We actually have character growth! (Review of KISS, Zekkou, KISS ~Bokura no baai~ manga volume 07)

Front cover I Hate You But I Love You 7 (ID)

*nik falls off her chair*

Because in the overall scheme of things, this development is huge—albeit not in the strictest sea change sense of the word. However, it was enough to induce eyebrows-disappearing-into-the-hairline which should indicate just how unexpected I found the inclusion of this story-telling requisite.

And astonishment aside, one I truly welcomed.

The transition to a more intense character development had clearly been marked by the front cover of volume seven depicting only one image of , as opposed to the twin images gracing the covers of the preceding volumes.

Front cover I Hate You But I Love You 1 (ID) Front cover I Hate You But I Love You 2 (ID) Front cover I Hate You But I Love You 3 (ID) Front cover I Hate You But I Love You 4 (ID) Front cover I Love You But I Hate You 5 (ID) Front cover I Hate You But I Love You 6 (ID)

Given that the last time used a solo image for the cover was back in volume 0—and that particular tankoubon was infinitely faster paced in development than the six succeeding volumes put together—Front cover I Hate You But I Love You (ID)I should've twigged quicker. *sweatdrop* And upon reflection, it was to be expected as we're a mere three volumes away from series conclusion. That volumes eight to ten of KISS… ~Bokura no baai~ or I Hate You But I Love You all feature solo cover images support my conjecture about real character growth upcoming, or at the very least, represent a shift from how the story has been evolving.

I Hate You But I Love You Volume 07

Before I get into the proper (which unfortunately deteriorated into a hella long ramble *another sweatdrop*), lemme just note some key differences between this volume and those preceding it.

One, the usually angsty back cover has been toned down.

Secondly, the Yuuya fantasy that customarily opens the tankoubon also differs from previous excursions. Here asks his boss if the latter also thinks that (wearing the same convenience store uniform as ) is beautiful. As did help out at the store in the second story, this situation could have been real/not just in Yuuya's head.

Thirdly, the omake is also different: it's a short piece starring our lovable leads instead of the usual supporting characters.

These more than blatant hints taken care of, the contents of volume seven are:

  1. Pernyataan Cinta di Tengah Badai (Declaration of Love in the Midst of the Storm) | SakisakaHatori
  2. Liburan Musim Panas Berdua (A Summer Together) | SakisakaHatori
  3. Special Edition/Memmory (sic.) No. 000

* * S P O I L E R S     I N C O M I N G ! ! * *

Pernyataan Cinta di Tengah Badai

The Declaration of Love in the Midst of a Storm (or perhaps A Stormy Love Confession? ^^) set of stories is very Rika-senpai-centric not so much because we all lurve the girl but because she represents a trial, one that —especially Mao—will weather fabulously.

Sakisaka's version

Mao and Yuuya run into Rika-senpai at the train station. It becomes as clear as the righteous anger the older girl radiates that she had separate encounters with the couple at the convenience store the previous night. As Rika-senpai hints to Mao that the younger girl's train is arriving, Mao's apprehension grows. She is torn between not wanting to leave her boyfriend in the other woman's clutches and guilt over deliberately hiding her meeting with Rika-senpai from Yuuya, a near-inexcusable sin given their promise to stop keeping secrets from each other. Yuuya leads Mao away - I Hate You But I Love You 7Yuuya saves her further anguish by putting his arm around her shoulders and saying to Rika-senpai that they have to go.

Mao is about to apologize for keeping quiet about the run-in but Yuuya beats her to it. He tells Mao sorry for not informing her, explaining that it was because he didn't want to ruin their time together. Me, too! I felt the same way! Mao agrees silently just as the PA announces the arrival of the train.

Before she steps into the carriage, Yuuya—seemingly out of the blue—tells her, There's no one else for me. Now and forever. The PA system then warns that the train doors are closing.

In previous volumes, Mao would've gotten on, albeit unwillingly, and all the way to school berated herself for not reciprocating Yuuya's declaration. But here, she goes against her norm and gets off the train, much to Yuuya's shock.

Me, too, she tells him. For me, there's no one else but Yuuya.

