Or alternatively: It deals exclusively with the angst in Mao and Yuuya's relationship. You have been warned.
KISS, Zekkou, KISS ~ Bokura no Baai~ volume 5:
The distance between us
A review by huamulan03
Some rights reserved
The rarity of stories about how happy are leads Mao and Yuuya is the first thing the reader notices: halfway through the series, distraught and agonizing still remain the norm for our lead characters.
Times when the couple is actually blissful continue to be tagged on, as though they were afterthoughts. (Happy doesn't make for good story-telling, you see. No conflict, explains my inner angst hound.)
Be that as it may, this is not a rant to say I'm no longer invested in Fujiwara-sensei's (breakout?) series—released in Indonesia under the title I Hate You But I Love You—because I still am. Especially after reading volume five.
You can even say that this volume increased the emotional outlay.
And I really do understand that angst is the better, more commercially viable choice to hook readers. Lemme just suspend disbelief that a relationship can have this many internally driven obstacles.
As established in the previous four installments, the fifth KISS, Zekkou, KISS volume opens with yet another Yuuya fantasy on the title page. One of these days, I'll do a post just on Yuuya's fantasies because they are the ult in kawaii. But I digress.
There are two paired stories—
—told in the usual head-switching point of view convention I noted in my earlier series review. Canggung translates to "awkward" or "ill at ease". Foto—you get what that means, don't you? In both sets of stories, Mao and Yuuya's communication issues keep getting in the way. The "About Okano" omake (which like the earlier ones is an exercise in Yuuya or Mao or Yuuya and Mao character sketches) closes this installment.
** SPOILERS FOLLOW **
Foto Canggung takes place during Mao and Yuuya's date in an amusement park. Beyond the beloved shoujo protocol of sharing a kiss inside the ferris wheel carriage once it reaches the peak to ensure a Happy Even After, this story concerns Yuuya's desire for a photograph of himself and Mao. The import of this is brought home to the reader once we find out that Yuuya once stole Mao's photograph, displayed on a school bulletin board, because he thought he would never in this world see Mao smiling at him. (Awww.)
Anyway, the atsui ferris wheel kiss fizzles out to a timid peck on her forehead, and in the photograph that titles this story, they look distinctly unlike the lovey dovey pair they're supposed to be.
The reason? Mao's friends from school saw them. Her classmates are surprised by the fact that super studious and taciturn Sakisaka Mao is going out with the (popular) bleached blond convenience store clerk who works near their cram school, when all along they had thought Mao was Fuse's girlfriend (Fuse being the brainy rival who likes Mao; he also went to the same middle school as Mao and Yuuya.) Predictably, Mao feels embarrassed at having been caught while out on a date and this ups her awkwardness with Yuuya.
You can already see Yuuya's reaction coming, can't you?
Kamu malu punya pacar aku, 'kan? Maaf, kalau pacarmu seperti ini.
(You're embarrassed at having me for a boyfriend, aren't you? Sorry that your boyfriend is like this.)
Oh, the angst!
It doesn't end there. Later, Mao's friends, having bombed on getting the juicy details, drop by the convenience store to corner Yuuya. They grill him on who it was who declared his/her love first. They guess that it was Yuuya and he agrees with their conclusion. In contrast with Mao's silence, Yuuya expounds on having loved Mao since they were in fifth grade, relating how he had to confess to her numerous times before she actually consented to be his girlfriend. The latter is a lie; it was Mao who confessed to Yuuya (once, publicly) during their junior high graduation ceremony.
There is a reward to compensate for the Kleenex box (a small one) that Fujiwara-sensei makes the reader go through, here and in the next story: Mao realizes how much she has hurt Yuuya and gets over her unease and tongue-tiedness. She goes after him to tell him that she has loved him from the time she first laid eyes on him in fifth grade. At first Yuuya is disbelieving (he cites her indifference during their elementary school days and her
coldness post his rescue of her from the girls' locker room and during their study tour—all covered in the KISS, Zekkou, KISS prequel) but he's eventually convinced and they share a WAFFy kiss in full view of any passer-by.
Which just happens to include Mao's friends. Who just happened to be in the vicinity and happened to have a camera handy. So sed kiss got immortalized. And sed photograph eventually comes into Yuuya's possession.
