Merry Christmas, everyone! For those of you who were wondering, we really did get a new TV! Tadah! I'm sure you're all astounded. (Though to be fair, we did not pull out all the packaging, so for all we know, we got a TV stand, a remote, and a bunch of Styrofoam that may or may not be housing a television, but Athena saw something beyond the Styrofoam that looked something like a TV.)
I also got the best blanket ever! Celeste had me this year, and she asked me what stuff I'm into, and what kinds of things I like to get. I think I told her I'm into Harry Potter and Sailor Moon, and I like to get pajamas and blankets and...I don't remember what else. When Mom delivered the package, it was large and squishy, so I assumed blanket, but I didn't know what kind
of blanket. If I'd had to make a wager, my money would have been on Ravenclaw. So I started to unwrap it and the first thing I noticed was the Disney label. And I was like, "Oh, Celeste, don't you know I hate Disney now?" I should have trusted her more than that. Mostly I just hate hearing about anything new Disney is doing. The blanket is based on a classic Disney Renaissance film--it looks just like the Magic Carpet from Aladdin! ...Well, kind of more like the simplified TV version than the super elaborate movie version, but it still looks amazing, and the other side is super soft and fluffy, and so it is the best blanket ever. (It calls itself "mink Sherpa," which we think means "super soft fluffy wool texture.") Even Page loves it so much that for a little while she decided she'd rather sleep on that than in her heated cat bed.
I had Athena...and I didn't order her gift in time, alas. So I used one of our craft kits to make her a fancy ring that neither of us can quite figure out how to wear (but it's still purdy), and I put it inside the puzzle box we bought at Anime Expo two years ago, so she could at least have something to play with. And I still feel a little bad, but I think she'll really like what I got her...maybe! We'll find out! Whenever it gets here!
We also opened up the chocolates Gaston got us while he was in China. They're in fancy tins with Mickey and Minnie on one tin, and all the Fab Five on the other. They have praline filling and hazelnut filling, but our palates are not advanced enough to know which is which, or even if they're all that different.
And! we got a toy for Page, but we can't tell if she loves it or just has an uncontrollable urge to stare at it and make sure it's not a threat. It's an electronic toy that's shaped like a piece of cheese, with two mice that pop in and out of it. We turned it on, and she was riveted...for a while, and then she seemed to want to get away from the thing, so she went somewhere else, but soon she went back to it to stare at it some more. She did try to get close to it to investigate, but it made her too nervous to really try anything. It's kind of loud, so that might be the problem. (Soon after I typed this, she went out into the hall and meowed at us, so we turned it on to see if that's what she wanted. She retreated into the linen closet, and I don't know if that's because it's her favorite spot to watch things from...or...)
Finally, Athena had Aurora, so we wanted to get her an all-access pass to MasterClass, this website where they have a bunch of famous people give video lessons on the things that they're famous for. We still haven't heard back from her to know if she got it (we sent it to the most recent email address we have for her, but that's not very recent), but! they were having a buy-one-gift-one sale, so we got a pass for ourselves too! And we watched a few lessons on French pastry-making. He makes it look so easy! We might actually try it someday! If we can get over our fear of buying eggs!
And then we just played Kingdom Hearts, so I got to snuggle under my new blanket and Page got to snuggle on top of it.
Now, I promised a review for today, so let's get to it! Waiting for Spring volume nine! Spoilers ahead!
This is the volume we translated while sitting at the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail in California Adventure, which means it's also the one that Dale helped us with! Thanks, Dale! Sorry for not telling you what the series is called! And sorry it wasn't something like My Hero Academia or One Punch Man!
This volume started out being awfully talkative. And oh my goodness were we ever glad we managed to change Towa's love confession before volume seven went to print. We were also super glad that Ryuji never actually spoke a love confession in volume one, because when Nanase said no one's ever said, "I love you," to her before, we were like, "Uh-oh!" Oh man, we were so worried. We did have a workaround, though. If we had checked volume one and discovered that Ryuji did, in fact, say "I love you," then we could have said, "And meant it." But then she talks about how you should worry about guys who throw that phrase around, so it still wouldn't have worked all that
well, but that's okay, because it ended up not being a problem, thank goodness, seriously. We recently wrote a review of Wake Up Sleeping Beauty where we discussed how a certain Fruits Basket fan's strong opinion about how Hatsuharu wouldn't have said "I like you" to Isuzu because his feelings were way stronger than that okay? has affected how we translate that very key phrase in so much shoujo manga, and how now, years later, we're wishing it hadn't. "I like you" is a perfectly acceptable way to tell someone you're interested in dating them.
