And so it ends.
Of course there's that denial thing that it's over going (which was only to be expected)...
My journey with Hatori Yuuya and Sakisaka Mao from 藤原 よしこ Fujiwara Yoshiko-sensei's shôjo manga series KISS, Zekkou, KISS or I Hate You But I Love You, which started two years ago (2005) finally reached its last stop: the River Nile.
(There are spoilers and there are spoilers, consider yourself warned.)
I'm terribly ambivalent about the conclusion. Of course there's that denial thing that it's over going (which was only to be expected) but more importantly, I was left with the feeling of being short-changed. The resolution of Yuuya and Mao's story, I felt, was forced.
Is it just me? Is it because I've gotten so used to there being two sets of stories that only one in volume 10 struck me as the height of running out of steam (or whatever fuel, fossil or alternative, fits)? I don't think so; my favorite of the series—the prequel— had the same number of chapters but my wub for that volume far exceeds any individual succeeding installment in the Bokura no baai sequel.
On pondering, I think it was a matter of proportion. To fully explore the ramifications of the last volume and provide an ending that won't make the reader feel totally heart-broken to be bidding good-bye to Yuuya and Mao, we needed more.
To put my hankering for an extended treatment into perspective, let's review volume nine. In spite of the generous Yuuya x Mao nookie contained therein, the more significant development involved Yuuya telling Mao that they won't be "doing it" until he gets into the same university as her.
This situation was resolved in the final volume, all right, in a way that still rang true to the character of Yuuya but sans the finesse I've grown to expect from Fujiwara-sensei when it comes to exploring emotions. It was rushed is all I can say, much like how I imagine J.K. Rowling felt when writing the last Harry Potter book.
Additionally, maybe this volume suffered from comparison-itis because the same trope (studying to get into the same school as the object of affection) was done by Harada Taeko-sensei in Kare-Made Love KM (a Shueisha shôjo title) and was the plot device upon which the entire ten-volume series hung.
Whatever the reason, whatever drove Fujiwara-sensei to wrap this series up so hastily, I don't want to speculate on but whatever it was, it makes KISS, Zekkou, KISS not worthy of the Endings that didn't totally suck award.
Don't get me wrong; I would still recommend Fujiwara-sensei's KISS, Zekkou, KISS series. I would still read her next shoujo offering KoiHaji (Koi nanka hajimaranai) if/when it comes out in Indonesia. And I haven't stopped wanting an anime.
It's just... consider KISS volume 10 flagged. The KISS-related About Fuse (finally found out that his first name is Hideaki) story that opens volume 10 and the standalone omake at the end Sekejap Mata (In the blink of an eye) did not, could not compensate for the truncated ending.
On the 5-point US (untied shoelaces) scale, this one clocks in at (a wavering) three, even though the shippyness remains at five.
~nik who still feels it was a pity that even the ending of Kaikan Phrase was better than that of KISS, Zekkou, KISS
KISS, Zekkou, KISS ~Bokura no baai~ is © Fujiwara Yoshiko. First published by Shogakukan Inc. in 2004. I Hate You But I Love You Indonesian copyright by PT Elex Media Komputindo. No infringement intended.