Friday, September 14, 2012

Manga Review: La Corda d'Oro, Volume 16, by Yuki Kure

Rating (Out of 5):  ~4 (maybe 4.5)
Publisher: VIZ Media (Shojo Beat)
Volumes: 17

Goodreads Synopsis:

Every few years, the prestigious Seisou Academy holds a prominent musical competition, and only the very best students at the Academy are allowed to participate. Though all are eligible to apply, only students from the music department actually make it to the competition...until now. On the eve of her big music competition, Kahoko should be getting some much-needed sleep…but she can’t stop thinking about Len. When Len reveals just how soon he’s leaving to study abroad, suddenly Kahoko can’t concentrate on music. Can she and Len admit how much they mean to each other before it’s too late? And can Kahoko still turn in a performance worthy of her training?


I really quite love this series. After I read a volume, and maybe because it takes so long for the next one to come out and even longer for me to get it, I tend to forget just how much I like it. But then I get the next one, and I read it, and I remember how much I love the characters and the story. And, you guys, there’s only one volume left! And it’s possible that, according to Amazon, we’ll be waiting until May! … I just… I wanted to cry after I found that out. I didn’t, because I’m not a crier, but trust me, my inner fangirl was sobbing. I’m not surprised, as I was expecting it to take a while, but that’s just…that’s so long. That’s almost a whole school year, you guys.
This was kind of a slow volume, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. It continues the music competition from the last volume, as well as the little drama of Len leaving. Ryotaro performs first and then, later that night, Kahoko stops by Len’s house. She’s not really sure why, just feels that she has to give him his gift right now, and he’s understandably surprised. That’s when he tells her that he’s, you know, leaving tomorrow. She handles it rather well, even while being upset about the fact that he was just going to leave, without saying anything. He chases after her, but finds her talking with Ryotaro and doesn’t interrupt. Ryotaro drops her off at home, and then picks her up in the morning, the day of her performance.
Everyone wishes her congratulations, and find out that Len is leaving that day (most of who didn’t know). Kahoko has a small freak out, and her performance starts out rough but ends much better. During the performance, she wonders if Len is going to show up, as he promised and said he doesn’t break promises, and then she wonders where Ryotaro is (as he’s gone to find Len), and finally sees them up near the entrance, as they showed up late.
After her performance, Len leaves her flowers with Ryotaro, as he has to get to the airport, and she goes chasing after him. She just barely catches up to him, just long enough for a small farewell and for him to give her his jacket.
And then the last quarter of the volume is taken up with La Corda d’Oro 3. I really want to like this story and the characters, and I kind of do, but I just… I haven’t been with these characters for sixteen volumes, okay? I’ve seen them for a couple of volumes now, and they are interesting and different from La Corda d’Oro. I’m just not as invested in them. After getting caught up with Kahoko and the others for most of the volume, I’m not ready to give up that much time for a different storyline and different characters. Especially so close to the end. There’s one volume left. I want that last volume, really badly; I really want to see what happens; I don’t want to focus on some other, minor characters. Maybe if I was reading more about them, but I’m not, it’s just tiny pieces, extra chapters at the end of the book. Also, most of the chapter focuses on characters that are not the ones we originally met, which just made me a bit confused till the end. And I don’t like that it’s setting up for a bigger storyline, characters that I could care about, when I’m not going to get to see very much of them. There’s only one more book for them to be in, and I’m pretty sure the video game isn’t released over here, or in English, so… Well, after looking, I guess Kure started a series over in Japan starring them last year, but who knows if that'll get published over here and how long that'll take.
Mainly, I just want to focus on Kahoko and the others. Particularly the Kahoko and Len storyline, as I really enjoy them together, but I like all of the other characters as well, so I’m looking forward to the end, even if it’ll be upsetting that it’s all over.

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