The day passes. On her way to meet Yuuya after class, Mao again encounters Rika-senpai who reveals that she has just been to see Mao's boyfriend. When Mao asks Rika-senpai why, the other girl bluntly replies that she went to confess her love. "I like Yuuya" - Rika (I Hate You But I Love You 7) Rika-senpai goes on to confide that she's always liked Yuuya, which was why she endured being the senpai he could always unburden himself on. And because Yuuya has never considered her anything more than a friend, she wanted to confess her feelings so that just for once, Yuuya would see her as a contender for his affections.

Rika-senpai further warns Mao that girlfriend or not, Mao has no right to forbid her feelings.

Her head full, Mao plods on to her destination. Again, contrary to her natural inclination, Mao tells Yuuya that she saw Rika-senpai on the way and asks him what the older girl had been doing at the convenience store.

Yuuya discloses that she was there to look for part-time work, the excuse Rika-senpai herself gave him. Before Mao can react, Yuuya grabs her hand and tells her earnestly that if Rika-senpai becomes an employee at the store, he would quit and find another job.

It seems Mao is slowly getting more secure in their relationship, or at least, has decided to show her boyfriend that she understands. It's okay, Mao assures Yuuya. Even if you work in one place with Rika-senpai, I'll understand.

Yuuya walks Mao home. It is the apex of kawaii that he is crestfallen when they reach Mao's home too quickly. Yuuya kisses Mao and on (reluctantly) releasing her, is dismayed to find Mao crying. (Aside: Mao in tears looks utterly, luminously pretty!)

Still teary, Mao asks Yuuya why he likes her. It turns out she's been pondering over Rika-senpai's pronouncements and has realized just how alike they are: If Yuuya didn't like me, I would be as devastated. Yuuya questions her, What did Rika-senpai say to you? Mao answers that it was nothing. Please don't say anything. Even though he is loathe to, Yuuya accepts her dismissal but adds before leaving, If there's anything bothering you, call me.

The next day dawns and it's a rainy one. Mao acts like a typical girlfriend and berates Yuuya for not bringing an umbrella. What would you have done if I also forgot to bring mine?? she asks him a tad indignantly. Yuuya replies airily, We would've waited it out somewhere together. Mao can't help but smile at his totally breezy response and avers that Yuuya forgetting his umbrella and their having to share one is a good thing. She then promises to pick him up after class to make sure he doesn't get rained on.

After school, Rika-senpai goes to the convenience store. Again. She tells Yuuya she wants to apologize, saying that she didn't really want the part-time job. The reason she said she did was because her love life was in the dumps and she was miffed at how well Yuuya and Mao's relationship was progressing. She also returns a CD Yuuya lent her and bids him, Good-bye, Yuuya, before walking out into the pouring rain.

Something in her facial expression makes Yuuya go after her, bringing with him one of the store's umbrellas.

Mao sees Yuuya rushing out, the umbrella in his hand clueing her in. Fearing the worst, she runs after Yuuya and sees him with Rika-senpai. She lets go of her umbrella and confronts the pair with a very rare and spectacular anger.

You liar! You told me you would never do anything I didn't like!

Both Rika-senpai and Yuuya are shocked at Mao's outburst. Placing a hand on Yuuya's shoulder, Rika-senpai tries to defend Yuuya and convince Mao that it's not what she thinks.

Don't touch him! Mao snaps. Tears running down her cheeks, she repeats, Don't touch him. You don't have any right to be close to Yuuya.

Yuuya is MY boyfriend!

"He's my boyfriend," says Mao (I Hate You But I Love You 7)

In an iteration of Yuuya's declaration to Fuse in volume six, Mao vows, I'm not going to let anyone else have him!

In her defense, Rika-senpai unlike Fuse knows when to give up. She tells Yuuya, She says you're her boyfriend. Is that great, Yuuya? She then dismisses the entire drama as boring and concedes that she can't wrest Yuuya away from Mao. She finally walks away saying, I'll take this umbrella. You guys get wet in the rain together.

