But in the meantime, it's Review Rednesday! And this week we have a review of My Monster Secret to post! Spoilers ahead!
This volume of My Monster Secret is a little extra hard to keep track of because we're working on it at the same time as Devils' Line, so some of the vampire stuff gets mixed up in my memory. Not in the actual translations, fortunately, because they're right there in front of us, and we don't add anything that's not in the Japanese, but then they'll say something and it'll be like, "Yeah, that's what they said...in the other thing," and stuff like that. It's just weird. But this is the volume that clued us in to the vampire double entendre of pure blood equals virginity, all because of a typo when I was looking up junketsu. Frankly, I'm surprised that Youko and Asahi were so surprised to find out "the truth" about bloodsucking. Like, duh, people. On the other hand, it's not like they actually took part in procreative activities. We're pretty sure you can't make babies from sucking blood...but on the other hand, that is how you make more vampires... I'm starting to get confused. And of course I'm way ahead of myself.
This volume starts with Shiho! And with her coming to terms with who she is and how she feels and everything. We read a review of a recent volume (whatever that means in this series' translation/release schedule), one of the ones where they start to hint that Shiho might have feelings for Asahi, and the reviewer was like, "Come on, that doesn't even make any sense." Of course it makes sense, silly, this is a harem series. I do think things would be getting out of hand if Akane and Karen joined the harem, though. Shiho's reactions to shock are pretty funny, in a very wrong sort of way. I appreciated Nagisa's attempts to minimize the damage, as well as her comment that she can't save someone who voluntarily walks to their death.
The important thing! is that Mikan, Nagisa, and Shiho finally all learn each other's secrets. I think Youko and Asahi still don't know about Fuku-chan, though, come to think of it. But maybe they do? It gets hard to keep track anymore. We just have too much to keep track of with all our other series. That chapter was kind of like, "Okay, we're going to address that a significant plot point happened, and then we're going to have madcapped mayhem about it because that's how this series works." I think I would probably enjoy it more if I were to go back and reread it in a capacity where I was not responsible for typing up every line of dialogue, because it was kind of hectic. But then they affirmed that not only were they all still friends, but they were even closer now. Awwwwwwwww. We also really like that Shiho and Mikan each have a new name for each other every time they address each other. I was afraid it was going to be Akemin and Shi-pon, or whatever the first one for Shiho was, forever, which would have been a little funny by itself, but it's so much better to have it be different every time. On the one hand, it's like, "I'd like to see you deal with that, all you 'honorifics are only left in by lazy translators' people!" But on the other hand, that's exactly the kind of thing where you can just make up whatever you want and it's not a problem because the point is to be silly. We have more we could say about that, but it gets ridiculously judgmental, so I should refrain.
Well, now that Shiho had her touching moment with her new friends, they all realize that they're still faced with stopping Shiho from marrying Shimada in the future. But Shiho decides she doesn't care anymore, she just wants to go confess her love to Asahi, so she does, and of course he turns her down, and then the sad truth of Shiho's relationship with Shimada comes to light. You'll have to read the book to find out!
Next we have a chapter where Asahi and Shirou have a bit of a heart-to-heart about Shiho, and I think it's really nice to have Shiho and Shirou interacting with each other and talking to other people about each other. I'm still not really sure how their relationship works. They're kind of like siblings, I guess? And then there's more taunting Akari for being single, which...I don't know. It just seems like same ol' same ol' at this point. It's much better when they bring Sakurada into it. And I'm pretty sure there would have been at least one kid who would have volunteered to marry her, unless her single powers are so strong that they deter even that kind of childish impulsiveness. Maybe that was the point. But Karen was adorable as usual.
And then we start to develop Asahi and Youko's relationship...first with more of the same stuff as usual. This series really does seem to replay a lot of the same sort of content, but that was kind of the point of this chapter, and despite being that kind of chapter, it wasn't super talkative, so we forgive it. And then! Asahi and Youko are stranded at the beach overnight! Dun dun DUN! As they struggle to overcome the hardship, Asahi realizes how much he loves Youko, and he kisses her! Awwwwwww! And then she makes him kiss her again...
But! Oh no!!! Then she sucks his blood! Whaaaaaaat!!! Well, we already knew from earlier on that bloodsucking wasn't meant as any kind of deadly move, but it did make Youko a little creepy, so they were both like, "What the what...?" and then Akane showed up to reveal the truth, because that's what she does. And after a ridiculously dramatic build up, she says, "It's basically like vampire sex." And we were like, "Yeah, duh." But Youko and Asahi are surprised because they're so cute and innocent. Akane convinces Youko that it's natural, so Youko leaves, but then! Akane has to warn Asahi! About vampire hunters!!! Dun dun DUN!!!
And as soon as she said something about people who hunt vampires, we were like, "I knew there was something about Sen!" He hadn't even been in the volume yet, but sure enough, it was him. I don't remember if he was talking as fancy earlier on as he was to Youko, but that's the rewriter's problem now. We're pretty sure he wasn't, but maybe he had a bit of an unusual speech pattern? I really have no recollection, just that he's more gross than Shimada.
As usual, the "vampire hunters" in this series are not the stereotypical kind, which is especially good in this case, because we've already shown that vampires are far from dangerous in this world, so it would be annoying to have a character that was bound and determined to kill Youko, especially because even in other series, vampire hunters tend to be experts on vampires, so it would be like, "If you know so much about them, why are you still trying to kill harmless little Youko?" So in this series, vampire hunters are more interested in marrying vampires than killing them, which is great, because now that we've addressed Asahi's feelings for Youko's rivals, it's about time Asahi gets a rival. It's pretty well done, now that I think of it, because Sen is really not a great catch, but the one thing he does know is vampires, and he's really good at saying exactly what Youko wants to hear. I feel like a lot of the time, the male rival is Mr. Perfect, but the hero always gets the girl in the end because true love conquers all? he's adorkable? I mean, I'm pretty sure it usually makes sense in the context, like Mr. Perfect turns out to be uncaring or something, but anyway I feel like this business with Sen is a bit on the novel side, and I enjoy it.
And I think that's it for this volume. I'm kind of interested to see how Youko's powers evolve. So we'll look forward to next time! (But not too eagerly, because we're busy, as usual.)
This review...makes it pretty obvious that, as usual, we translated and reviewed My Monster Secret in the middle of a whirlwind of work. Well, that's just going to happen sometimes. Or most of the time. Maybe not so much lately, thankfully.
And speaking of not having so many work whirlwinds, it looks like our new releases this week are...nothing! We do have a digital-first series we've been working on for Kodansha that we were hoping would be released this month, like maybe today or something, but looks like it's not ready yet.
In the meantime, there will be a new release next week, and it's Land of the Lustrous volume 8! So get it and read it really fast so you can read our review of it next Wednesday!
Today I'm thankful for actually finishing our work quota today (it was looking pretty iffy for a little while), getting to check out a new-to-us anime, getting to watch more Unfortunate Events, having time to get some chocolate before we have to go to bed, and having something to review next week.