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Say I Love You. Vol. 18 Kindle & comiXology
|Length: 176 pages|
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Then an interesting thing happens. The best-looking boy in school, Kurosawa Yamato, becomes interested in her and the love story that brings them both back from past traumas in school begins.
The mangaka, Kanae Hazuki, stated in an interview in back of the volume that the theme of the book was dealing with bullying and overcoming it to trust folks again. This theme is presented accurately, albeit - mostly, there are intense examples - lightheartedly. If *A Silent Voice* is the example of how out of control bullying can be, and how some social aspects of Japan can make it worse (though it is horrific everywhere), so this is the more casual way that folks are not suicidal, but still traumatized and effected by the bullying.
What I enjoyed the most was the way Kanae made the characters' pasts not super-melancholy and angsty, but still clearly traumatic and effecting them still. I also liked how she subverted two tropes, while still - in the case of the first one, I mean - remaining light-hearted. First, Mei confronting bullies of another student doesn't shut them up and have her emerge triumphant, but has her get attacked and beat up a bit (not horribly, but she is hurt and they aren't). No instant triumph but it does show character development beginning for Mei to care about others. Secondly, the good-looking girl who initially likes Yamato isn't some jerkass to Mei but quickly becomes her best friend, is happy for her, and finds her own boyfriend.
Some might say the second one above is unrealistic, but not really. The idea that folks can be petty and that folks can be decent and compassionate are *both* on display. Yet, despite the latter, the mangaka still manages to keep things light-hearted, which is much appreciated and makes the plot enjoyable in a different way than *A Silent Voice*.
This manga tells a story of deepening relationships and discovery of love and trust, both romantic and platonic. It's Highly Recommended.
Rating 4.5/5 Stars
[More of my reviews are available on my blog, Geeky Reading, to which there's a link on my profile.]
I’ve already read some of this series, plus I’ve seen the anime. Which means that I am already a huge fan, and was one of the people excited when it got licensed. I’m already a fan of the characters, the romance, the art, the writing. It’s been so long since I first read it, though, that this re-read is making it fresh in my mind. Plus, there are extras at the back, including author comments, which I didn’t get in my first read, and I enjoy those.
This series focuses around Mei, a loner who has avoided getting to know people since a bad experience in her childhood. Then Yamato notices her; he's the popular boy, with friends and girls falling all over him. But he's bored with the same old things from the people around him, and Mei intrigues him. He makes this apparent very early on, and Mei gives in, opening her world to all kinds of things--not only romance, but also friends.
Mei is insecure. She’s inexperienced, and she’s already starting to mature by getting to know Yamato and making friends with Asami. She’s a little feisty, hiding her fear of making friends behind it. But she sticks up for herself and her friends, and I like that.
The relationships are still in the getting-to-know-you phase. She’s still learning about Yamato, and he’s good for her, but he’s also still maturing. I think Mei and Asami will be good for each other, having very different personalities and outlooks, but ones that will even the other out, and push the other in the right way. I think I actually really like Asami. She doesn’t get a lot of time for her own story, although she got a little in this volume. She’s upbeat, perky, but also a little used to being picked on.
There’s also some more drama on the way, not only between Mei and Yamato, but between Mei and some other girls. It’s not quite my favorite kind of drama, but it’s pretty good stuff, and the character development that comes along with it is very nice. I’m looking forward to seeing how far it gets in the next volume.
This is a really good, mature, shojo series. I love the characters, the array of them and their development. I know some people dislike when series strays from the main couple, but I enjoy that. I like getting other characters, their stories, their points of view. I’m excited to get the next volume.
Most recent customer reviews
I highly recommend this book for anyone who's interested in romantic comedys.Read more
Funny and entertaining, the main characters are great.