With Mao's fervent Yuuya is my boyfriend! hanging in the air, our lovable leads are reduced to a silent awkwardness. But not for long—Yuuya's elation gets the better of him and he starts turning somersaults. Why are you so happy? Mao asks. A beaming Yuuya answers, Because you love me! A little mystified, she follows up, Haven't I already told you that? I've been telling you that.

I love you, she repeats for good measure and then adds, Can I wait out the rain at your house?

So the love confession in the storm, unlike what was intimated in this volume's back cover blurb, wasn't Rika-senpai's but Mao's.

Hatori's version

(Please bear with the overlaps.)

Yuuya's version of the same story starts with Rika-senpai musings: what is nice person she is; how similar their interests are (especially when it comes to music—to the extent that they regularly lent each other CDs); and how well they get along. (Hold the rotten tomatoes, minna-san!)

Seeing her again at the train station thus makes Yuuya recall Valentine's day and how he chose to summarily cut off all ties with her because he considers Mao more important. And while acknowledging how horrible his behavior was, Yuuya nevertheless holds fast to his decision to never let anyone or anything hurt Mao. This goes through his mind as he gently herds his girlfriend away, saying to Rika-senpai that they have to go.

Mao's obvious distress and feeling that an apology wasn't enough alarms Yuuya and reminds him of what happened in middle school when Mao thought he and Rika-senpai had something going: she bid him a terse and painful good-bye. Fighting back a growing panic, Yuuya searches for some way to reassure Mao and comes up with There's no one else for me. Now and forever.

He only has a little time to regret the inadequacy of his declaration before, wonder of wonders, Mao gets off the train and echoes his sentiments. And all he can think of is how much he loves her. This feeling (I'm gonna die of happiness… no, I don't wanna die now!) accompanies him throughout the day, sustaining him as he waits for Mao to finish her lessons.

It goes without saying that Rika-senpai showing up at his workplace is an unwelcome development. What do you want? Even Yuuya is shocked at how cold he greets Rika-senpai.

When she states that she's there for the part-time work advertised, Yuuya scrounges for reasons to dissuade her, ultimately telling his senior it's going to cause him problems if Rika-senpai works at the same place as him.

Who cares? That has nothing to do with me, she retorts before flouncing out. Mao arrives not much later after. Having also met Rika-senpai, she asks Yuuya what their senior was doing at the store and Yuuya repeats what the older girl told him. Feeling Mao growing distant, Yuuya desperately tries to explain that if Rika-senpai starts working at the convenience store, he would quit.

Mao assuring Yuuya that he doesn't have to go that far, that she would try to be understanding makes Yuuya want to believe that they're okay. That their relationship can weather this storm. That whatever Rika-senpai's real motives were, they had nothing to do with him and Mao. This hasn't even sunk in when Mao cries after Yuuya kisses her good-bye in front of her house and asks him why he likes her.

"I should be asking her that question." - Yuuya (I Hate You But I Love You 7)

Why do I like her? I should be asking her that question! Yuuya thinks despairingly as he pulls Mao into his embrace. All I know is if she weren't in my arms right now, if she never looks at me, I will still love her. That's all I know. And for the first time, Yuuya regards Rika-senpai as a nuisance.

Rika-senpai is waiting for him when he gets home. I think I went too far, she proffers but Yuuya rebuffs her. Whatever. I don't care. You told Mao something, didn't you? Before she can answer he continues, If she gets hurt, I don't care if it's you. I will never forgive you. Yuuya is implacable. He adds, If you have something to say, say it to me. Not Mao. What you're doing is just plain mean.

Mean? Me? Look who's talking! Rika-senpai counters. You're the one who's mean. You know how I feel about you. At first I didn't mind just being your senpai, the one you're closest to, but all YOU want is Mao. And for her sake, you're willing to end it all with just a good-bye.

Yuuya is rendered speechless but Rika-senpai is not finished. Last Saturday, she didn't tell you she saw me, did she? She's suspicious of our relationship. She doesn't believe in your feelings. In front of you, she often looks like she's forcing herself, doesn't she? Rika-senpai chips away at Yuuya's own belief in himself and Mao, already shaky. She doesn't even understand you. Is that what you call a girlfriend?

