I know this doesn't make any difference about when we post this, but oh man, we are so far behind on reviews. We only have a backlog of three [ETA: Aahh ha ha, three... that's cute], but I feel like we did them all about a million years ago. Can I remember anything!? We're about to find out! I do remember that all three of the things we have to review are sappy romances, so at least they should be fun to look back on. (And they're each for a different publisher, so the dates they all get posted could be pretty far apart.)
First up! (and the only one up today, the day this gets posted) is Missions of Love!! Woohoo!!! I still feel like we're about the only people in the world who still like this series, but oh how we love it. Back when we posted our review of volume 15, we got a comment from someone who was still reading it, but we recently posted our review of volume 16, and no comments in sight. I'm sure that person is still reading it, but they're not reading this blog, so in our world, we remain the only ones who like it. ...But by that logic, we're the only ones who like just about anything we like. What a sad, lonely existence. (I'm not trying to get pity; I'm actually in a pretty good mood right now, because we recently found a new anime we like (Ace of Diamond).) That commenter also said something about how it was about a bunch of terrible people being terrible, but this volume features a lot of people being good people, so maybe that's why he stopped reading it. (He probably didn't stop reading it.)
But let's actually talk about it, shall we? So when we last left our heroine, Hisame had discovered her secret! Dun dun DUN! And he's fully going to blackmail her about it, the jerk. (I didn't say everyone in the series was being a good person.) My favorite part about this is that Yukina doesn't go down without a fight. We're still firmly of the opinion that as soon as Shigure does find out, or maybe after a little bit of processing, he'll be like, "Oh, so that's what was going on. So many things make so much more sense now." But we can still understand Yukina's hesitance to let him find out, especially because she's a teenager and teenagers aren't exactly known for being rational.
Yukina's anti-Hisame plan is to see if she can get some dirt on him so they can be in a blackmail stalemate or something. You know, the old, "If you reveal my secret, I'll just reveal your secret." So she orders Hisame to come to her school so she can remind him how much he loves Mami, in the hopes that his love will make him lose his cool. Unfortunately for her, Hisame is now so into Yukina that he doesn't care about Mami anymore, so he turns it around and starts asking where all the scenes from her novel took place in real life. And I'm glad they keep pointing out that Yukina has some affection for Hisame, because there are so many things that she could have just said no about, and even if he threatened to tell Shigure her secret, she could have just taken him to a different spot. ...Oh right, I forgot to point out the significance of what Hisame is doing. He's asking Yukina to take him to all the important scenes she had with Shigure, and ordering her to do the same things with him, so that now all of her happy memories with Shigure will be forever tied to him, too.
And that reminds me! This series once again proves what a bad idea it would be to always "translate" honorifics. Hisame calls Yukina "Nee-san." If we were to translate this, the literal translation would be Sister, which we don't usually use in English anyway, except for with nuns, and she's not his real sister or a nun, so it would probably be confusing. The next obvious choice would be Yukina, because if you're close enough to someone to call them your sister, you'd probably call them by their first name. So you have Hisame calling Yukina by her first name all along, and when they get to the nurse's office and he finds out that this is where Shigure called her by her name for the first time...well first of all, the significance of that would be totally lost anyway, because even if we were using a nickname, it still would not have the same romantic effect unless it was a sappy romantic nickname. So what are the odds that we would have had Shigure using a sappy romantic nickname for Yukina? Well, since he's calling her "Yukina" regularly now, we'd have to be pretty careful about how sappy we went, for one thing--I mean they can't all be Usako. But odds are the "san" in Himuro-san would have been translated out, which would have then lost all nuance when he dropped the act and started calling her Himuro...so there's a smaaaaall chance he would have had a nickname for her by then, if, to represent the switch from Himuro-san to Himuro, we just went to Yukina right off the bat. Then what happens when he calls her by her first name? Well, we probably would have had to come up with a sappy nickname. So maybe it's not as dangerous as we thought. It all depends on the probability of switching Himuro (without -san) to Yukina. And I can't say how high that probability is.
Anyway. By now, Yukina's figured out that reminding Hisame of Mami isn't going to get her anywhere, and Hisame's pointed out that Shigure might tell her to stop writing stories. So now she's a little too busy worried about losing her relationship with Shigure to even think about Hisame's blackmail. And once again, she decides to fight back! This girl does not take things lying down. She says, "If he's going to rewrite all my old memories, I'll just make new ones!" and she and Shigure go to the library. And this is where Shigure starts to be the best best best. When we were at Anime Expo, we got to talking about Frozen and how Anna doesn't really love anyone, so the person we were talking to asked what stories we'd say have a true loving dynamic. Shigure is a good example of someone we see genuinely caring about somebody else. Why? Because he pays attention, he remembers things, and he uses that information to try to make Yukina feel better. Now if only he'd pay just a liiiiiittle bit more attention, he might be able to solve the whole business.
A chance encounter with a picture book exhibit has Yukina over the moon with nostalgia, and she's just so smiling and happy that Shigure immediately realizes that she loves stories. And he asks her about it! (One thing I love more than anything is when someone asks me about the things I like.) So now she's able to tell Shigure that she likes coming up with stories. She's really nervous about it because Hisame put weird ideas in her head, but, as expected, Shigure was like, "Why would it upset me that you like making up stories? You should be an author or something." I was really amused, though, at how Toyama-sensei portrayed his reaction, because she succeeds in making it look like Shigure was upset about it, but it was really just because he never knew about it, and he was annoyed because he assumed correctly that Akira did. Aww, poor jealous teenager.
