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Alethea & Athena
Say I Love You volume 12 
24th-Feb-2016 08:39 pm
Our ill-advised trip to Disneyland started a little earlier than originally planned, but we couldn't skip Review Rednesdays! We have four new translations released just yesterday, but one of them is Persona Q, which we haven't been reviewing because we've been translating it one chapter at a time. If people are interested, we might be able to start reviewing it and post review compilations, but I'm not sure if we have time for that kind of thing. Maybe if we did a paragraph or two per chapter... Hmmm... (I'm more interested in doing this for UQ Holder!.)

Anyway, two of the other releases were series that we reviewed in last week's special edition of Review Rednesdays, so we will go ahead and review the last one, Say I Love You 12! Spoiler level: Maybe moderate, but more on the mild side.

For once we're actually writing a review on the day we finished the book! This is mainly because we're in denial about needing to work anymore, so we're stopping work early. We'll see if we regret that later.

Anyway, Say I Love You 12. This volume was interesting, but everyone in it was being SO STUPID. Why wasn't there a time pass for Space Trip!? A two HUNDRED minute wait, and no time passes!? Are you kidding me!? That's like the worst possible planning in the world. Any ride that regularly has a wait of more than sixty minutes should by all rights have a time pass available, for goodness sake.

Other than that, this volume's visit to Land was much more satisfying than the visit in volume six. It's like Hazuki-sensei had been to Disneyland more recently, and so was able to remember more what it looks like. (Did she go with the voice actors!? Aaaaaaahhh!! I wanna go, too!!!!)

Also, Kai had been pretty, "Ehhh, I don't know if I wanna go to Land..." earlier in the series, so we were starting to seriously doubt his devotion to it, but he seems maybe okay now. The stuff about Rose shows why he's going to fall for Megumi, but Rin is still soooo much better. She's one of the few people who wasn't being stupid in this volume. Her and Asami.

But anyway. The first chapter has Len being stupid. (Speaking of Len, I know I wrote about Ren in the last review, so now you can see how that turned out. Why did it turn out that way? Because Len's internet handle is spelled out all in romaji with an L. So we emailed our editor and said, "So, um...we think we should change this..." And he agreed, so we did. We felt bad about it, because Ren/Len is one of the few Japanese names that you can't do a search & replace without much fear of changing the normal English words. Also, if we had just read ahead, we wouldn't have run into this problem, and our editor sends us, like, ALL of the books way in advance.)

I think Len wasn't being stupid so much as a jerk, but man, the way they talk about how careful they need to be going to the preschool. It's like small children are delicate and/or volatile...and that's true, but they just seemed to make too big a deal out of it. Of course, Len was just making a big deal out of it because he doesn't like people (Asami and Yamato) and he's a jerk. I liked him in the last volume (except for the abandoning his little sister part), but in this volume, I wanted to slap him.

Then the kid hits his head. First of all, when Mei was there watching him, he started to do a flip, and she closed her eyes!? Are you kidding me!? "This small child is about to do something that's dangerous even for adults to do, so let's make sure to not be able to see if the inevitable happens." But she's new to the whole daycare thing, so that's almost understandable.

At first, we thought the daycare workers were overreacting to the whole incident, because hey, kids are walking disaster areas. They get themselves hurt. But then we realized that was a lawsuit just waiting to happen and we were more understanding. But they were also like, "We remove anything that could hurt the children," and we were like, "Then why are the bars even there!? Raaaaaagh!" We were happy to see Shota's mom being so laidback about it.

Then Yamato was being stupid. For crying out loud. He's all like, "My girlfriend told me I'm a good photographer because I can make people smile, so I'm going to go take pictures of flowers and trees and cats and wonder why oh why oh WHY this isn't as satisfying." But I guess it's easy to judge people like this when you're not so close to the situation, and when you only get to see the specific moments that are relevant to the story development and none of the bits inbetween that make people forget those important moments. It's like when we were watching an anime yesterday and they were wondering what was making people so sick, and the camera kept showing the fireplace for no apparent reason, so we were like, "Hello! It's the firewood! Why can't you figure it out!?" Because they don't see the camera constantly pointing at the fireplace for no apparent reason.