That doesn't concern you! You have no right to say that! If you weren't around, we—

Yuuya can't finish and Rika-senpai goes home. Later that night, he admits to himself that he's aware of her feelings. So him wishing Rika-senpai would disappear, after all she has done for him, was a low blow. But this doesn't compare to the anguish he feels over Rika-senpai saying that Mao is "not girlfriend enough" for him. He tries to convince himself that he doesn't care; that all he wants is to take care of and love Mao.

The following day, Rika-senpai seeks him out again and Yuuya musters up the courage to apologize. Before he can do so, she preempts him. I'm sorry. About everything, she says, offering an I was just jealous of your relationship with Mao, as her excuse. She then brings out the CD he lent her back when they were still in junior high and gives it back.

Bye-bye, Yuuya.

Her farewell jolts Yuuya and sends him into recalling what he really thinks of the older girl. «Rika-senpai is a nice person. I get along with her. I have fun when I'm with her. She makes me laugh. She's been supportive of me. That's what she is to me.»

Is it okay for me to let her leave like this?

Yuuya rushes out into the rain, umbrella in tow. Rika-senpai! She turns to face him. The rain… Yuuya starts to say but she interrupts.

I love you. I always have, she cries out to him. Can't we be together? Ever? I don't mind being second. She grabs his arms to emphasize her sincerity.

No. Yuuya gently pushes her away. Somewhere, there's someone who's going to make you his number one.

Thank you. For everything.

You know by now if you waded through Mao's story that she arrives at this juncture. And later goes to Yuuya's house to wait out the rain.

But not before we realize why Yuuya was so happy that he had to turn somersaults in the downpour.

She says you're her boyfriend. Is that great, Yuuya?

Liburan Musim Panas Berdua

Sakisaka's version

Summer vacation is nigh but the students of Higashi High exhibit far more excitement over the study tour that opens the next semester than the holiday right under their noses. All the students, that is, bar one: Sakisaka Mao. (If I haven't sed yet in earlier installments, Higashi is Mao and Fuse's school; Yuuya goes to Hana High. Furthermore, the words "study tour" have painful connotations for Mao and Yuuya, having gone to one (along with Fuse) when they were in middle school. It was a trip that resulted in more angst than could be handled by our OTP.)

Mao can't take the prospect of being away from her boyfriend for five days, which compels her to invite Yuuya on a trip, just the two of them. Her invitation is enough to make Yuuya fall out of his chair.

What about your folks? They okay with this? he asks while trying to regain composure.

Mao tells Yuuya not to worry; her friends will cover up for her, the same way she does for them. She goes on to say that this is SOP for girls who have boyfriends but Yuuya interrupts.

'Cover up for you'? This doesn't sound like you talking. Yuuya makes it clear that he thinks she's forcing herself.

Mao finally reveals the reason behind her proposal. She leaves it unsaid but thinks, Even if I'm forcing myself, it's only because I want to be with you. Now more than ever I want to be with you. If Mao had expected Yuuya to immediately agree after that, and she did, she was sadly mistaken.

Please stop talking like this. Let's not rush it, he requests. It's a school thing, right? So what can we do? points out Yuuya reasonably before excusing himself to go to the washroom. Mao is near-devastated.

Upon his return, her boyfriend suggests, Let's just meet more often this summer. It can be at the library or the park, it doesn't matter. We still have to do a lot more spending time together. Talking. Kissing. It's a reasonable substitute for the trip. Mao is dazzled by Yuuya acting so mature but his behavior only increases her inchoate loneliness.

It must be noted that Mao asserting herself here, a rediscovery of the strength she used to possess in volume 0, is even bigger than the time she told Yuuya she's ready to sleep with him. The difference being, this time, she sticks to her guns. Despite recognizing that she's acting like a brat, as well as questioning the extent of Yuuya's feelings for her (Doesn't he feel the same way? Are Yuuya's feelings different from mine?), she refuses to back down.

So Mao's near-aggressive "pestering" of Yuuya continues, going as far as to come to his house while his mother's out. Yuuya lets her in but is obviously uncomfortable. And after an uneasy, protracted spell of Mao sitting on his bed beside him, staring fixedly at him, and then backing away when he reaches out to touch her face, Yuuya suggests they go out for karaoke with his friends.

