Sunday, March 18, 2012

Manga Review: Kodocha: Sana's Stage, Volume 2, by Miho Obana

Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5 - 4
Publisher: Tokyopop
Volumes: 10

Goodreads Synopsis:

12-year old Sana Kurata is used to getting what she wants - even in love. Ever since she hired her manager, a man 10 years her senior who she calls her "gigalo," she thought it was true love. When Rei shows his feelings for a woman his own age, Sana realizes that Rei's feelings for her are anything but romantic. Sana has romantic problems at school, too, as now former-bully Hayama and mama's boy Tsuyoshi are vying for her affections.

I am really enjoying this series. (And am hoping that it's not going to become harder to find the other volumes, as the store I usually go to seems to be running out of out-of-print volumes.) (Also, the anime should be on instant on Netflix, because then I would have more of a chance of watching it.)
This volume starts with closing up Akito's unhappy family life, and moves on to Sana and Rei. Rei, who she claims to be her gigolo (which is terribly inaccurate, but a word she learned from one of her moms novels), she found homeless several years ago. Now he's living with her, and is her manager, and Sana believes they are in love. Sana does love him, but not in that way; and he loves her in a different way, and is only entertaining the idea.
Sana finds out that their relationship is not what she thinks when she discovers that her co-worker from the previous volume is also Rei's old girlfriend. They'd broken up because she couldn't focus on him and her career, but they still have feelings for each other. She deals with it pretty well, and later helps them get back together. Part of it is probably because she's also obsessing a bit over Akito, who kissed her during a field trip. (She asks him later why he did it, and he states “Because I don't hate you,” which we find has deeper meaning, and is so sweet.) It's cute seeing their feelings for each other grow. Akito realizes his feelings for Sana in this volume, calls Tsuyoshi his rival, and they both have a talk with Rei at one point. Sana hasn't realized any of it yet, though. Sana has helped him quite a bit, including when his father gets seriously sick in this volume, and he helped her through the Rei debacle and when her friends at school isolate her because of her being busy with work.
(This seemed a little dumb to me. Her friends got upset because she was always working and couldn't hang out with them after school. She didn't explain to them that Rei had set her up with too many commercials, and said that it was fine when Tsuyoshi and Akito ate with her instead, even though it was obviously bothering her. She should have explained it to them, and they shouldn't have been so abrupt with their decision, especially considering it took one apology for them to make up.)
A few times throughout the volume it's shown that something is wrong with Tsuyoshi, (also, that one of Sana's friends has a crush on him). When it's pointed out to Akito that Tsuyoshi, and his sister, aren't at school, he talks to the teacher, and then grabs Sana and they hurry away as the volume ends.
I think I remember something happening with him in the anime, but I don't remember exactly what, so I'm looking forward to finding out.
I'm really enjoying reading this series, and already have the next volume, so will be reading it soon.
It does still bother me when the author write notes within the story, though; a little differently in this volume, she'll have the characters reference Obana. It just seems... unprofessional, I guess? She did put little comics between chapters, though, where she had characters be weather reporters, which were cute and entertaining.
Also, it's funny to me that they're all sixth graders, when they act a bit older than that. They seem a little mature, while their humor doesn't. I'm not sure if it's accurate for them to be sixth graders, but it might be a bit more inaccurate for them to be older. But whatever.

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