steadily down the paths they've each chosen. It's a pretty satisfying ending, I think. But what does happen to Natsui? The world may never know. But he's a smart kid; I'm sure he'll work something out. And even though we were usually really frustrated about what it did to our schedule, I'm glad we got to read this series. And I hope you all enjoyed it, too!
Wow, this series seems to always show up when we're crunched. I think the review says it all, so I don't have a followup. I guess I'll say, "I agree."
And speaking of My Monster Secret, tune in on Tuesday for our review of My Monster Secret 11!
Today I'm thankful for finally finishing that chapter of UQ Holder!, finally finishing that first draft of My Monster Secret (it made me cry!), having both of our Wizarding World crates (but we probably won't open them tonight, because it's so late), having finally set up the fan in our bedroom, and getting to translate My Brother the Shut-In (and surviving the process).