Even though he acted like he was having fun, the karaoke outing constitutes further proof that Yuuya is putting distance between them, Mao decides. Peeved at his confusing signals, Mao tells Yuuya that it's been fun but that he doesn't need to walk her home and leaves him at the bus stop. Actually, I wanted to be hugged. Kissed. I wanted us to laugh together. I wanted him to say that he's happiest when he's with me, Mao weeps miserably as she goes home.

Later that evening Mao admits, I'm scared. He's avoiding me. But I have to see him and tell him sorry that I want so much for us to be together. Resolved, she calls his cell and Yuuya offers a lame excuse of being busy at work.

Not at all fazed, Mao corners Yuuya at the convenience store and apologizes for how she's been acting. As Yuuya's boss orders him to quit standing around, Mao sees her chance to be with him and offers her services.

They try to work together. Yuuya calls Mao Sakisaka as though she were nothing more than a mere acquaintance and teaches her how to stack shelves. Mao doesn't mind his forced distance and being "bossed" around; simply wearing the same uniform, being in one place with Yuuya are enough to make her euphoric.

Yuuya sees her looking pleased and makes haste to finish up. He then invites her to go shopping. With pleasure, Mao greets his suggestion brightly.

On their shopping trip, Yuuya is a man on a mission, paying close, almost unnerving attention to the things Mao picks up (and puts down). I can't buy anything like this!! she protests and Yuuya whines, I can't help it! I don't know what kind of things you like!! Yuuya's admission delights Mao greatly.

Her attention is caught by a cute toiletry bag and the shop attendant, seeing a sale in the offing tells Mao it would be perfect for a trip, ack! The balloon that was her happiness deflates rapidly as Mao's gaze wing to Yuuya and sees him looking a little down. Though not for long. He turns to her with a wide smile and encourages Mao to buy it. I'm thinking too much, she concedes, acknowledging how much more mature her boyfriend has become compared to her.

When they reach her house, Yuuya tells her, I'll see you tomorrow. Mao is stricken. I have summer class starting tomorrow, she explains weakly.

Then I'll pick you up after, Yuuya rallies and kisses her goodnight per their usual. Unable to stop herself, Mao asks for one more—to make up for the kiss they missed after the karaoke thing. Yuuya obliges.

As he breaks off the kiss, Yuuya offers seriously, I might as well kiss you to cover the time you'll be away. How many days was it again? I forgot.

Four nights - Sakisaka (I Hate You But I Love You 7)

Five days and four nights, Mao answers (I like to think "breathlessly.")

When do you leave? he asks, looming over her.

September 11.

He backs away and lets fall to the ground the shopping bag he's been carrying. Confused, Mao asks, Yuuya… What's wrong?

In response, Yuuya grabs the shopping bag in her hand—the one containing the toiletry bag for the school trip—and flings it away.

He swears feelingly, Do whatever you want! Ce—celebrate your birthday with Fuse, see if I care!!

Mao then realizes that her leaving on the eleventh means they won't be able to see each other on the thirteenth which is her birthday. It's obviously a day Yuuya's been thinking and planning about, if his sudden squatting on the ground and hiding his face in his arms are any indication.

I didn't mean it, Yuuya mutters (I like to think "in between sniffling.") Don't let Fuse wish you happy birthday. Don't even talk to anyone.

I'm so happy! Mao lets out an uncharacteristic spate of giggles.

Why are you laughing?!? Yuuya asks, aggrieved. Because you're so you, Mao answers silently and hugs Yuuya. I'm not going on the trip, she clarifies. I'll stay with you.

No, no, you go. It's okay. It's not a problem. Not a—

OF COURSE IT'S A PROBLEM!! Yuuya bursts out furiously (and wuvably).

This story closes with Mao musing,

It's the first time I realized that Yuuya and I are alike in some ways. We're both stubborn, we're inclined to keep things to ourselves…

…and we're both not yet mature.

Hatori's version

(Again with the overlaps.)

After Mao informs him about the study tour to Hokkaido, Yuuya's first reaction is ire.

