We also got the shipping confirmation for the new Kamigami no Asobi game, which has us really eager to get back to Labyrinth of Andersen so we can finish as much of it as possible before the new game arrives, but see the above paragraph for why we didn't just play video games all day.
Aaaanyway, it's Review Rednesday! And today we have a very special review--the thirteenth and very final volume of My Little Monster. Spoiler level: surprisingly mild for the last volume of a series, but we'll say moderate to be on the safe side.
Okay, so technically I'm supposed to be working out the details on Japan trip plans, but I really wanted to get this written while everything was still fresh on my mind, because things are not keeping these days. What I'm saying is, the freshness does not last long. And it was the final volume of My Little Monster! The last one! And it was really good, and I just read it for the third time about two hours ago and I already don't even know what happened! Okay, so that's not really true, but I'm so gosh darn distracted (partially because we got asked to write cover copy for a volume of manga we translated almost a year ago, so we had to go refresh our memories on THAT one (Missions of Love 12; it's a fun volume)). And I don't want to be more distracted, which is why I signed out of Facebook instead of initiating a chat with Kyoya about going to see the monkeys. ...Oooh, monkeys...
Anyway! First and foremost, this volume was a pain in the neck. We knew it would be talkative, because bonus stories are always more talkative, and this volume was nothing but bonus stories, but oh my gosh Yuzan, we already hated you why did you have to make it worse!? At least we have real cake waiting for us when we're done with this, which is not true of many instances of working with Yuzan. But before we had the cake, we had to translate Iyo's story, during which not only is Yuzan tempting us with delicious-looking desserts, but he's practically writing dissertations about them! What the heck! I'm going to wring your scrawny little drafty neck! Only I'm not, because I actually think he's pretty adorable.
Let's regroup. The book starts off with a story about Sasayan and Asako, and why is it that even with all these extra stories we still don't really get any closure with anybody? I think Sasayan and Asako come the closest, though. I love Shizuku and Haru, but I think I like Sasayan and Asako more. But then I think about Yamaken, and I'm like, "No, I think I love him the best." And then there was the last story about Takaya, and I remembered that really it was Oshima's story that moved me the most in the whole series, so even though I kept forgetting that I cared about her (sorry, Oshima-san! (Robico really nailed the "unassuming" aspect of her personality)), I was really happy to get that story about her. It's the only one of all of them that made me cry, even though of course I loved them all. Although we did notice that she went into the somewhat cliched profession of teaching. Oh, but Takaya was soooooooo cute, the way he loved everything about her. Here I thought (back when his crush was really only hinted at) that it was just because she was the most well-endowed of Shizuku's friends. ...And maybe that is part of what started it, but I'm going to go ahead and say that it was when he bumped into her at the festival and she handed him his candied apple.
Speaking of Takaya and candied apples! His interactions with Yuzan were so cute! I thought it was kind of interesting that each of the extra chapters has a somewhat significant scene (or more) featuring the star of the next extra chapter. I don't know if it was deliberate or not, but it was a cool effect.
I was supposed to be talking about Sasayan. Um...I don't have a whole lot to say, actually, just that I like him and Asako. We admire his persistence. It's cute how he's all, "I'm okay with being friends," and then, "But seriously, can we be more than that now?" And his experiments! Aaaah ha ha ha ha! And his cat! That little filler picture of him with Miiko that says "I love cat[s]" would make a great icon/user pic. But I'd hesitate to use it without permission, since it wouldn't be altered at all. We also noticed that he and his brothers sleep on bunk beds. Represent!
Iyo's story was fun, too. I think I might have teared up a little when she said she wanted to create a warm home and Yuzan said that's his dream, too. Awwwwwww, Yuzan. His story (by which I mean overall, not just his extra chapter) is so bittersweet. I'm so glad Takaya got to tell him about what Haru said. I admit, we never did figure out which one of Yamaken's friends Iyo was destined to end up with until the fake preview at the end. (We don't know if that ended up in the American release, but I promise we translated it!) Then when we looked back at the panel where she's sad and they show up (right as she wonders if her destined man is out there), and we realized that Ma-bo and George were both cut off by the panel lines, but they were framing Tomio, who was in full view, and I was like, "Oh." It's still hilarious that George never spoke.
Yuzan's story was a lot of introspection, but I don't remember if his chapter or Iyo's gave us more trouble. I think we have a hard time being interested in what he's doing because of politics and Ando (Ando is a fun character, but for some reason when he shows up, I'm like,"Aw, man...", even though his interaction with Yuzan and Iyo in Iyo's chapter was hilarious). But I'm glad he got to work out all of his mixed feelings, at least enough to move on with his life. I do kind of wish he had chosen to be a movie director, but that's probably just because I think that's way more interesting than politics.
And finally, we're back to Takaya's story. It could easily have just been a one-shot, all by itself in a shoujo manga magazine. It reminded us of the various Akiyoshi Family stories that never turned into serieseses. Oh! And I should point out that we actually texted our little sister for help on this one. When Oshima says, "I have prep to do," we thought that sounded like a teacherly thing to say, but we weren't 100% sure, since obviously we're not teachers, so we texted our little sister who was a teacher (until she decided to focus on her own offspring) and asked if it sounded like something a teacher would really say. She said yes, and now you all know, that's a real life thing a real life teacher would say! Tadah!
It may help, as far as Takaya's story being my favorite, that Takaya has grown to be a very attractive young man. Like oh my goodness. But he said he takes after his dad, and Oshima said she failed her employment exam, so in a sense I think he has caught up to her, but unless they both manage to improve, that's going to be a majorly stressful marriage...or they'll end up being supported by Haru and Shizuku, thus fulfilling Haru's fears about Asako (only they won't be with Asako).
...And now we're going back looking at pictures of Takaya and noticing his rather prominent Adam's apple. Maybe Athena just noticed his more because of the angle when he kissed Oshima.
Anyway, I think that covers everything, and Page seems unhappy that we've been at the computer for so long. So there you have it. This was a great series, and I'm really glad we had the opportunity to work on it.
And there you have it. We don't have any review for the extra pages that came with the Kodansha USA release, because we haven't read them. Maybe someday...
Today I'm thankful for getting all our work done today, getting to watch Bungo Stray Dogs, having time to play video games, getting a shipping confirmation on the new KamiAso game, and getting to work on My Little Monster.