Alethea & Athena (double_dear) wrote,
Alethea & Athena

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The Voynich Hotel volume 2

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! We spent ours thinking we should work, but not actually working much. First, we slept in, because we've been so constantly sleepy, and I think it really helped, so it's probably a sleep deprivation thing and not any sort of weird disease or anything. Then we chatted on Facebook longer than we should have. But! we did meet our work quota! And instead of getting ahead for next week, we decided to get caught up on Last Man Standing. Right now our main priority is to just not push ourselves too hard.

Anyway, it's also Review Rursday! And we have a review of The Voynich Hotel volume two! Spoilers ahead!

Maybe it was a mistake to watch Mitsuboshi Colors before writing this review, because now I'm all into Mitsuboshi Colors because it's so adorable and I love it and there's even a jaded cop character to sympathize with our hatred of children and it's so perfect and we're wondering who in the world plays the cat and why they would be so cruel as to credit it with question marks instead of just leaving it out--is the cat going to turn human later? This show is not a fantasy or supernatural type show, though. But this isn't a Mitsuboshi Colors review! Get your head in the game!! (I'm just writing about it now because I can't put it on LiveJournal because the series doesn't actually start until a week or so after this writing.) [ETA: We know who plays the cat now. The cast took turns, but it was usually the voice of Kotoha.]

So if we're going in chronological order, this should be a review of The Voynich Hotel volume two. This volume was slightly less gross than the first one, so that was nice. It only had one poop joke, and the adult humor wasn't as bad...I think. I might have blocked some of it from my memory. Of course, the characters were still making it obvious that they don't have the same values we do, but it wasn't any worse than your typical American sitcom. And all the drug dealers were gone, so there was only the one guy doing drugs, and he had a hallucination tell him to quit it.

Let's try to make this more coherent, shall we? I'm not sure if that's possible, because there are so many storylines going on all at once, and they're all told in little tiny chapter chunks (seriously, for those of you not reading the series, each chapter is only like six to ten pages long), so it's really hard to keep track of the timeline sometimes...and then they actually go and tell things out of order, which is fine as far as story development is concerned, but when going back to summarize... I will say that, despite my problems with some of the content, the storytelling is pretty well done, and as I'm pretty sure I said in the previous review, it's an interesting story, and I want to know how it plays out.

Okay, so we start with...right, the detective team is still talking to Tenebrarum. She and Professor become an official couple and so Leader has to let her into the team despite all of her problems. They're actually kind of a cute couple once Tenebrarum puts some clothes on. There's something about a festival... The detective team goes to the festival, oh! and before that Fatso is training for the speed eating contest, but what's more important is that Kurosawa goes to visit Snark one last time before he goes back to Japan. He talks to Alice, which is sort of a revealing scene in that we find out Alice can't talk without her mask. I thought it was just a psychological thing, like the mask is a security blanket, but we learn later that it's literally true. Probably still a psychological thing as far as the not being able to talk, but the mask turns her thoughts into words. We also learn that Kurosawa wanted to marry Snark, which is really sweet but sad because Snark kills him. I really just don't know how to lead up to anything, so I'm just going to tell you. Also! the detective team learns from Kikaida that they're looking for a woman with prosthetic hands, and Leader's like, "Hmmm, I know someone like that..." But that leads us to a very important question of if everybody knows that the serial killer is Snark, and Snark always introduces herself as Snark, how does the detective team not know it's her? Our best guess is that they don't know her name, because they just know her as Alice's sister.

There's also progress in the relationship between Taizou and Helena, but man, Taizou is hardly in this volume. I thought he was the main character! But maybe Helena actually is. That would make sense. But the important thing is that Mamiya the Younger sees him hanging out with Helena and recognizes him as her mark, so she tells her sister and they get ready to track him down and kill him. They try asking Berna for his room number first, which was a mistake because now she's onto them, and she tells Helena, and they go together to stop them. Of course, in this series, "stopping" someone means killing them, so the Mamiyas didn't really stand a chance. But we got a pretty cool demonstration of Helena's powers. And creepy. Also, I want to point out that the Mamiyas look a lot like Jack Skellington, and considering the Iron Man lookalike drug dealer, we're guessing this isn't a coincidence.

But actually, it wasn't one of the witches that killed Mamiya the Younger--it was Snark. She came to visit Taizou in his room, possibly to kill him, I don't know. But she kills Mamiya the Younger and then is very sad about it, so she leaves before Berna gets there to find Mamiya the Younger. Berna is much more merciful than she let on at first, and so she put Mamiya the Younger back together (Snark kind of sliced her to pieces) and sent her back to Japan. ...And I mentioned that because I thought I might have more to say about it, but I'm not sure I do. We do get a flashback telling us that Mamiya the Older made her promise not to seek revenge because it's not profitable, and I think that's an interesting point.

The other main storyline involves demons. Apparently there are devils wandering around the island, and we discover that that's how Snark got her powers. That was kind of a neat thing, because we got to learn about Robert Johnson...which almost makes me worry about listening to blues music. We heard somewhere that some people think country music is designed to make people unhappy... I don't know, there's a lot of out-there theories about stuff everywhere. But the main thing is, thanks to a seemingly random series of events, Snark's deal with a devil leads to another devil coming along and deciding to challenge the witches? I don't know. But he builds a big hotel. And we learn that Alice's mask came from Snark's deal with the devil, and it actually turns her thoughts into words. And because of that! she can see that the devils are devils. So she hires Berna as a hitman to kill Holon (the two male devils are named after places in Israel; we didn't bother looking up Demona, because it seemed pretty straightforward, but now I'm a little worried), and Berna fails, but Helena comes back for revenge, and Holon is a chicken so he backs down easily and closes down his rival hotel. And then he decides to get a room at the Voynich. End of volume.

I'm not entirely sure what to make of it, really. There are some funny jokes, and some too mature jokes. And we were super busy when we translated this, so we were really glad that this volume wasn't as hard as the last one. ...Oh, I did just remember that Leader's first love was Peace, the member of the detective team who died, and we had Peace referred to as a "he" in volume one, but Peace is definitely a "she," so hopefully the editors will fix that, because we forgot to mention it when we turned the translation in. Sorry, Peace! Anyway, this volume didn't have nearly so many pop culture references...that we were able to recognize as such. So there were a lot fewer notes, and that was good.

I think that's all I have to say. ...Tadah.

Wow, that review was hard to follow. Well, hopefully it made sense to the people who read the volume, and hopefully it was at least amusing to the people who didn't.

But anyway, tune in next Tuesday, for our review of Hatsu*Haru volume three!

Today I'm thankful for getting to take it slightly easy, finishing our work quota, getting to watch TV, getting to sleep in, and getting to talk about Edens Zero and other anime fannish things.
Tags: reviews, the voynich hotel

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