Oh my goodness, we're actually writing a review of something on the very day we finished translating it! Will wonders never cease! ...Of course, that doesn't mean I don't have to stop and remember what happened in this volume. I mostly registered it in my memory as "another adorable volume of Stroke of Midnight." This series is very cute.
Right, so Shu is blackmailing Hinana into breaking up with Kaede. I really like how Hinana dealt with it--she was determined to do anything but that. I was sort of prepared for an angsty thing with Hinana telling Kaede boo hoo hoo we can't be together but I can't tell you why, and I'm not sure why I would be expecting that. I think it's one of those things where you're like, "Any other series and they would have..." but then you think about it and you realize that you don't actually remember any series where that happened. But the important thing is that Shu never made secrecy a condition, so Hinana totally could have discussed it with Kaede. But that's actually not important at all, because Hinana took another route entirely. And it was quite an admirable one. She agreed to do anything Shu asked as long as it wasn't that. So Shu asked her to go to her house, and all Hinana could do was wonder what horrors Shu had in store for her.
...And in all honesty, we think helping someone unpack is pretty horrible. Like, seriously, helping someone move is a sign of true friendship, because it's one of the most awful things. I don't even know why it's so awful, after having done it a few times even, but I still consider it to be one of the worst things. Even though I can imagine many things that are vastly worse. So on the one hand it's like, "Come to my house and I will give you the horrible task...of helping me unpack!" and maybe it's supposed to be all, "Haha, I bet you were scared, but it's nothing!" But our reaction was more, "Well, helping someone move is pretty much the worst."
The main thing we got out of it, though, is the realization that Shu really did move. And on top of that, we get evidence that she really did have a stalker. So I guess she's not that manipulative after all. And I genuinely felt bad for her when that guy showed up at her door and she was freaking out about her stalker finding her. Hinana's reaction to that was pretty great, too. And that's how she won Shu over, with her magical shoujo heroine powers that win everybody over to her side. Everyone except...Mitsuki! But that's later. And those stupid bunny girls on Halloween. It's like, "Hello, you're standing there in a bunny suit tooching your booty for no good reason, just asking to be objectified. I'm not sure you're qualified to discuss good girlfriend material." On the other hand, we do agree that if Hinana and Kaede had been wearing matching costumes, they wouldn't be able to criticize so much, because Hinana would look great as Christine. (Is that how you spell her name? We never did see Phanton of the Opera.)
I do think that Hinana was being silly with the whole diet thing. We've been failing at feeding ourselves lately, too, so when she was all being hungry and everything, it was reminding us that we were hungry, so we all got to be queasy from low blood suger together, and you know, it wasn't that great a bonding experience. I kind of understand the pressure, though, since Kaede makes her feel like a princess and everything, and she would want to do something in return. I guess this chapter should serve as a reminder that sometimes really all someone needs is a connection with another person, and she's repaying all the love he gives her just by being there for him and treating him like a normal person. I think that's something we could all stand to remember, even if we're not dating celebrities. But the part where he told her everything he loves about her was super cute.
Oh! But I have to mention their dinner, because that's where Hinana asked Kaede about the boy he was with in the picture she saw at Shu's place. And he kind of looked into the heavens with a, "Help me to get out of this situation" look. And we said, "You killed him, didn't you?" I'm really not sure why that's the conclusion we jumped to. Maybe it's because of a certain other shoujo manga that stars a famous actor. But it turned out to be right. Or at least right insofar as Mitsuki is concerned. I mean, we doubt Kaede actively killed Yo. It was probably some mistake or something. But since Yo was never a member of Funny Bone, whatever happened that resulted in his death probably didn't immediately cause the band to hate Kaede. They only decided that after he ditched them for acting. Or did they? Maybe acting was his way of escaping all of the seething rage they directed at him behind the scenes. Well, we may or may not find out in the next volume, since that's when Kaede's finally going to tell Hinana about his past. I'm a little surprised that we're learning his past before her past, but I guess it makes sense, since she's the heroine. I just figured his is probably darker, since he apparently killed a man, so that would be more climactic. Or would it? We only have very small clues as to what Hinana's past is. And one of those clues is that she's adopted, so maybe she killed her parents. Maybe she's a vampire! (Sorry; I was just reading Devils' Line.)
But before that, we have Mitsuki meddling in Kaede and Hinana's relationship. I am totally with Shu on this one: it's about time you just let it go and grow up. Seriously, you have way better things to do with your time than plot revenge. It's like the thing about how not forgiving someone is like taking poison and hoping the other person dies. But anyway, he leaks a tiny bit of information about Kaede and Hinana dating, so now the media is all over Kaede trying to find out who his mysterious girlfriend is, and they can't see each other because then the secret will get out. We guess it's because she's still in high school that it's a problem, but if they ever want to get seriously serious, she's going to have to deal with it eventually anyway. Or maybe they'll manage to keep it a secret forever, like Takahiro Sakurai and his "person he knows who likes Card Captor Sakura." But the point is, circumstances lead to Hinana going to see Ayami, and the important part of that is that we learn he's obsessed with his cat. Like seriously, does anyone Kaede knows in the Biz not have some fetish? But we like this one, because we like cats, too. Ayami seems like a decent guy. Like he still hates(?) Kaede, but at least he has the decency not to make life miserable for other people because of it. We also learn that Shu is a pretty great friend.
And I think that about covers it. I'm pretty eager to learn what Kaede's going to tell Hinana in the next volume, but I can wait. Because I have a lot of work to get through before we get to that, and I'd rather not do that all at once. But we hope you're all enjoying the series!
Aww, this series is adorable. And it's coming up on our schedule pretty soon! How exciting!
Today I'm thankful for reminders of another cute series we get to translate, getting to read more Noragami, Yato's little Capyper plushie that's dressed like him, also getting to watch an episode of Ace of Diamond, and Page going to many more places than just her perch today (although her perch is still clearly her favorite place).