We did crazy things with our schedule today, but we promised a review, and we are going to post it! So here it is, our review of My Monster Secret 13! Spoilers ahead!
Once again, we actually have some time before bed to not be working, so we're catching up on reviews! Can we remember what happened in this volume? Let's find out!
It started with the dentist. This much I remember, because dental stuff has become a bit of a trigger for me. I think with time I'll get over it, but I wasn't quite by the time we did this chapter. Fortunately, since it was about Akane going to the dentist (I mean, of course it was), most of the chapter was not actually spent at
the dentist. In fact, I think it was a gag that was designed to sneak some kind of important information into the story whose significance has yet to be fully realized, but it probably has something to do with Yuka being from the future. Incidentally, they don't go into that much this whole volume, but they do basically confirm it at the end without stating it outright. Anyway, Karen was in this chapter, and that was nice. She's really not in it very much, which is kind of sad, but I'd rather she not be forced into it, even though I like her a lot.
The next chapter features a new character, Saki Minagawa. We assume her color (since they all have colors in their names) is light blue, and that the name Saki comes from her being a succubus (sakiyubasu). And of course she speaks with a dialect, because that's exactly what we needed to deal with when we've been as crunched for time as we were when we translated this volume. Fortunately, it's a northern dialect, and we've already decided how to deal with that. Also fortunately, her backstory continues to confirm that northern dialect in Japanese = hillbilly dialect in English. Her backstory is pretty funny, too. And then she has a sexy pose showdown with Youko, which is just... I don't even know. I think I'm too tired to appreciate the humor, but I can at least acknowledge it was there. The "viewer experience may vary" comment every time Saki reacted to something was pretty funny, though. I feel like utterly unsexy succubus was kind of the obvious way to go, but Masuda-sensei makes it work, and that's the important thing. And does anyone else think that Sen is going to turn out to be, like, a vampire hunter or something? I mean, we already have a pervy character in Shiho, and if you want a pervy guy
character there's Shimada and Ryo, so it really seems like there ought to be more to that kid. Plus he's got swirly glasses, and that always seems significant.
Also, it seems like Shiho's mother is just causing trouble for everybody. Including! Genjirou! That was the best part of the chapter about Fuku-chan, when that breeze came along, and Shiho's mother was there... I was kind of hoping she would stop and talk to the Shiragamis, but no such luck. Well, it makes sense; the chapter was about Fuku-chan, not the Shiragamis, although it did give some hints about Genjirou. My current theory is that he wanted to be a teacher, but something went wrong and everybody freaked out and it ruined his chances, and now Akane became principal so that she can make the school into one that's safe for non-humans like vampires to be teachers in.
Anyway, I feel like I had more to say about the Fuku-chan chapter, but I can't remember it anymore. Maybe it had to do with the cats with the old glasses. Maybe it had to do with glasses hanging out at a bar. I don't know. That chapter was tres bizarre.
So let's move on then. Asahi has to figure out what he wants to do with his life. This is a pretty common theme in high school manga, and I think it's interesting how they handle it in Japanese schools. I feel like the teachers give a lot of guidance, which seems nice, but on the other hand, it seems like they want you to have a specific idea by a certain time, and I can definitely understand why that would be hard. I mean, we didn't know what we wanted to do until our second year of college, and even then, we were more thinking of being voice actresses in Japan than translating. The whole translation thing was more of a backup plan, until we actually started doing it our senior year. The point is, that's a tough decision, and I can see why it would stress these high school kids out so much.
But that's okay, because Akane came to the rescue again! And of course she did it in the most sadistic way possible. That's the funny thing about Akane; what she does is genuinely helpful, but also includes a fair amount of torture. I suppose the same could be said of many of life's experiences... But the point is, Asahi became a superhero for a day, and when I read the chapter title in the table of contents, I wasn't sure they were actually going to go that route, but they did. And so Asahi figured out what he wanted to do with his life, and it was the same thing Youko wanted to do, and they were so cute and happy about it.
Then! There's a sort of not-quite-a-date with Sakurada and Akari! Woohoo! But we don't get to see much of it, because that chapter is more about Akane freaking out about it. Aww, poor Akane. Don't worry; there are plenty of people for you to torment even if Akari does get married. I really want things to work out for that couple, but it looks like we have to wait for Sakurada to graduate first. But man, considering all the things Akari does for these kids, if that's normal for teachers in Japan, suddenly it makes even more sense that there would be so many forbidden romance stories about teachers and students.
Finally, there was the box woman. Who was she!? Is she from the future? Or is she some random person making stuff up? Is she Akane? Is she related to Nagisa? Is she related to Mikan? And her appearance was so out-of-the blue! We don't even know how Mikan and the others ran into her! And she claims that Asahi is not going to marry Youko! But Asahi and Youko love each other so much! Does that mean Youko's going to die? That seems a little too dramatic for a series like this. Maybe she was really just making stuff up. So many question marks. But it does lead to a chapter of Nagisa and Mikan trying to help Asahi in his relationship, and that was very sweet of them. All the potential reasons for Youko breaking up with him forever were pretty amusing.
And then Yuka confirms that she's from the future by hanging out with Rin and heavily implying that the name "Asahi Kuromine" is somehow very significant to the future. Dun dun DUN!!! The plot thickens. And I'm sure we'll learn more gradually, with lots of funny gags thrown in.
Oh, that reminds me, I forgot to talk about the chapter where Shirou and Genjirou come over to play video games. I feel bad, because I don't think this review has very many amusing comments, and I'm sorry for that. It was a good volume, and a lot of the time the comedy speaks for itself, so what is there to add? I did think that maybe Genjirou had come to sabotage Asahi's studies so that he couldn't do well on his exams, and thus he would sabotage Asahi and Youko's relationship, but I'm glad I turned out to be wrong, because when I put it in words like that, it really sounds like a horrible plan. Genjirou really is cute in how he has kind of this big, scary image but is just a big old softy. Learning that he wanted to be a teacher just makes him that much more endearing.
So yeah. Another fun volume of a fun series. We hope you all enjoy(ed) it!
Yup, this is the volume where they start talking about getting into the serious plot stuff. I'm glad I have this review, because I'm tired, and I know that My Monster Secret is coming up on our schedule, so it's good to remember that I like this series.
Well, that's it for this week! Tune in Tuesday for our review of Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun 8!
Today I'm thankful for getting a fair amount of work done, getting to hang out with Cecille at Disneyland, not completely wearing ourselves out, not being rained on the whole
time, and being back home where it's warmer and dryer.