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Alethea & Athena
Say I Love You volume 11 
23rd-Dec-2015 09:26 pm
Well, we ended up being out late tonight, and working all day (this has got to be the chattiest volume of Devil Survivor in history (it's ever so long history of four volumes)) except for when we ordered pizza (Pizza Hut sent us an email with a surprise deal, and we were like, "Whatever, it's never worth it. We'll order a pizza if we get 50% off." And what do you know.), but it's also Review Rednesday, and we don't want to pass up a Review Rednesday! It's very difficult to resist the temptation of posting our review for Noragami 9, which just came out yesterday, but resist it we will and this week, we present to you Say I Love You volume...11! Wait, did this really just come out this month? But 10 just came out last month! Oh well, who am I to question it? Spoiler level...I don't know.

Well, we better write this up before we forget everything about this volume. Say I Love You 11. This is the one where Mei decides she needs to lose weight, and that kind of thing is usually the type of thing we just don't really relate to, but soon before we started work on this volume, I had to measure my waist and hips so we could buy a skirt for a Shion costume...and suddenly I felt a little bit closer to the situation. Not that I think I'm fat, just that I used to be thinner, and I'm worried that if I don't do something, my waistline will only continue to expand.

Nevertheless, all the talk about exercise classes and gym equipment was all Greek to us, so to speak. Suddenly thinking, "Hm, I need to get in shape," does not automatically grant you knowledge of how to exercise. Of course that was Mei's problem as well, so it would have been okay if we didn't also have to translate the people who were explaining things to Mei. So it was a little tricky.

But anyway, let's talk about Ren and Rin. Something we would like manga artists to know is that, since boy-girl twins are fraternal, they're not automatically going to look exactly like each other. Hazuki-sensei did acknowledge that in a way by making Rin so much taller than Ren, so it's something I guess. I wonder about the names, though. Did she name them after the Vocaloids on purpose? ...Not that we know anything about the twin Vocaloids other than their names and what they look like. In fact, we looked them up just now (to make sure it was Rin and Ren and not Ren and Ran or something) and discovered that they spell the one name with an L, so now we're worried that we should have made it Rin and Len. There's probably still time to change it... Hmmm... [Edit: I'm sure you know by now that the name did get changed. Find out why in our review for volume 12! One thing that hasn't been brought up, though, is that Rin and Ren would be a lot harder for Americans to differentiate, pronunciation-wise, than Rin and Len, so that's just an added bonus to changing it.]

While we were translating this book, I wrote a note speculating, because Mei's first encounter with the Aoi family is with the little sister Hiro. She's been separated from her brother, so I guessed that her brother was Rin, who was mentioned briefly earlier in the volume, and I figured there had to be a reason for it, and then I thought it would be funny if Hiro's brother was a boy mascarading as a girl model. But what is this, Hana to Yume? No.

Now despite our hang-ups about twin stereotypes, I think Rin and Ren are my favorite characters right now. I like their character design, and they seem pretty interesting. And we think Rin is a much better match for Kai than Megumi, but of course we know it's not going to happen. It was driving us nuts, though, because Rin was talking about Land and how much she loved it, and Kai was all, "Uh...yeah, sure. Uh-huh." And we were like, "Dude, I'm seriously starting to doubt your devotion to Land." Even if it is because he's so deeply in love with Megumi or whatever, he should still be interested in going if he loves it that much. A date is not a marriage proposal! And it's Disneyland! Where are your senses, man!?

If he and Megumi were official, it would be another matter, but they're not. And even if they were, Yamato seems to have been on like a bazillion dates with other girls since he started dating Mei. Okay, so that's not true at all, but eating dinner at a girl's house is much more intimate (in the opinion of two people who go to Disneyland frequently but who have never been there on an official "date") than a trip to Disneyland. Then again, Yamato admits in this very volume that he never realized certain things were a big deal, and Kai probably makes a big deal out of all of them and more.

Nevertheless, Rin is so much more likable than Megumi (for now, anyway)! Oh well, I guess Megumi is on a journey to become more likable, so we'll just see how it all turns out.

Then there's Ren and Mei...which I really don't have much to say about. Apparently Yamato is extremely nervous about it, but it doesn't really seem like it's going to go anywhere.

And there's the stuff about kids figuring out what they want to do after high school. Can I just tell everyone that in Japanese they have one word to cover that whole phrase? "Shinro" means "progression path" or something like that, and they use it to refer to "what you're going to do after this phase of your life." And it's not always easy to translate, especially when they send out surveys to all the high school kids asking them what they want their shinro to be.

