Well, thanks to never really recovering from burnout, a lot of busyness (including family trips to Disneyland), and a desire to do nothing but watch Miraculous ad infinitum, we find ourselves seven reviews behind! Ah, ha, ha... So now we are putting our desire to watch Miraculous on hold so we can get just a teeeeeny tiny bit caught up on this review writing business, because one of the reviews on the list is for Sailor Moon, and we need to get that one written before we start translating the next volume of Sailor Moon, ideally in about a week.
But for today, we review Missions of Love! It's really a shame we put this review on the backburner, because getting this one finished was quite the journey, and it's the very last volume, too! I'm sorry, Missions of Love! You deserved more than this. I will try to do you justice. Now, if I remember correctly, we were working on this at about the same time as a volume of Hatsu*Haru, and instead of just finishing one and then the other, we had them both going at the same time, because it just worked out better timing-wise. Or so we thought! Because what we didn't realize is that we had a Waiting for Spring volume hiding in our schedule, so we had to interrupt both of Missions and Hatsu*Haru to get the entire volume done from start to finish in approximately 48 hours. Through the grace of God, we accomplished it, but there was no time to rest, because we still had to finish both of these books. And we chose Missions first, because for some reason we had fewer qualms about missing our Hatsu*Haru deadline (probably because we figured the letterer was busy anyway).
And this was the final volume!! Aaaaahhhh, oh my gosh, you guys, it was too cute. But we translated this about...five weeks ago? so I may have to work myself up to remembering what happens. The main thing, of course, is that Shigure has now read all of Yukina's novel, and this is the part where I'm a little torn, but only a little. So in the novel, Lilia is Yukina and the Count is Shigure, and Lilia's kingdom and friends and everybody she knows except for the Count represents Yukina's novel-writing. So to prove to the world that Shigure means more to her than anything, Yukina has Lilia kiss the Count, which, as we all know, will cause the kingdom to melt away. I take issue with this, because Lilia basically just destroyed an entire population because she had to be with her man. I mean, sure they'll probably have kids and raise generation after generation of new family, but still. That's a lot of people to just say, "Nah, you're not worth it," to. In the end, I'm not too angry about it, though, because we later find out that the kiss melted the ice over the kingdom and turned the whole place into a beautiful land of eternal spring or something like that, and nobody really died. But more importantly, I get it, because it was a metaphor for the worlds Yukina creates in her writing, and because of the way everything went down with Shigure, she did have to prove to him that he meant more to her than her writing. As a metaphor, it works, and since all those people were fiction, I'm not too worried about their fates. I guess what I'm saying is, I question Lilia's judgment, but Yukina's cool.
Of course, Yukina doesn't know if any of this is going to work, so as soon as she posts the chapter for everyone to read, she disappears somewhere to hide from the world. This is pretty understandable, too. We've sent more than one email in the past that had us terrified of the response. The best was when Shigure went to her house to see if he could find her, and all the fangirls were swarming the place, and Yukina's dad broke his vow(?) of silence to say, "Yo. Leave us alone." Only it was way more kakko ii than that, of course. I really love how much Yukina's parents care about her.
Eventually Yukina and Shigure end up in the same place, but not together yet! because the best place to hide from people in certain situations is actually a place that's full of people, so they were at an amusement park with lots of crowds. So Yukina heard Shigure calling to her, but she couldn't find him, especially because! dun dun DUN! she got caught in a river of people, and her glasses fell off and got smashed to bits! Oooohhhh nooooooooo!!!! I mean, something like this was obviously going to happen at some point, because Shigure promised he was going to cure her fear of going glasses-less, and that hadn't happened yet. So Yukina's freaking out about all the people staring at her bare eyes (<--reference to the Weekenders), but she hears Shigure calling to her, and she realizes that when he's around, she's not afraid! D'awwwwwwwww!!! So she jumps into his arms, and he kisses her. Did they have a conversation first? I don't remember. I remember she was still worried about him turning her down, but I don't know if that was before or after the kiss. It was all so long ago...
Well, the point is they kiss, and it's just like what happens in the novel! And that reminds me, the conversation was after the kiss. Anyway, the timing of the kiss was so perfect that all the lights in the amusement park came on at the same time so now the whole world was sparkling!! ...At least, that's how we interpreted it. It's possible that it really did just look like it was sparkling because she was so enchanted by the whole thing. And it was just like in her novel, where the snow melted away to reveal a world even more beautiful than she had ever imagined. Awwwwwwww.
Then Shigure said, "It's just like in your novel!" and that's how I remembered how the conversation went down, and I also remember Yukina being all worried that now he was going to tell her sorry we're through, and me being all, "But he just kissed you..." But he didn't reject her and now they can live happily ever after. Awwwwwwwwww...