You've got to be kidding me! Five days?! How am I supposed to last five days without seeing her?!?

It's an understandable reaction as he realizes his rival Fuse will be on the same trip. He doesn't let Mao know what's going through his mind though. Instead he sez, I'm gonna go wash my face, before heading to the men's room.

Hurry… hurry… Yuuya urges himself while trying not to break out into a run. If you're late by even just one minute…

He slumps down in front of the wash basin, in tears.

It's only five days and it's a school activity, he reasons out while slowly standing up. I understand that. And anyway, we have the rest of the summer to be together, he consoles himself.

But I don't want her to go on that study tour! he cries to his reflection in the mirror. What am I supposed to do?

Yuuya returns to their table, having decided on his course of action. He tells Mao they should spend more time together during the summer holidays, going on to elaborate, Our relationship still needs work. We need to talk more. Kiss more…

Inwardly, he vows to himself, I'll do my best to treat this normally. We're going to be okay. I just have to forget about what happened during our study trip and Fuse.

Later at home Yuuya makes plans for the summer. One thing is top of mind: Mao's birthday's coming up, what do I get her? he muses. I know, during this holiday I'll make a note of the things she likes, he decides and starts to scribble, She likes strawberries…

It is not long before his scribbling trails off. As he smushes a pillow on his face, Yuuya grants, I just want to take care of Mao. But he realizes that his selfishness might get in the way of this noble wish. What makes me mad is this… childishness is just going to make things difficult for her.

He struggles with the maelstrom of his emotions before blurting out almost defiantly, I want to see her!

Fate, it seems, is not without a perverse sense of humor. Mao is at the front door, wearing a cute one-piece seemingly designed to test the limits of Yuuya's self-restraint. But we made plans to meet at the library today! he thinks in panic. Nevertheless, Yuuya lets Mao in and makes excuses about the state of his room.

He invites Mao to make herself comfortable. Sit anywhere you like… His good host act nearly crumbles when Mao takes him at his word and seats herself on his bed. Gingerly, Yuuya joins her.

I love her so much, it feels like I'm going crazy, he cries out voicelessly while being careful not to touch her.

"Can I hug you?" - Yuuya (I Hate You But I Love You 7)

He goes on to ask silently, Can I hug you? I want so much to make you mine. To kiss you. To hold you. To hold you so that no one else can see you anymore…. Seemingly of its own volition, his hand reaches up to Mao's face and in surprise, she backs away.

There's an eyelash on your cheek… Yuuya tries to explain but Mao just continues to look at him. He then decides it's safer for them to leave his house and marches them off to a karaoke.

It's a bust, something made crystal-clear to him when Mao bids him goodbye at the bus stop, refusing his offer to walk her home and by extension, their usual goodnight kiss. Anguished he thinks, I'll never get beyond this. I can never be a man who can see her off on that trip with a smile.

The next day, his boss calls him in to work because no one else is available. As he busies himself rearranging the store's merchandise, Yuuya continues to think about what to get Mao for her birthday. A strawberry cake maybe? And then Mao will sit beside me and smile at me… If that happens, I can die happy.

His reverie about less than simple things is interrupted by the arrival of Mao.

I'm sorry about yesterday. And the day before… she starts to say and he can only look at her, aghast. Why is she apologizing? She doesn't understand!

He's also totally smitten by his girlfriend. You're so beautiful… he aches to tell her. But you shouldn't be here! It's dangerous!

Oblivious to the so-called "danger," Mao stays and helps out at the store. And despite the brusqueness he tries to display, Yuuya's happiness overflows.

Let's go shopping, he suggests after seeing Mao smiling to herself. She consents and true to his word, Yuuya throws himself wholeheartedly into his research into things Mao likes, much to his girlfriend's consternation. But Yuuya is not about to be swayed.

Continuing to look around (with Yuuya dogging her footsteps), Mao espies a toiletry bag and regards it consideringly. The salesperson tells her, That's gonna useful on a trip. Yuuya observes as his girlfriend puts the bag down.

Buy it, he tells her after a beat, the moment just long enough to restore equilibrium. It's okay. As long as she smiles, as long as she's happy, it's okay.