Sawamichi was pretty cool, though, even if he did do a lot of monologuing. But we can't blame him for that; that's what people do in this series.

And finally, Len was stupid again. I mean, I understand wanting to trust that guy from the internet. I don't blame him for any of that. I just think he's stupid in general. But he maybe stopped being stupid at the end, so that's good. I have to point out, though, that how is he not good-looking when Hayakawa is? Of course it's all a matter of perception, so it's probably just that he's self-conscious and looks better than he thinks he does. Although he might benefit from a good haircut. Nevertheless, I think his hair is less bizarre than Yamato's. All we know is, we've seen Beauty and the Geek, and we know a few geeks in real life who have let their hair grow out for whatever reason, and then they went and got it cut and looked really really good.

Today I'm thankful for having a lovely time at Disneyland, getting a little bit of work done beforehand, getting to see Baymax, Page still being somewhat interested in her new toy, and getting to have beignets.
29th-Mar-2016 06:25 pm (UTC)
I finally got this book (last weekend) and read it and now I get to read your review! Yay!! And your review is hilarious! YAY!!!!

I thought as I was reading it, "How do they somehow wind up translating all the series with [~~~]Land-obsessed characters?!" But maybe it's aggravating when you feel like you know the place better than the mangaka writing about it.

I still agree that Rin is by far the better girl. Hopefully that means she'll also bounce back better when she inevitably gets turned down (sigh), and find someone else to make all her happy dreams come true.

I also agree that people were being kind of extreme about the daycare children. And Yamato with the photography—the solution was real obvious when he picked his favourite photos and they were all people (Mei). (ha ha, I know what you were watching with the fireplace that made people sick!!) But even before that I was like "What are you doing? Do you even know anything? You're just some hipster kid who thinks the idea of being a photographer is cool." (that's mean.) It was a good idea to talk to an actual photographer, though (I kinda laughed as soon as I saw the thank-you in the margin, it was so un-subtle. the stuff about being shy -> being hesitant to photograph people was an interesting insight. as for Mei's "oh yeah, I do photograph Marshmallow a lot" comment, I wanted to say "no, Mei, that just means you're a crazy cat lady. trust me, I know.").

Man, I really wish Mei had kept her hair short. I really liked the look she had going at the beginning of the series and now she just looks so blah and normal. Sorry, that came out of nowhere (just something I was thinking again when I read the book). (and I mean plenty of shoujo manga protagonists have the same haircut so it's not that I have a problem with that specifically, just that she did look more unique at one point and now she doesn't.)

The internet-"friends" were so rude. Ugh, mean people. I can't understand them. (and the comments people made about his photo were even more incomprehensible to me. I'll accept that one guy had a grudge, but why would everyone hate on him like that? I didn't see anything wrong or weird with his looks.)

I guess with all of this, I do really think it's cool that Hazuki-sensei is trying to portray realistic struggles and worries kids might have and how to work through them, but it also feels kinda heavy-handed when I'm reading it. The manga wants to inspire and teach me, but I just want to be entertained.
29th-Mar-2016 07:48 pm (UTC)
YAY!! We're glad you liked the review; we had a lot of fun writing it.

The thought does occur to us that they had maybe run out of fast time passes for the day, but if they got there first thing in the morning... Anyway, we're pretty happy to deal with Land-obsessed characters, usually. What we don't like is the lack of commitment. Hazuki-sensei started with some character ideas, but then the anime came along and did it differently, and now everything in the manga just matches the anime instead of sticking with what she had. I mean, it would be one thing if the anime was just fleshing out the vague idea she had and she thought, "Sure, let's go with it," but the anime was actually different. On the other hand, it's possible that she didn't like her ideas that much and used the anime as a chance to change it up. (And of course, we're never frustrated with Noragami's land, because Adachitoka totally gets us.)

That's a good point. Oh man, if Rin got all depressed from the heartbreak, that would be bad. This series has enough teen angst as it is. Hopefully she'll meet someone super awesome, because frankly, Kai's not really that great anyway.

