This is the last review in a long backlog of reviews, so I'm really excited to finish it and feel like we're caught up on things! Only we won't be, because we're still a week and a half behind our Sailor Moon deadline, and have probably at least three days' work left on it. Ah, life.
But this volume, you guys! I mean, we kind of all know how things are going to turn out with Youko and Asahi, despite what mysterious box-headed women might be saying, so this volume featured the one thing that I really wanted to happen but wasn't guaranteed to happen, so to me it was the best. But that's in the second half, so let's cover the first half real quick.
The first chapter features an interesting wordplay involving Onii-san. This is the kind of thing that makes me realize that, much as I want to believe that anything is translatable if you just try hard enough, somethings really just aren't. And it's really more of a culture thing than a linguistic thing, I think, because it's all about how you address people, and in America, we just don't address anybody as brother...okay, I've heard our friend Gaston address his guy friends as brother (as well as celebrities we've run into at Disneyland), so I guess it is kind of a thing, but it's a much much much different thing than it was here. And it was all about creepy vampire hunter Sen and his relationship to Mei and Asahi. But the chapter was super adorable, with Asahi being all, "I'm not worried, okay!" And then when we find out that Mei was shopping for a gift for him, and they were both trying so hard to hide their true feelings. That's how you know they're related. Holey sieve indeed...
Next Mikan and Nagisa team up in an attempt to make the most of a timed sale at a grocery store. I don't know if we've ever had timed sales here in America, but we figured it was kind of obvious what it was, so we didn't bother researching it to write a note. The grocery store in question was pretty hilarious, though, and we did do some research to see if there was a connection between the Japanese word for housewife and for a specific kind of demon. In Japanese, they both start with shu (shufu and shura), but other than that, we couldn't find any real etymological connection. Ultimately, we decided it was a combination of "shufu" for housewife and akkiRAsetsu, the Japanese name of the store. We wrote a note about it, but we don't know if it will be available to anybody but the rewriter and editors. Anyway, those housewives were preeeeetty scary. But it was hilarious how they defeated both Shiho and Shirou. "You'll catch cold dressing like that..." Bwa ha ha. In the end, Mikan and Nagisa used their miraculous teamwork to save the day and get some eggs...which Mikan tried to walk away with without sharing. Is anyone surprised? No, no one is surprised.
There's a nice little chapter where we learn that Akane has promised Touko to watch out for Youko or Genjirou or something? The contents of the promise are not 100% clear. But of course, Akane's way of watching out for Youko is to mess with her by telling her she has to drink blood regularly. I think it's sweet that Youko and Asahi are so pure about it, instead of like, "You mean we have permission? Let's get it on!" Meanwhile, Karen comes along and says, "If you want to think it's a kiss, it's a kiss!" And they had a very brief Ace Attorney parody, which made us very happy. Also, Karen's experience as a lawyer was pretty awesome.
Another chapter features Shiho getting her revenge on Shimada for dissing nymphos. ...Or she attempted to get her revenge, anyway. The nice thing about it is that you knew it was going to fail every time, but the ways that it failed were so random that there was really no predicting them. And then we find out that he didn't really think Shiho was beneath him, he actually does have an ever so slight ability to take a hint, and the restraint to not take advantage of a girl on the rebound. It doesn't seem possible from him, but there it is. And that's probably why Nagisa is seeing Shiho walk the road she's seen so many shoujo manga heroines walk before...
Meanwhile, it's the second-to-last term of their last year of high school, and assistant teacher Yumi advises them all to make sure not to have any regrets. So Youko freaks out, and we really appreciated this, because we, too, are the types to freak out when people tell us to make the most of the time we have. Of course, Youko's solution is to make arrangements to eat every dish on the cafeteria menu in one sitting. When the expansion of her stomach causes a button to pop off of her blouse, Nagisa takes over, and is in turn replaced by Mikan for the same reason. Then Shiho comes along and says yeah, stop worrying about your clothes, this is the time to unleash your nympho powers, and they all feel better about themselves, until Youko is so full she can't move. It was...odd. But still good comedy, as the series usually is.
And finally! we have the four-part series where Sakurada is ready to defeat Akari at the athletic meet and confess his love to her! Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!! We get some flashbacks about when he first met her, and it was your typical Japanese feel-good reformed hoodlum sort of thing, but I love it. And of course the athletic meet was typical for this series, which means it was pretty much the opposite of typical. The way Youko won the 50m dash was just...wow. We agreed with Mikan (and even made a comment before we read hers) that that's pretty good thinking. The scavenger race (I think we come up with a different name for that every time we translate it these days) was a stereotypical manga event done in typical-for-this-series unexpected ways. Well...the item Nagisa had to get was a little cliched. But the way she dealt with it was somewhat unusual. Then the juxtaposition when it was Mikan's turn was adorable.
Of course, Akane is going easy on them at first, but only because she knows that once Akari breaks free from her prison and joins the fray, she will be unstoppable. See, Akari has been to several of her friends' weddings recently, and thus is in even greater despair about her single status. This despair has awakened her demon powers, so with those plus her already superhuman athletic prowess, she's basically a literal monster now. And so she begins to destroy all the competition. This is when Sakurada decides it's time for him to step up and start competing himself, so we get some interesting panels with him and Akari going one-on-one. The tricycles are the best. Eventually, he proves that he might actually be a match for Akari, which causes Akane to freak out and begin the final competition: the obstacle cavalry fight. And I just can't even. I think Masuda-sensei is really good at making story events seem perfectly natural in context, but they're the kind of thing that when you think about it afterward, you're like, "What in the world?" She summoned a castle. For a school athletic event.
And they had a battle. I mean, obviously. What else are they going to do? But this is where every member of the class got to do something really cool. It was fun. And we also had a flashback to when Akari was in elementary school and wished she could play the princess in her class play. Awwwwwwww. I can imagine some people might not be very happy because her story seems to indicate that every woman wants to be a princess, and I'm sure there are some women who genuinely do not. I, however, am a woman who would like to be a princess, so I could totally relate. This chapter made me cry, you guys. Oh, and the best was right before Sakurada went into the castle, and Karen came along and said, "You can't do anything before you get on this horse!" And then it turned out to be a pegasus! Of course it did, because everyone has a secret. Suddenly I find myself wondering if Akane's minion Tesaki has a secret... (Speaking of him, it wasn't until this volume that I made the connection that "tesaki" basically means minion. Thanks, Nekogahara, for reminding us of that definition!)
And it was so cute when Sakurada finally confessed his love. Both Akane and Akari were like, "What!? Are you sure?" Awwwwwww. But there's still the problem of them being a teacher and student, so they have to keep it a secret until Sakurada graduates. But of course the whole class already knows.
Anyway, I don't think this review does any justice to the pure zaniness that was this volume. It was really, really good. It still had the hurdle of being a text-heavy series that always comes along when we're crunched, and it was worse than it's been in a while, so we were like, "Ugh, just stop talking!!!" many times, so we didn't enjoy it so much in the moment, but looking back, we can definitely say it was a great volume. We hope you all like(d) it!
That volume was zany. But anyway, we have two new releases this week according to Amazon, but according to something somewhere, there was one release last week and another one this week. At any rate, you should now be able to get your hands on Missions of Love 17 and Noragami 20!! Woohoo! I love them both! So tune in next week for our review of Missions of Love 17!
Today I'm thankful for getting to go to California Adventure Office today, our adventures ending fairly successfully, having time to watch a couple of episodes of Miraculous afterward, getting our work quota done, and having our badges for Anime Expo! (We actually got them out of the mail on Saturday, but I kept forgetting to mention it.)