It was chou obvious; the cover had all but given it away. Predictability, however, didn't take away the enjoyment any. In fact, it actually enhanced it—fulfilling, no, exceeding this reader's (breathless) expectation.
Which is, for the most part, a good thing. I'm sure you've heard critiques leveled against creators for pandering to reader/viewer predilections and in anime and manga, we have to contend with it in its fan service form. But service is not what this is, regardless of the fact that it does succeed in motto, motto surpassing some of my favorite limes in romantic mainstream and fan fiction, leaving those others in a trail of dust shoujo sparkles.
No, not when the development was all but integral to the story. Or considering the genre, IS the story.
(In case I haven't yet made it abundantly clear, SPOILER! this babbling concerns the Yuuya x Mao nookie in volume nine of I Hate You But I Love You, originally titled キス、絶交、キス－ボクらの場合－ KISS, Zekkou, KISS ~Bokura no baai~. Please excuse lapses into inane squeeing.)
That the entire penultimate volume was really just an excuse for Mao and Yuuya to get intimate is not bad. As I've tried to explain (inarticulately), it's our payback for the time and affection we've lavished on the series. And with no friends interruptus or any other author contrivance to get in Mao and Yuuya's way, it does pay off big.
Sheer and utter wub.
Arigatou gozaimuchness 藤原 よしこ Fujiwara Yoshiko-sensei.
I'm done now. Buh-bye!
When love is enough: Thought(sies) on KISS, Zekkou, KISS ~ Bokura no Baai~ manga volume 9 by huamulan03
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So our beloved characters Hatori Yuuya and Sakisaka Mao doing it is as sweet and as breath-stealing as we've been led to expect in the course of the nine volume build-up. Both sets of stories (with plot giveaway titles) feature Mao and Yuuya in bed to underscore how much stronger their emotional ties have grown. To our couple's credit, their consummation is not even spurred by insecurity (remember Fuse casting doubts over whether Mao and Yuuya can sustain their relationship post high school graduation at volume eight's close?) The decision to become physically intimate was as mature a consideration as their choice to be more open (emotionally!) with each other.
But beyond the physical intimacy, the resulting inner strength Mao and Yuuya have been able to derive is of greater significance. Faced with Mao planning to go university, Yuuya resolves to also do better in his studies and follow her.
While love is sometimes not enough, sometimes, it is.
And on some occasions, it's even more.
Making Yuuya and Mao break up now would be impossible, not to mention asinine.
The only part of the volume that produced mixed feelings was resolving the Fuse issue. Where we left them off in the last installment, Yuuya couldn't refute Fuse's smug predictions, even when pressed by Mao. Yuuya even went as far as thinking that love wasn't enough. But in the first story of volume nine, he gets over that hurdle—with what I felt was scandalous haste. If asked, however, whether Fujiwara-sensei should have drawn the angst out, I'm liable to protest. Hence, the ambivalence that is the only sticking point of my (sorta) critique.
Rating Kiss, Zekkou, Kiss ~ Bokura no baai~ 9
I can't even measure the shippyness anymore on the 10-point US (pairs of untied shoelaces) scale. But the story settles in with another 10.
Please note that I kept this entry deliberately minimal. Not only because these thoughts haven't grown up nor owing to my ridiculously long posts before this but also because you really have to read the thing to properly enjoy.
And to tempt you—
Kyaaa! Don't you just wub Yuuya??
PS Again, my apologies if this post was airier than my lightweight normal *sweatdrop*
NEXT UP: My review of the final volume 10
plot giveaway titles I was referring to the first set of stories: Karena Aku Suka Padamu, Selamat Tinggal, which translates to "Because I Love You, Good-bye." And on reflection, I guess it's not a giveaway as much as a misdirection. (Oh, the second pair of stories is called Janji Berdua or Our Promise.)
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.
All other content (editorial and such) are huamulan03's. If for some strange reason you're moved to repost these summaries and/or review (or any of my content) elsewhere, do link back and attribute. DO NOT alter, transform, or build upon as this is licensed under Creative Commons. Thank you for the courtesy.