Anyway, we totally predicted that Mei was going to go into teaching. Maybe it was already in our brains, because we translated that interview (see volume one) and I remembered that Hazuki-sensei said she made Yamato want to be a photographer. Maybe she also said something about Mei and teaching, but I don't remember. Anyway, it just seems like what Mei is always doing anyway, so.


Today I'm thankful for making as much progress as we did in Devil Survivor, getting half-priced pizza from Pizza Hut, having a lovely scripture discussion at Book of Mormon class with the missionaries, getting all our Noragami comp copies (except maybe volume one), and Page being super cute stretching her paw out as she lounges in her cat bed.

Speaking of the Noragami comp copies! We went ahead and finally asked for comp copies of all the volumes we didn't have yet! Then today we were waiting for the missionaries to come pick us up for Book of Mormon class, and they were running super late (apparently the day was full of stress), and we were wondering if we should just go back inside and call it a night when they texted to say they were still coming after all (I was afraid it was because of a text message misunderstanding, so that was a relief), but the important thing is that like two minutes before they arrived, the UPS truck drove up, and the delivery guy recognized us, so he didn't even take the package to our door, he just had me sign for it right there! And if the missionaries had been on time, we would have been at class when he arrived, so it all worked out for the best.
26th-Dec-2015 11:06 pm (UTC)
I read this last night (I finished my Blue Spring Ride marathon and needed something to fill the shoujo hole in my life)! I was expecting you to tell us NOW why his name was Len! But I'll wait...

I had that thought about boy-girl twins with the same face too. And there was a line about "we have such opposite tastes in everything" or something and I was like "You sure do have similar taste in haircuts though..." Hahaha, I was almost sure that Rin was Len crossdressing too! (didn't notice the height difference till they showed up together.) Too much Hana to Yume in this girl's brain.

And like you, I'd really like to see a Kai-Rin match rather than Kai-Meg, even though I know it's not likely to happen. Too bad... Rin reminded me of Iyo in a couple spots. So full of hopes and dreams! Is that type just destined for bad luck in love???

The dieting/exercise stuff was a little ugh to me because no one in the series looks like they have any weight to spare, but it's probably a realistic depiction of the pressures girls feel from their peers/culture, and that is the sort of thing Hazuki-sensei seems interested in writing about, so. I feel like I've read a number of shoujo manga where the heroines' shinro involves teaching or daycare, so that felt maybe a little cliche to me. Or is it something inherent in the nature of girls who star in shoujo manga?

I'm so glad you got all your Noragami comps at last! Now you can share them around with people who need to read them. Or just have them to gaze upon lovingly.
27th-Dec-2015 11:46 pm (UTC)
Haha, yeah, as of the writing of this review, it was just a, "Maybe we should change it, but..." It wasn't until the next volume that it was really decided, so that's when it got put in a review. If I hadn't already written about it in the next review, I would have added it to this one.

Ha! Good point about the haircuts. I think Len just likes to do whatever will make him the most emo. It's kind of an emo haircut for a guy, and having his hair match Rin's will make him even more emo, so it's win-win. Or something. Clearly all of us have been reading too much Hana to Yume (as if there was such a thing).

Now that you mention it, Rin is a little like Iyo! But she's nowhere near that extreme, so you'd think she'd have a better chance.

It's true! Manga characters almost never look like they have any weight to spare...and now that you mention it, Hazuki-sensei's characters seem to have even less. I guess that didn't occur to us because we were dealing with our own body issues (more about shape than size, though). So now I kind of understand people wanting to lose weight while everyone around them is like, "Are you crazy!?", because we're measuring ourselves and seeing that we're not the same shapes we used to be, and meanwhile, people in our ward comment on how skinny we are. Our little sister was always talking about feeling fat, too, so when Mei was like, "I feel really fat right now," we were able to take it to mean "regardless of how I may look to you, I feel fat, and I have to deal with that."

Well, Mei is definitely the cliche of all cliched manga heroines (while somehow convincing audiences that the series is unique), so her choice to follow a cliched career path is right in character.

Very sad truth about the Noragami comps. Before they sent them, we were told they didn't currently have any of one of the volumes. We weren't sure if that meant they would wait and send them all along, or if they're just send what they had. We have since opened the box and discovered that the volume is indeed missing. And of course, it's volume one. Hopefully that means a lot of people got it for Christmas.
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