Kare Kano 8 by Masami Tsuda: B

From the back cover:
As preparations for the culture festival continue, Soichiro realizes that there are actually two sides to his personality, one that is gentle and giving, and one which is frighteningly violent and possessive. It is a development that hasn’t gone unnoticed by Yukino, and she worries that it will damage their relationship. Meanwhile, Tonami and Tsubaki finally realize that they have fallen in love with each other.

The back cover blurb has been edited to remove made-up words; it actually says “frightingly.” I also didn’t notice Yukino worrying that Soichiro’s personality issues are going to damage their relationship. All she says is, “Sometimes, I feel like you’re a completely different person. I wonder why.”

Anyhoo, this volume is kind of disjointed because there are so many balls in the air. Tonami is really growing on me as a character; he’s far more interesting in the manga than he was in the anime. In fact, he’s a more developed character than his love interest Tsubaki, and she’s been around longer. The scene in which they admit their feelings for each other would’ve had more of an impact if I could’ve understood how she came to be in love with him, for it’s really not clear.

Arima continues to angst, but there’s a great chapter near the end where a hurricane forces him to stay the night with the Miyazawa family. Feeling Yukino’s presence all around, he sleeps well and without nightmares, even though a storm rages outside. Some things he thinks do have me wondering whether he’s supposed to actually be going crazy or not. It seems possible.

The rest of the volume is occupied by culture festival plans and a boring bonus story whose only redeeming feature is that it doesn’t pair up the two characters I expected it to. In the main story, there are also a few painfully unfunny “comedy” scenes featuring boob-grabbing and Tsubasa inanely jumping out of an upper-story window to glomp on her stepbrother below.

Lastly, I am really peeved at all the untranslated text I’m seeing. TOKYOPOP generally does not translate sound effects, which sucks but is expected, but they’re also not bothering with actual sentences which I then feel compelled to try to look up and make sense of. I’m so glad I managed to learn the kana, or else I’d really be annoyed.

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  1. I have never grown fond of Tsubasa. The whole step-brother/stepsister thing i can get past (Marmalade Boy anyway? Not the best of manga, but enjoyable in a classic cheesy shojo kind of way) but Tsubasa is so fragile and unlikable a character, with no ambition or interesting redeeming features other than cuteness. I really CAN NOT accept the pairing.

  2. For all its silliness, I love Marmalade Boy to pieces. It was one of the first series I read and I’ve been meaning to reread it. 🙂

    And yeah, there’s no real distinct sense of who Tsubasa is. Sometimes she talks and is coherent, but most of the time she just demands candy and hangs around looking like a toddler or something. Kazuma could do better.


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