Anyway, Mitsuki's talking to Nanase to get some advice about what to do about the Towa/Aya situation, and the conversation turns to Nanase's ex-boyfriend. Dun dun DUN!! I still don't quite get why they broke up, but I understand enough of what happened, I think. I mean, of course he lied to her, which was a lot like Aya, so, like Mitsuki, now she has trust issues with him, and maybe some of his rich family stuff kept him from her, or she didn't want to go along with all that because she felt out of place? Well, it doesn't really matter that much; the point is they're broken up. But now Mitsuki knows what kind of competition Ryuji is up against, and it's gotten her so distraught that it's even distracting her from her wildly distracting own problems. And the way Ryuji caught her and forced her to talk about it was pretty hilarious. Check it out, you guys; it's a lot of fun.
But the best was that Mitsuki was like, "So what are you going to do about it?" and he was all, "Nothing. This doesn't really change anything." And I was so happy he felt that way because hello, people, he's an ex
-boyfriend. Obviously he's out of the running now. I do want to mention that we felt like the ex-boyfriend resembled Mitchan-san from My Little Monster, and Mitchan-san also had secret rich roots. They never named him, so I was tempted to call him Mitsukuni in the translation script. (I didn't. I just called him "crush," because he was Nanase's old crush. Maybe Mitsukuni would have been better.)
So everybody ends up at the cafe, and Ryuji is right there to witness the happy smile on Nanase's face when she rides up in her ex-boyfriend's car. Dun dun DUN!!! So he ran away, and then everybody freaked out and started looking for him, apparently everywhere except the florist. The whole time they were like, "No, I can't find him. What should we do?", we were all, "Did anybody think to check the florist?" He had just
told Mitsuki he was going to go get flowers for her for her birthday. And yeah, I know you think he ran off in despair, and she already had a giant bouquet from the man of her dreams, but you could at least check
the florist. I mean, this is Ryuji we're talking about. He's not exactly the type to give up without a fight.
But then it was the cutest scene ever, where he gives Nanase the (super adorable) bouquet and tells her to live happily ever after. I was kind of with Mitsuki on that one. "That was so cool..." And then Nanase managed to save her image as the perfect big sister by saying, "Oh, I wasn't happy to be with him. I was happy to realize I didn't need him." And I'm happy for her, too, because I've seen it when girls think they need a guy to be happy, and it can be sad. (On the other hand, I'm also all for being so in love that just being near the person makes you super happy. I don't think there's necessarily a contradiction here, but I don't feel like reasoning it out.)
The point is, now the whole business with Nanase's ex is resolved once and for all, and while she didn't tel Ryuji that she likes him, she definitely let him know that there was hope for him yet. And now we can move on to deal with Mitsuki's problems. In fact, she already had plans to meet with Aya and tell him that she wants to focus on her relationship with Towa. The people in this series are amazingly communicative; I love it. And then the shocking happened.
There we were, sitting on our bench at the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail, translating shoujo manga that was going in a very shoujo manga direction, all, "I saw my friends being assertive, now I'm
gonna be assertive, too!" She's holding her phone resolutely as Aya texts her to let her know he's on his way. We expect to see Aya show up and they were going to have a heart to heart. What really happened was we turned the page, and there was Mitsuki's phone on the sidewalk and skid marks on the road. What! We actually said that out loud in unison, right there in public. (To be fair, sometimes we react more
loudly when we're in public, because if there are people around, we like to get attention sometimes. But I think we would have reacted to this loudly even if we were alone in our office.) And then on the next page, there was Aya, cradling Mitsuki after he clearly had leaped across the street to grab her and pull her out of harm's way. Well, that was much more intense than anything we expected.