I will act as adult as I can, even if it kills me.

This time, before parting ways, they kiss.

For yesterday, too, Mao requests when Yuuya releases her and it is beyond his fragile self-control to refuse. Why did you say that? I won't be able to stop myself…

This will be the last time I act this selfish, he rationalizes before telling her, In that case, I might as well kiss you to make up for the time you'll be away. How many nights?

Four nights - Hatori's version (I Hate You But I Love You 7)

When she answers that the school trip would be for four nights and that they will leave two days before her birthday, Yuuya's good intentions vanish.

I only get to wish her happy birthday on the phone?? Even though he tries to stop the words, he blows up.

Go celebrate your birthday with Fuse!! he shouts and then takes it back. Don't you dare! It is way beyond him now to make any attempts at being reasonable.

She smiles and tells him she won't be going to the study trip. Yuuya thinks, She really doesn't understand. If she tells me that, I'm liable to answer, "Don't meet anyone. Don't talk to anyone."

"Just be my Mao."

He's still thinking that as Mao tries to stop him from throwing punches at a couple of guys ogling Mao when they go to the swimming pool a day later.

Special Edition/Memory No. 000

I'll spare you the "novelization" so that you still have something to read unspoiled ^^

Special Edition/Memory No. 000 (I Hate You But I Love You 7)

musings (AKA "What? You're *not* finished??")
I've always liked Mao—her nerdiness and solemnity and all—because she's such a refreshing change of pace from the genki or b*tchy heroines of other manga. But I hated that on becoming Yuuya's girlfriend she became so prone to insecurity, oft unjustified. One heart-wrenching dilemma after another was pushing it. Notwithstanding the need for angst to spice up the story, I thought this was a convenient forgetting of what made her succeed as a character at the outset. Because where did her inner strength so evident in the prequel go? And her courage (she proposed to Yuuya after all)? I know that characters aren't supposed to stay the same as they were at story start but there's a difference between remaining static and character betrayal.

So it delights me to no end that in this volume, she makes up for the uncharacteristic weakness she's been displaying and goes after what she really wants. Heaven help Yuuya, but I think he wouldn't want it any other way ^^

And speaking of Yuuya, you go! I wub his vulnerability, that quality that defines him and which he never lost from the beginning of the series to this current installment. But I wub his developing sensitivity, too. I wub that he's sticking to his vow to be the understanding, I-will-never-cause-her-pain "better boyfriend," and despite Mao thinking otherwise, his maturity.

And I'm glad that he never lost sight of how strong and worthy Mao was (even though previously I thought the manga-ka did—gomen, Fujiwara-sensei!!) because he grows stronger and worthier, too.

On a scale of one to five pairs of untied shoelaces, I'm giving the and the story a six ^^.

Next up: my review of I Hate You But I Love You volume 8.

~nik who apologizes for the too totally long volume 7 post

KISS, Zekkou, KISS ~Bokura no baai~ is © Fujiwara Yoshiko. First published by in 2004. I Hate You But I Love You Indonesian copyright by PT Elex Media Komputindo. No infringement intended.


wontaek said...

It would have been glorious if this manga series gets animated. Drama might not work unless we get incredible acting without the cheesiness that is prevalent in most Asian dramas.

huamulan03 said...

Thanks for reading and commenting, wontaek-san.

I'm thinking it's gonna be chou difficult to faithfully translate the prolific internal musings of KISS… into anime without running into problems of exposition. That sed, if some outfit does decide to option KISS… and give it, at the very least, a Bokura ga ita treatment, I think I can deal.

So bring it on? ^^

And I totally understand your beef with dorama though IMO sometimes the live action trounces the anime. I'm referring to Kamio Yoko-sensei's Hanadan here. The dorama was waaay better than the anime—and of the two TV series, I think I like the Taiwanese Meteor Garden version over the Japanese Hanadan season 1 *sweatdrop* (though I may change my mind; I'm only up to episode six of the latter).

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When commenting, kindly leave a name, make one up, whatever. I would like to call you something other than "anonymous-san" ^^

Arigatou gozaimuchness,

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