Sunday, February 12, 2012

Manga Review: Arata: The Legend, Volume 4, by Yuu Watase

Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
Publisher: VIZ Media (Shonen Sunday)
Volumes: 13+

Goodreads Synopsis:

 Reads R to L (Japanese Style), for T audiences. Hinohara becomes more resolved in his mission now that he knows he is the rightful wielder of the powerful Hayagami called "Tsukuyo." However, Kannagi comes after Hinohara, intent on taking Tsukuyo for himself!


So, in this volume, we get more of Hinohara. Him, Kanate, and Kotoha are traveling around together still. And he has a little moment with Kotoha, while she's mostly undressed and he's blushing, and she tells him that she wants to keep going with him. He agrees, and he's starting to have feelings for her, but he's sure that she only has feelings for the other Arata and so doesn't want to pursue the relationship. He even talks to Arata, who tells him that he only sees her as a sister.
Then Kannagi shows up and him and Hinohara fight some, and there's a fire. And then Kannagi starts having flashbacks or whatever, and we see what the grave stone (or whatever) is that he keeps visiting. It belongs to Emisu, a girl that he cared for and that died. He's scarred from it, and that's apparently what he's been fighting for and why he wants his Hayagami back as bad as he does. But hopefully there's another reason for why he killed the Princess? Because that doesn't explain it.
Kannagi is hurt, and not trying to fight Hinohara for his Hayagami (at the moment), so he gets invited to travel with them. They're making their way, on foot, to find Akachi, and more Sho and Zokusho on their way. They find a trail of islands, and get attacked by a monster on their way, until they get to a closed off village, which they find is full of children (who are all just adorable).
They discover that there are only children on the island, and Kotoha and Hinohara get taken in as their kind of parents. They stay when they find out that a Sho is on the island, hiding, and Hinohara doesn't want to leave the children by themselves. Hinohara gets close to one of the twins, Nagu, who's experiencing things a bit like he did several years ago when he was bullied. They then have a run in with the 'grown-ups' before they discover that Nagu is the Sho. And that his Hayagami can make his drawings come to life, which is what he did with the big monster, the grown-ups, the other kids, and even his sister Naru. The volume ends with Hinohara telling Naru that he will take care of Nagu.
It's sad, and a bit sweet, and I feel bad for Nagu and just want to give him a hug.
Somewhere in this scene, Hinohara and Kotoha also have a talk, about the scene at the beginning, but they don't really resolve anything. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens between them, and hopefully Hinohara will tell her about him and Arata.
Also, in the middle of the volume, we get a little bit of Arata in the present time (which I guess is why there wasn't comic strips of him at the end of the volume). He's apparently been suspended, and Hinohara's family are having trouble dealing with him. Specifically his mom, because he's been pulling away from them, not calling her mom, and getting in trouble. Suguru, the boy that was kind of and kind of not Hinohara's friend, brings him notes, trying to be nice, but is too afraid to stop Kadowaki from messing with them. He tells this to Arata, though, when he catches him. And then Arata decides to sneak out and find Kadowaki with Suguru's help.
They find him at a bar, where he's with some 'friends' of his, who I don't think are all that close with him. I'm feeling like maybe he doesn't have any actual close friends? But does that mean that him and Arata are going to get close or something? (I kind of hope not.) Anyway, Arata saves him, and he gets all upset about it, because he thinks that Arata is always looking down on him or whatever. Which is complete crap, and doesn't mean he should be a total jerk to him. Also, Hinohara's mom, who's been freaking out because she doesn't know where he went, finds him and freaks out a bit but then Arata tries to be sweet, which works. And Kadowaki also threatens Suguru at the end.
This series is getting better, more interesting, and making me a bit excited to read the next one. The story lines are getting better, as are the characters. I still really like Arata, and Hinohara is getting quite cute (around Kotoha, especially). And I still think Kanate is adorable, and I really like Kotoha. I'm looking forward to meeting more Sho's, as well as seeing what happens next with Arata and Kadowaki. Also, I'm still loving the clothes. They are just so pretty (particularly the ones on the back cover/cover of chapter 30).

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