So now Yukina is thrilled that she doesn't have to give up writing...but then! they walk by one of those giant screens with ads and news and stuff on it, right as they're talking about the Yupina vs. Dolce battle! And Shigure says, "Yeah, I don't know about those cell phone novels, though. They're kind of embarrassing." What! Why did you even read one!? Well, because Hisame had a copy of Dolce's book in his room when Shigure went to retrieve the school uniform Hisame took from him. And this is one of the things that we wish Shigure would pay just a liiiiiittle bit more attention to. Why in the world would Hisame of all people have a hard copy of a super sappy cell phone novel? Anyway, we were like, "Come on, that's Dolce's novel! We all know it's way sappier than Yupina's novel!" But it's something Yukina is self-conscious about, so she's understandably devastated that Shigure isn't a fan of her particular genre. Personally, I think that even if he didn't like the stories, he would still be okay with Yukina writing them, although whether or not he's okay with being the model for them is yet to be determined. Anyway, he's also like, "But you wouldn't write romance novels! It's just not part of your experience...wait." Oh wait, that's what we wish he was like. He really only said the first part. But Yukina got really quiet and went straight home, so we still wish he would put two and two together. Come ON, you stupid boy!
But at least he remembered that she likes parfaits.
Anyway, let's get to my biggest complaint about this volume. There is almost no Akira whatsoever. He's only in one scene! What the heck! And it's not even a real scene, it's just a tease! ...Okay, that's not true, it's a real scene. And it's adorable, too, with him showing Mami the pictures from the magazine he was featured in and telling her that he decided to be a model. He realized that, before, Yukina was his whole universe, and now that she's broken up with him, he realizes he needs more to his life. Aww, Akira, I'm so proud of you! So he's getting a career and stuff. And as part of that, he needs to give Mami a response to her love confession. And he says, "Mizuno-san, I..." And they cut away, and we never see him again! There are only two volumes left, so I'm guessing he's going to say yes to her, but dang it! I want to see it now!! He did thank her for the makeover and her support and everything. Athena says we'll probably only see the continuation of that scene in flashback, because kind of a lot of time is passing. Sigh.
Hisame, meanwhile, is ramping up his evil plan. As Dolce, he suggests a televised interview between the two battling novelists. Of course, this is all his way of revealing Yukina's secret, while at the same time, getting her to warm up to him as a fellow cell phone novelist. And when the authors and editors get together to hammer out the details, he wears a ridiculous bunny mask! It's actually kind of awesome.
But the point is, Yukina is forced to agree to do the interview when her editor points out that if she doesn't, the TV program will basically be one long commercial for Dolce. But now she has to make sure Shigure will never see it! So she calls him and asks what he'll be doing at the time of the broadcast, and I love it because that's when she realizes, oh wait, that's sure to get him suspicious. And this is where Shigure is the best best best again! He can tell she's upset, and he knows she loves those novels, so he invites her to come with him to visit his mom so they can both obsess over the novel together! Awwwwwww! AND! on the way there, they stop to get some desserts for a mimai, and he gets Yukina a mini parfait to help cheer her up, because he remembers she likes parfaits. Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!
Then he finds out she has a secret and tries to get it out of her, but then he sees how upset she is and he tells her that as long as she cares about him as much as he cares about her, that's good enough for him and she doesn't have to tell him if it's that painful for her. Awwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!! Also, when his mom and Yukina are talking about the novel, the thing about the mouth-to-mouth antidote gets brought up, and he was like, "Why does it have to be administered mouth-to-mouth? How does that make sense?" and we were like, "THANK you!"
The book ends with Shigure's mother getting tickets to see the interview live. Dun dun DUN!!!
One thought that I didn't mention is that, in the course of his evil plotting, Hisame tells Yukina that it's okay if she doesn't love him yet--they'll just keep doing all the same things she did with Shigure, and she'll fall in love with him eventually. It is an interesting theory, because it's soooort of how she and Shigure fell in love, but he just needs to talk to Akira to know that it doesn't always work that way. I do wonder how Hisame and Akira would get along...
The other thing that hasn't been mentioned is the side story with the snow people. All I have to say is...I don't even know. It's bizarre and hilarious. So don't miss it!
The preview indicates that the next volume is going be Very Dramatic, and it's the second to last one! So things are really heating up! I'm so excited to see how it all turns out!!
Aww, what a nice series. We're finished with it now, alas. Maybe someday we'll have time to read it again. But we'll have to stop watching Miraculous first. Hrm.
Anyway, we actually have two releases today! Woohoo! Saint Young Men 2 and Hatsu*Haru 7! Check 'em out!
AND!!! Do not forget to tune in next week for our review of Noragami 20! Oh my gosh, you guys, it's so so so good!!!
Today I'm thankful for having a lovely time at the Relief Society activity, running into the missionaries so they could remind us that we agreed to do the music for the baptism on Saturday, finishing our work quota (sort of) despite the interruptions to our schedule, having more releases on our future schedule, and having some lovely paintings that we made in Relief Society.