We're hearing thunder in the distance and really hoping that means tomorrow will be significantly cooler. All through August, we kept having these miniature heat waves, where the temperature would creep toward 100 degrees, and every time, we were like, "But after this, it'll cool down and we should be fine because autumn is coming!" And every time, it did cool down, but then it went up again. Today they predicted a high of 100, sometimes a few degrees more, depending on when we checked, and even though we have our new cooling system, a)we're still trying to get it to affect our office more, and b)we had to go outside today. But fortunately, we managed not to melt, and we finished work at a normal time!
Anyway, it's Review Rednesdays, and last week we promised a review of the last volume of Let's Dance a Waltz, so here it is! Spoiler level: high.
Okay, first of all, nobody told us this was going to be the last volume. (For all we know, Kodansha USA said it was a three-volume series when they announced it, but we don't read those things.) I had no idea until we translated the cover flap for the volume, and it listed all of Natsumi Ando's works and said, "Let's Dance a Waltz, all three volumes," and I was like, "What!? No. It can't be. Nooooooooo!!"
Athena was aware a little ahead of time, but still in plausible denial, because she noticed how thick the volume was and skimmed the bottom corners of the last pages to see if she could get a page number. One of the pages had a "the end" in the bottom corner. Fortunately, that's all she saw, aside from screentone, so she was like, "Maybe it's just a short story that's not really related or something..." It wasn't. The series is over, and we are sad.
But it was a good last volume! Mostly. We'll get to that. The art was looking better, even if the girls still lean out impossibly far when they're dancing (maybe that's a thing in ballroom dancing). And I think most importantly, there was more Tango. I don't know why, but I feel like there wasn't as much Tango in volume two.
The scene with him cheering Sumire up after her first dance was so cute. But then! with the violets! and Yusei! And aaaaaaahhhh!
Speaking of Sumire and violets. Ugh. We were SO SURE we had already written a note about Sumire and violets for volume one. One of the women made a comment about how she danced like a flower or something, and I remember thinking, "Oh, we can write a note here because her name means violet." I was sure we had done just that. We had a note about Hime's name and a note about Tango's name, so why wouldn't we have a note about Sumire's name? I guess we figured we had enough notes. It all worked out for the best, though, because this volume turned out to be a little short on notes, even with
the Sumire violet note.
So after the whole violet thing, and then Sumire completely messing up on the dance floor because she didn't want to lose them, Yusei comes along and starts being all possessive all of a sudden. Well, it's understandable, since everyone was pretty high-strung at this point, but we're like, "Dude, maybe if you would go comfort your partner instead of fighting off potential rivals, she would lose interest in the potential rivals."
We got really excited when the past started gradually being revealed at dance camp. We were constantly revising our theory as to what actually happened. We knew that Sumire was Tango's partner...and that was kind of annoying, too, because they revealed that she really did stop being able to dance, so when we had that line from volume one tweaked, maybe it wasn't tweaked to its optimal level. So then the question is, did it even get tweaked? The editor changed mid-series. But it might be a good thing if it didn't, because even if our original translation (she never danced again after that) wasn't completely accurate, we also know that Tango was a big liar about it. Tango. Don't be a liar. It's confusing.
Okay, so our first theory was that Yusei had been working with destiny all this time because he felt responsible for whatever happened that ruined Sumire and Tango's partnership. Maybe he did something deliberately to tear them apart, and it's been eating at him ever since!
Then something happened (I don't remember what it was; everything is a blur right now) that made us think that Tango and Yusei sabotaged the partnership together. And it all turned out to kind of be true, but because of the way Ando-sensei unfolded the story, we thought we were wrong for a little while.
Oh, but the story of Sumire and Tango's past. It was so cute and so sad. But that's how you know Tango and Sumire couldn't have been destined partners, because if they were destined partners, destiny wouldn't have delayed Tango's growth that long. And Yusei working so hard to get Sumire back! Oooooohhhh! It was so sweet.
So we were really satisfied, mostly, about how it turned out with Yusei and Sumire. But as for Tango and Hime. I guess mostly what we have to say is, "!? Fie!" I think the problem, mostly, is that we still don't really know how Tango feels about anything, except that he loves dancing, and he wants to dance with Hime. That's nice, and I guess from Tango's point of view, it's like, "What else is there?" Except that he clearly liked Sumire enough to give up dancing. Maybe he just needed to learn that his true love wasn't Sumire, it was dancing, and Sumire needed to learn that her true love wasn't Tango, it was dancing, and...
I mean, Yusei loves Sumire soooo much, and Sumire's just like, "I like dancing with you." And Hime loves Tango soooo much, and he's just like, "No, seriously. I just like dancing. But with you!" And it's like, "Grhgkrhgkgh!" I guess we just want to see the development from, "I like dancing with you but I'm not ready to admit I like you like you," to, "You're right; we were always destined to be together."
So the story developed in a good, satisfying way, but it didn't really get to a good, satisfying ending. Why is it over already? Why?
But! oh my goodness, when Tango finally called her Hime. Oooohhhh♥♥♥ It was funny when we were translating it, because Athena was just reading the lines, and I was just typing up the English translations, and I typed the word "Hime," and I had to do a double take. I was like, "Wait. He just called her Hime." Then by the time we got to the edit (we did a few things between the first draft and the edit), I had forgotten all about that part, so when we got to it again, it was just so sweet I started tearing up. Hime is finally a real princess. Awwwwwww♥♥♥
And that's that. Now we get to say goodbye again. Why did it have to end so soon? (Athena: "And why is Anime News Network calling Natsumi Ando's next series Haiji to Yamao when it's clearly Heidi? Maybe I'd know if I read the series.") It's for the best, though, because we are so swamped. Anyway, it looks like I never mentioned Ando-sensei's notes about researching ballroom dance. Those were the best. That dance magazine editor guy and how he'd come right out and ask the dancers all the hard questions! And the girls' reactions. Oh man. (I'd tell you what they are, but then why would you read the book? Other than for Tango, of course.)
Today I'm thankful for fond memories of a sweet manga, deciding to go to the grocery store in the morning thus ensuring being home before the thunder started, Hershey's Snacksters being on sale, having an easy workout today, and being almost done with the third labyrinth in Persona Q.