Monday, January 30, 2012

Manga Review: Papillon, Volumes 5 & 6, by Miwa Ueda

Rating (Out of 5): 3.5
Publisher: Del Rey
Volumes: 8

Goodreads Synopsis:

Ageha is finally living her dreams. After a fabulous makeover—and a little help from her handsome guidance counselor–turned–boyfriend Kyû-chan—Ageha is happier than she’s ever been in her life. But she still has one problem: Hana, her twin sister, has her eye on Kyû-chan. Hana is willing to do anything to snare him—even if it means disguising herself as Ageha! Will she succeed? Find out in this special omnibus edition, collecting volumes 5 and 6 of Papillon!
Ahhh, this series. It just... I don't really know what else to say about it. This volume wasn't too much different than the others. But on the bright side, I did generally enjoy this(these) volume(s). I'm not really sure why, but I did. Don't get me wrong, it's still terrible like always, but it's kind of terribly fantastic, in a way that makes me want to keep reading even if I'm hating on it. That's just how this series is, and other ones like it, are.
So Ageha is still working with Hana's ex-boyfriend, Shinobu. And we are reminded that he confessed to Ageha when they were younger, but get more insight to it. Because apparently she heard him and his friends talking about her, and so she thought he was joking, but in the present, he tells her that he was serious. Oh, also, Hana confesses her feelings to Hayato (and he turns her down, don't worry).
So then Ageha decides to talk to Hayato about Shinobu's confession, which would be a good idea, if she didn't treat him like a counselor who has no feelings for her, someone who wouldn't mind that someone confessed to his girlfriend, and then asks him what she should do about it. And then she's surprised when he gets upset. Then Hayato's sister mistakes Hana for Ageha, who doesn't correct her.
There's a little subplot thing of Shinobu helping out one of their co-workers, which makes Ageha admire him and all that. And then Hana and their grandmother come to work, and Hana is upset that Ageha is working with her ex and didn't tell her. And Hana makes this speech to Ageha about her being insensitive to everyone around her, which, I wouldn't say is completely untrue, but isn't totally true, and is also hypocritical of her, since Hana is pretty insensitive to everyone.
I was all 'what?' when Hana went on about it, because it's absurd for her to say that. But it makes Ageha think, and she totally buys it, and re-thinks the situation with Hayato and how she was insensitive there. And so she hurries to Hayato's, only to overhear him and his sister talking about her, and she gets upset and runs off, and he sees her and runs after her, and they make up before her friends see her, and she runs after them. I guess I do understand her reaction to what Hayato said, but I got how his sister took it, and I thought it was sweet and cute in general. She over-reacted, but that was to be expected. And her two of her friends forgive her, but one of them is still upset over it. Yea, she should have told them, so I see why they were upset. But whatever.
And then Shinobu takes her to a cemetery, and they talk about something he went through and how she helped him. I thought it was actually pretty entertaining.
The next several chapters focus on Hana pretending to be Ageha, and Ageha finding out and interrupting them after they've kissed once and Hayato finds out on his own. This is just dumb of Hana to do, again. And Ageha over-reacts, again. I did like Hayato in this part. He thought it was Ageha, until she starts crying, and I love his explanation for it. I even feel a little bad for Hana, actually. Ageha gets totally pissed, and fights her a little bit. It's a bit dumb. But I think I might just not like Ageha.
In the 6th volume, which this plot continues into, there's actually a really cute scene between Ageha and Hayato. I really enjoyed it, which I expected to, but I was glad to see a scene like it, since there aren't too many.
And then in the next chapter, Hana gets hurt, Ageha gets worried only to find out that it's a minor injury. But then Hayato sees someone he knew from before, and things get a little awkward as there is obviously something between them, but he won't explain it to them, saying that he isn't ready yet. Oh, there's also a little subplot between Hayato and Ageha. Ageha feels that her necklace is 'dirty' after Hana wore it, and so he does a thing to make her feel better about it. It was nice, sweet of him, and all that.
Hana decides to go behind his back and to the woman, Rena, and she finds out some of what happened. And so Hayato explains some of it to her. And then they go behind his back and to his sister, who does explain it to them. Apparently his girlfriend, and Rena's sister, died, and the girls sister doesn't remember it, has blanked it from her memory, and blames him for it. That's not how it happened, though, and neither of them blame him. And we find out that he became a counselor for Rena, to try to help her. But whatever. I was a little excited, and intrigued, when I found out that there was some secret he was keeping, only to be a bit disappointed when it was one of those cliché situations. So whatever.
One part I did like about this is that Ageha and Hana seem to be getting closer. They're working together to find out what happened with Hayato, and they both know that the other likes him. I kind of doubt that they're going to become best friends, but at least they're not fighting or anything right now. That means things between them are looking up, right?
And the last chapter. Rena stays the night with Hayato, because she can't sleep (but again, don't worry, nothing happens. Hayato is practically the only trust-worthy one in this series, if you think about it). And then him and Ageha, after she finds out about Rena staying the night and objecting to it (since she knows that he liked Rena before he liked her sister, and is worried), start planning their trip, and she makes a plan for her parents to think she's going on a trip with friends. I hope that we get to see them go on a trip, as that could be actual fun, but Hana finds out and gets upset about it, and decides to sabotage it. She goes to the hospital and talks to Rena, where she's mean and tries to force her to remember the actual occurrences of the accident by telling her how it happened. And then Rena trips and falls down some stairs.
This is obviously a terrible ending. I want to know what happens next. Right now. Why isn't it out yet?
So, yea. One thing that bothered me was the way the book was put together was that it seemed like they just binded the two books together, without any editing. They still had the to-be-continued at the end of the first volume, as well as the notes at the end and the characters and things at the beginning. I feel that they should have just glided into the next volume better than that. Oh, I also noticed that Ryusei isn't in the characters at the front of the book. What's up with that? Is all the drama with him over, so he doesn't matter anymore? I'm actually a little upset about that... And is more stuff going to come up with Shinobu? He seemed to be ignored in the second half of the omnibus.
Also, Ueda always makes me wonder. Because the general storyline, and several of the characters, and just the drama, is terrible in this series. And yet she will foreshadow to things pretty well, and Hayato actually has good counselor characteristics, among other small things that are well done. It kind of amazes me how she can contrast these good and bad traits so well in this series.
So, Kodansha. When are you, if you are at all, going to publish the next one? I mean, there's only two volumes left, you can make an omnibus out of them like Del Rey did with this one. I want to know how it all ends. Please?

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