The other funny thing is that this happened right after I typed up the chapter title, and here's the thing. If you read the table of contents, it looks like a very possible scenario is that in the previous chapter, someone confessed their love, and then in this chapter, someone is going to turn it down. My first guess was Maki from the girls' basketball team confessing to Towa, because I guess I'm so focused on Mitsuki and Towa that I keep forgetting about Ryuji and Nanase. My second guess was Rino confessing to Aya. The correct answer was Ryuji confessed his love, but Mitsuki apologized for getting Aya sort-of hit by a car. But the funny thing is that when I typed up the chapter title, I said to Athena, "You know how they never give us chapter titles for Farewell, My Dear Cramer, and then in the tankoubons, suddenly there are chapter titles? I wonder if that happens with this series, and they deliberately pick titles that will be misleading from just reading the table of contents." Even with that thought in mind, I did not see that coming.
So Aya swears to Mitsuki that he didn't get hurt, and his mom is in on it, too, because surely she knows something's up when Mitsuki goes to visit Aya at the hospital and she says, "Oh, yeah, sorry, I don't think you'll get to see him." But Hojo basketball manager Rino is not so forgiving--she confronts Mitsuki at a basketball game and says, "It's your fault Aya tore a ligament and can't play!" Oh, that's another thing. We sooooort of guessed on the injury, because technically the literal translation is something like "something something something rupture." It was a bunch of medical-sounding words that had us going, "No one is going to know what that's talking about." It would sound pretty bad, though. Anyway, I Googled the thing and added "in layman's terms," and we got the most hits for torn ligaments. We also made sure to do a search to prove that you would wear a cast with a torn ligament, since Aya was wearing a cast. (I think the other option was a sprain, but that didn't seem as serious.) The point is, he couldn't play basketball.
And I forgot to mention that Towa and the guys have started playing a tournament that has turned out to be way more important than usual, because if they manage to win, they've convinced their team adviser to get rid of the no dating rule. Towa has just gotten sick and tired of being in love and not being able to do anything about it. I kind of appreciate that the Seiryo manager pointed out that everyone else on the team has been breaking the no dating rule all along, because it really does seem like most high school boys would just ignore it, and it also makes Towa that much more appealing to me because I like a guy with integrity. Anyway, it's also Towa's only hope of ever beating Aya, or so he seems to think. I do wonder what it is about guys and thinking that the ability to beat the other guy in a physical competition will somehow change the girl's feelings for him. I guess it's the old belief about evolution and females automatically loving the guy who's more likely to enable the continuance of the species. I don't know.
Anyway, now that Mitsuki knows Aya really did get hurt, Aya is refusing to make any contact with her. Kyosuke says it's because he doesn't want Mitsuki to be nice to him out of pity, which is fair, but I also suspect that Aya is still holding on to his childish notion of not ever wanting to look bad in front of her. If that's true, it's why he's doomed to lose her. Towa wants Mitsuki to see everything about him, which is an inevitability if you want to spend your whole life with them. But Mitsuki is determined to do some helping, because so far, all she's done is been helped. So! she works up her nerve and actually storms Aya's school and then his home. There was a scene that I thought was very interesting. Aya proves to Mitsuki that he's not helpless by doing the typical shoujo manga thing of pushing her down in a, "See? I could totally defile you," sort of way. I just thought it was interesting how she reacted. She didn't really flinch--she still confronted him head-on, but she refused to look at him. I don't know if that's meant to make a statement or anything, but I do think it's very much in character.
Then Aya says fine, if you're going to insist on helping me, I'm going to help you by pretending it's about me, and so he takes her to the last game of Seiryo's new team subdivision tournament so she can see them win the game and make it to the main tournament. Aww, that's sweet. But then he tells Towa, "Yeah, I'm going to let her like you for now, because I know you can never really beat me." Even after Mitsuki finally manages to tell him that she's more interested in Towa right now. Man, that dude is confident. I always really like Aya until it's him and Towa, and then I'm all about Towa.
And the very dramatic ending is Towa saying he's going to change destiny. Oooohhh! That's very kakko ii.
Finally we have another bonus manga about Rui being unhappy about not getting enough time in the spotlight. Aww, poor Rui. The under-the-slipcover comics were pretty funny, too. Check them out!
Aww, this series is so nice. I hope everybody's enjoying it!
And guess what! We have two new releases this week, on Christmas day itself! They're Fire Force 13 and Missions of Love 16! Two great titles!
And tune in on Thursday for our review of the fourth and final volume of Beasts of Abigaile!
Today I'm thankful for getting to have a nice relaxing Christmas day, getting the best blanket ever, having a tin of the chocolate cookies from Costco, getting to check out some Master Classes, and getting to read another Waiting for Spring review.