It has become very clear that if Yukari can't figure out how to break his, Mahoro, and Satomi's connections to their past lives, then history will repeat itself whether they wish it to or not. Yukari learns that Yumurasaki's death was much more terrible and tragic than he realized, and he becomes determined to find a better solution than Mahoro/Takamura killing Satomi/Kazuma.
This is one of those rare short manga series that's actually pretty decent. It's a bit inconsistent throughout, and the first volume is, unfortunately, probably the weakest, but this final volume was excellent.
Considering that the series started off more focused on Yukari/Yumurasaki, I was surprised at how important a character Mahoro became. I'm still not a fan of Takamura's scenes in volume 1, but I really liked how things turned out between Mahoro/Takamura and Yukari/Yumurasaki in the end, even if the explanation for Yumurasaki's numerous rejections of Takamura's offers to buy her freedom was a little awkward. Too bad it took them one and a half lifetimes to finally have a proper conversation, although sadly Yumurasaki probably couldn't have spoken so freely when she was still alive.
The action and tragedy in the pages leading up to the volume's climax reminded me of other historical series I've loved, like Peacemaker Kurogane (I've only seen the anime so far, which has some sad bits but stops prior to the really sad stuff). All flames, bloodshed, and crying. Thankfully, the series as a whole didn't end tragically, although I was afraid it would. And, oh, I worried about Mahoro in the aftermath, poor girl.
I did have some questions about Mahoro and Yukari's relationship in the end, and how things would work out considering
their differing memories
, but for the most part I found this to be a satisfying ending. I'm tempted to buy myself a copy of this last volume because I enjoyed it enough that I could see myself wanting to reread it. But, knowing me, I'd then decide I should own the first three volume too, and my shelf space is at a premium.
- Two pages of translator's notes.
(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)
[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley.]
This is a very short book in the shape of a graphic novel/comics, so there’s no excuse not to read it. ;)
While I’m not particularly vocal about it when I write book reviews, and while the name I use is ‘feminine’, I don’t identify as a woman—my sex is female, but my gender is non-binary (more specifically, agender). So, it’s always mildly annoying at best when people keep referring to me as ‘she’. Sometimes they just don’t know, and of course, if I don’t tell them, they won’t know… therefore I tell them. Sometimes, too, other people just don’t care, or it forces them to reevaluate their paradigm, and, well, things don’t go so well in such cases.
Therefore I truly appreciate such books as this one—short and to the point, again: no excuse—that explain what it’s all about, and why it matters. Because being called ‘she’ is as much incomfortable for me as it is for a man who identifies as a man to be called ‘she’, for instance. (Also, for the grammar purists who say that ‘there’s only he and she pronouns, and they as a singular isn’t right’: singular they has been in use since the 14th century or so. Just saying.)
To be honest, I’m not entirely fan of the graphic style here; however, it is cute, with fun moments, and the art IMHO isn’t what matters the most in this book.
Except for a couple of things I wasn’t too sure about, mostly the two characters (Archie and Tristan) run you through a quick explanation of non-binary vs. cisgender (‘quick’, because the whole thing detailed would take a book of its own), situations about how to use they/them pronouns, and examples of misgendering and how to react to it tastefully, whether you’re the one being misgendered or an ally. Among such situations, when loved ones misgender you, but you know they’re supportive in plenty of other ways, ranting is not useful. But sometimes, too, when people deliberately refuse to acknowledge you (binary or non-binary, this is part of your identity, after all), and make fun of you and/or are deliberately hurtful, it’s also good to be reminded that it’s OK to let go of what is, all in all, abusive. It’s not easy to accept… but it’s true.
This book is a good introduction to the matter, easy to follow and understand, and one that you can also apply to other pronouns like ze/hir (yes, there are more than just the few mentioned here). Even though it’s not exhaustive, it paves the way for further reading for anyone who’s interested.