Aaah, photographer dreams. Our reaction to it was more like, "Another one?" We know so many people who are into photography it's not even funny. Apparently it's THE thing to do if you want to work in an artistic field in California (and we can't help but think it has something to do with being the easiest...I mean, I know there's more to photography than point and shoot, but it's still a lot less effort to take a picture than to draw one).

I admit I never really cared for Mei's hair. I think it would be nice if she'd do some fun things with it now that it's long, but she's really not the type. But I never really cared for anybody's hair in this series, except maybe Rin's. You're right, though, she looks way more generic now. We sometimes have a hard time telling her apart from other characters.

Ditto on not understanding mean people...although saying that makes me wonder if anyone out there might read this and think, "You don't understand mean people?" I can be pretty uppity... But I like to think there's more method to it than just, "Hey, it's fun to get people worked up!"

I think it's possible to inspire and teach and entertain. Our theory is that Hazuki-sensei is still figuring out storytelling techniques and what works for her. Maybe the series works for a lot of people because they can relate to the terrible things teenagers do to each other, but we're with you. It's not exactly our favorite thing to work on (I hate to say it, but it's true).
29th-Mar-2016 08:22 pm (UTC)
I didn't remember there being big differences between Say's manga and anime, but I wasn't really paying attention (and might not have watched it all, because at some point I got frustrated with how dragged-out and dramaaaaatic it all felt and decided to just stick with the manga like I always do. (not to say the manga isn't dramatic, it totally is, but I can read it in bigger chunks.)

(Ahhh, Adachitoka is just the best...♥)

Haha, one of my brothers is going to art school with a focus on photography (and graphic design), so I can't be too critical. But it did seem like a kind of out-of-nowhere development when Yamato suddenly got interested in it. (which again is maybe a fair depiction of how this stuff happens. This same brother of mine got all into bikes after I had him help me letter Yowamushi Pedal...) It definitely takes some commitment to go from "Hey, taking pictures of my friends is fun!" to "I'm going to pursue photography as an art form or career choice!!" though. Photography is probably a more commercially successful field of art than, say, oil painting, but with the lower bar of entry I'm sure there's that much more competition too.

Hahaha about mean people vs uppitiness! I think it's different because you don't direct it at specific people or seem like you want to be hurtful; you just know you're that much better than everyone :D (or at least that's how I feel about my own elitist tendencies...)

I can admit that my initial love for the series is waning too (though I'll keep reading since I'm this far and I don't actively dislike it). I think when they were first announced, I favoured it over My Little Monster, but that reversed at some point. As you kind of pointed out, the series itself has shifted its focus and style over time (for the better in some respects?), and when I can see that happening in a series it does make me curious about the artist and her own growth and changing interests. It's an insight into the artistic process that is not always so easy to see. (this is a more "academic" perspective; as a reader, seeing the series shift from one focus (that my initial interest was based on) to another (that I'm less interested in) isn't such a good thing.)
29th-Mar-2016 11:27 pm (UTC)
Oh man, the anime put us to sleep multiple times. I'm sorry, anime! I know you tried. But you bet we noticed the Land differences, because Land is really the main thing we pay attention to in this series. But I don't remember the specific differences now, mostly just that she had characters other than cats (like a fennec fox), but then every single character (except for previously established ones) was a cat, because they were all cats in the anime.

I think in my mind, I imagined that since he thought of making an album for Mei for Christmas, it meant he already had some interest in taking pictures. And Athena points out that the didn't have any other ideas, so it probably was a little out-of-nowhere, since it was like, "Well, I was completely average at everything, but maybe I'm a little better than average at this, so let's try it?" But it sort of made sense to me. That's a good point about commercial success and competition.

Haha! I think our uppitiness is slightly different in that we do tend to direct it at specific people, but not unprovoked. If someone acts like they're better and we can see they're not, the uppitiness kicks into high gear.

We tended to prefer My Little Monster because it started out being pretty zany, and zaniness is a big selling point (have you seen Sekko Boys?). At least with Hazuki-sensei we do get the afterwords, which give a little bit of insight into her process. But it would be interesting to know more.
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