So at the end of both Foto Canggung stories, all is right in their world. (I won't be uploading a scan of the photograph; grab a copy of volume five and relish it in its original manga form ^^)
As given away by the title, this story relates the happenings during one special Valentine's day. This February 14 is obviously not the first that Mao and Yuuya go through, but it's the first that they celebrate together.
It is nearly ruined by Mao's jealousy.
In between baking Yuuya a chocolate cake, she agonizes over all the girls in Yuuya's past who had given him Valentine chocolates—with choice dark thoughts centering around Rika-senpai who was particularly close to Yuuya when they were still in middle school. To make matters worse, earlier,
- Mao bumped into Rika-senpai while shopping for cake ingredients and later finds out from Yuuya that Rika-senpai text-messaged him about their encounter;
- Fuse refuses a Valentine candy from an admirer, saying he would only accept chocolates from the girl he likes (Mao) and rubs salt into the wound by saying that Yuuya would most likely receive more chocolates than he knows what to do with and why is it that Mao's boyfriend can't understand how she feels?; and
- Mao discovers all the chocolates Yuuya received that day when she went to Yuuya's house to deliver her Valentine chocolate.
Despite Mao wanting to keep it all in, in fear that Yuuya will like her less for her possessiveness, her apprehensions come pouring out:
Aku nggak suka kamu terima cokelat dari cewek lain. Sejak dulu aku nggak suka. Aku nggak bisa berbuat apa-apa kalau ingat masa lalu. Sekarang saja, masih terasa sesak. Aku juga nggak suka kamu tertawa sama gadis lain. Terlebih bersentuhan dengan mereka. Aku… berusaha nyuekin tapi… waktu kamu… waktu kamu dapat SMS dari Kak Rika saja, aku merasa nggak suka….
(I don't like that you receive chocolates from other girls. I always have. I can't do anything about the past, but when I remember, it's like I can't breathe. I don't like it when you smile and laugh with other girls. I especially don't like it when you accidentally touch them. I try to ignore it but… when you received a text message from Rika-senpai, I hated it…)
Echo: Oh, the angst!
What else is Yuuya to do but apologize for having accepted chocolates from other girls when all he really wants is Mao('s)? He goes on to return the gifts to their respective givers, rejoicing over Mao's confession of jealousy, but adding that he still got her beat when it comes to being jealous (of Fuse, primarily).
This is deepened when he leaves Mao's house. She walks him to the front door wearing, among other winter clothing, a muffler. Yuuya relieves her of the accessory as he makes the following request to ditch the offending muffler:
Tolong. Jangan pakai ini lagi. Syal ini sudah dipegang Fuse, jadinya aku nggak suka. Kamu ngerti 'kan? Aku lebih gawat darimu..
(Please don't wear this muffler ever again. Because Fuse has touched this, I hate it. You understand now, don't you? I'm worse than you.)
«I don't want anyone else touching Mao.» Kyaaa! (Let's not get into a debate over whether jealousy and possessiveness are signs of an unhealthy relationship; what Yuuya does makes me fangirl and that's all the guilty pleasure I will admit to.)
Oh, and the smoking gun, err, stolen photograph? In the end, Mao does find out about it, which results in more warm and fuzzies.
Before I end this ramble masquerading as a review, lemme just state a couple more things I like about this volume:
- Yuuya keeping track of how many kisses he and Mao have shared: 20 by Foto Canggung. This keeping tabs on smooches looks like it's series-applicable.
- Yuuya breaking off ties with Rika-senpai in The Selfish Valentine. No matter that she's a good friend, he really had to make that call.
Rating KISS, Zekkou, KISS ~Bokura no baai~ 5
My numbers (story and shipment-wise and despite the snivelling) for this volume: 10 of 10 pairs of untied shoelaces.
~niki DBA 花木兰03 who tweaked this post again
complete KISS, Zekkou, KISS and Fujiwara Yoshiko links
Review: KISS, Zekkou, KISS volumes 0, 1-4
Review: KISS, Zekkou, KISS volume five
Review: KISS, Zekkou, KISS volume six
Review: KISS, Zekkou, KISS volume seven
Review: KISS, Zekkou, KISS volume eight
Review: KISS, Zekkou, KISS volume nine
Review: KISS, Zekkou, KISS volume ten (series finale)
Backlist: Fujiwara Yoshiko
KISS, Zekkou, KISS ~Bokura no baai~ is © Fujiwara Yoshiko. First published by Shogakukan in 2003. I Hate You But I Love You Indonesian copyright by PT Elex Media Komputindo No infringement intended.
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