Sunday, March 18, 2012

Manga Review: Stepping on Roses, Volume 7, by Rinko Ueda

Rating (Out of 5): ~3 - 3.5
Publisher: VIZ Media (Shojo Beat)
Volumes: 8+

Goodreads Synopsis:

Poor Sumi Kitamura… Her irresponsible older brother Eisuke keeps bringing home orphans for her to take care of even though they can barely afford their own basic needs! Just when Sumi's financial problems become dire, wealthy Soichiro Ashida enters her life with a bizarre proposition: he'll provide her with the money she so desperately needs if she agrees to marry him. But can Sumi fool high society into thinking she's a proper lady? Moreover, is it worth giving up everything for this sham of a marriage?
Soichiro’s reputation becomes tainted when Sumi’s true background is exposed, and even his position as president of his company is threatened! Sumi feels terrible for the trouble she’s caused Soichiro, so she decides to leave him. Will Soichiro choose to let her go, or will he forsake everything for her instead?


This volume starts where the last volume ended: with Eisuke telling all of Soichiro's business partners that he's Sumi's brother. The business partners are outraged, and they tell Soichiro to resign, who refuses.
The thing that bothers me, though, is that Sumi feels really bad about it. Yea, she shouldn't have signed that paper, but Eisuke shouldn't have embezzled or asked her to in the first place. She should be mad at him, but instead she cries and decides to run back to her old home with the children.
Nozomu, meanwhile, offers to help Soichiro in exchange for Sumi, who refuses. He's realizing that he loves Sumi, and so runs after her and then gives up the company for her. He tells her he loves her, she's his wife, Nozoumi can't have her, and she cries.
Then he moves in with Sumi, in that run down house, where he's having a hard time finding a job and generally living like they do. He doesn't get along with Eisuke too much, it seems. He starts teaching the kids some, when he finds out that they aren't in school. Also, he tries to have some loving time with Sumi, which doesn't work because they are surrounded by kids (although that doesn't seem to bother them too much) and Eisuke interrupts them.
Meanwhile, Nozomu takes over the Ashida company, is not spending any time with his wife while trying to get a divorce, is planning a way to get Sumi, and then buys the land that their house is on, making it so they have to move, which is near impossible as they have no money.
I don't really understand how they have no money. How does Soichiro not have any money saved? And why can they not stay at his house? There's no mention of it, at all. Also, why did Soichiro have to resign? Yea, what happened with Eisuke was bad, but they shouldn't have been so judgmental just because Sumi is poor. (I guess because of what time it's set in, though...)
Anyway, Sumi decides to go talk to Nozomu (on her own), try to get him to not buy the land. He, instead, makes a move on her and asks her to be his wife.
Nozomu needs some serious help, okay? He's always pushing at Sumi, doing anything to sabotage her relationship with Soichiro (or anyone else, really) in order for her to see the good in him. In this volume, he gives her money 'out of the goodness in his heart', making her think he's maybe actually nice, while smirking as he leaves. Hell, he tried to kill himself and Sumi earlier in the series. He's psychotic, and needs to be put away.
And Sumi, needs to realize this. She needs to grow a backbone, push him away and do something for herself, instead of always taking care of everyone else and being the victim. It is seriously getting on my nerves.
Also about Sumi: we found out something new about her in this volume. Apparently Eisuke found her, lost, in a rose garden when she was a baby, and so she is now terrified of roses, only doesn't remember why. And, in a comic short at the end, that she asked for siblings when she was young, which I'm sure is why Eisuke was always bringing home kids. The part I liked moat about this, was that we got to Eisuke legitimately working for something, being a good, nice boy, as opposed to his gambling, womanizing ways now.
(Also in a comic short at the end, was a thing about how the author had a kid and was having a hard time raising her. I found it entertaining, and really interesting, how she doesn't enjoy it, but, you know, still love her child.)
Anyway. Despite all of the holes in the plot, among other things, that are bothering me, I am enjoying watching Soichiro live the poor life. He's quite terrible at it so far, and I'm looking forward to seeing him change, toughen up.
This wasn't a bad volume, though, just a bit bothersome at times. This series is just... an overly romanticized dramatic one. Which, I can't help but enjoy reading, even as it annoys me. So of course I will be reading the next one, whenever it is released.

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