Meanwhile, Akira and Mami were messing with Hisame and giving him a taste of his own medicine. I remember having a strong reaction to the scene where Akira tells Hisame he was playing him, but I don't remember what it was... I can't help really liking Akira, even if he was being kind of evil at this point. But he was doing it to help Yukina, so... I don't know. Anyway, the upshot of it all is that Hisame realizes that Mami is still his true love, Akira realizes that it's going to take more than a rebound relationship to get over Yukina so turns Mami down, and Mami keeps telling herself that Akira just needs time and he'll come around. And when Akira realizes that all of this is going on, he is rather frustrated at the whole love triangle thing, and that is one of the best parts, because! it even spills over into the Snow People side stories. Have I mentioned those at all? Oh my goodness, they get to be pretty zany. Shigure becomes a father, and his snow daughter falls in love with Snow Hisame...and I don't remember where the love triangle comes in (maybe because Shigure insists that Shiguna still loves her daddy?), but I remember Akira being all, "I said I have had it with love triangles!" ...Well, we were amused anyway.
Then there were two extra chapters, because Toyama-sensei miscalculated how long it was going to take to end the series, and they had to fill up space for the final volume. They were both super adorable and super worth it, though. The first one involves Mami's intricate plot to get herself invited to Akira's home for Christmas. I have to say, I really appreciate a series that gets into the feelings of a child whose parents are divorced. I also have to say that Mami's plotting in this kind of reminds me of Marinette's plotting in the Gigantitan episode of Miraculous. But her plot fails when she finds out that Akira has plans to spend Christmas with someone else! Could it be there's another woman!? No, silly, Akira has grandparents. And it really made a lot of sense that they're still alive. They also explained why they were never around in a way that works for all the characters, so we can dig it. Anyway, Mami got Akira an Usagoro scarf for Christmas, and it was so cute, because after she leaves to let him spend time with his grandparents, he comes out to invite her back in (her plot resulted in her being alone and homeless on Christmas), and he's already wearing the scarf! Awwwwwww! Meanwhile, Hisame got Mami a cute gift, too, and it's really kind of hard to say who I'd rather she end up with. But it doesn't matter, because Yukina came along and said, "Shigure's dumb. Let's all go to Akira's house." And the best part was when she was like, "His grandparents are going to be here for two whole weeks. They can share him for one day." I just really liked that, because it didn't make sense that he would only have this one chance to spend time with them.
And finally, we have the Yukina/Shigure epilogue, which was the super cutest thing ever. To be honest, and I think I said this in past reviews, we were really hoping that when Shigure found out about the whole novel thing, he would just be like, "Wow, that explains so much," and he wouldn't think much of it because now things that didn't make sense do. Well, we didn't get that, and that was okay because it was still understandable, and now we get a story where he's sort of agreed to help her with her new novel...and oh man, the premise is so ridiculous. A couple of happy newlyweds gets into a tragic accident where they both get amnesia and then are adopted (despite both being 18 or older (I know in fairy tales you can get away with marrying the characters super super young, but I think it even said they were around 18)) by the same guy so now they're brother and sister, but then their feelings of love start to revive only now it's forbidden. It's like the most contrived thing ever, but at least it's dramatic, so I'd probably still read it if it was done well.
And to help Yukina with her novel, Hisame gives her a graduation present--he sends her and Shigure off to their villa in the mountains. And then they immediately get snowed in, and we were like, "It seems like Hisame did this on purpose, but it's not like he can control the weather..." Apparently he's just way more attentive to weather forecasts, because it turns out he did do it on purpose. And I don't want to get into the details of Yukina and Shigure's newlywed game, but it was super adorable, I have to tell you that. And there's some drama because Shigure doesn't appreciate Yukina's efforts (how do you turn a salad into charcoal?) and she's worried that he's graduated from her, but of course that all gets resolved and they're super in love, and at graduation he gives her a ring and it's all awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!
And there you have it! A super cute ending to a super cute series. I think my one minor complaint is that Akira wasn't in it very much after Yukina broke up with him, but his story was mostly resolved by that point, so it makes sense. I just really like Akira. But I really like all the characters, so it's okay! And I hope you all enjoyed the series to. It was a lot of fun to work on, and just the kind of light romance we need sometimes. And I'm extremely grateful that we got to work on it.
Awww, you guys! What a cute series! I am glad we got to work on it. Thinking back on it, now I'm pretty bummed that they didn't ask us to work on any of Toyama-sensei's subsequent series. Boo. Oh well.
Review Rednesday is going to go on hiatus for now, because next week is Christmas (wow, that soon?) and we're just not sure what all is being released. But we'll keep you posted. I don't think we had any new releases today, unless you count the print version of Saint Young Men. On second thought, let me check... Oh yeah, volume four of that same series is out digitally now. We...have not had a chance to write a review of that one yet. So we'll see.
Today I'm thankful for making pretty okay progress on work, getting to play Pokemon despite our super crunch because it's the kind of game that lends itself to also talking on the phone with people, getting to talk to Mom, getting to watch the Dark Owl episode of Miraculous, and getting to look back on a really sweet series that we love.