Saturday, December 22, 2012

Manga Review: Kodocha: Sana's Stage, Volume 4, by Miho Obana

Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
Publisher: TokyoPop
Volumes: 10

Goodreads Synopsis:

Take one young actress used to getting her way, add a handful of ruthless bullies, some humorous twists, and a plastic toy hammer, and you've got the recipe for one crazy story Kodocha follows the antics of Sana, a spoiled 11-year-old TV star, and Hayama, a 6th grade Machiavelli who terrorizes both his teachers and his classmates. In their classroom war of wills, Sana and Hayama find there is more to both of them than meets the eye.

Available on Amazon (in the marketplace, as it is out-of-print).


So, I’d just about given up on finding this series at my somewhat-local bookstore, and had been somewhat wavering on buying it volume by volume on online, when I found several of them at the bookstore again. I, of course, do not have the next volume, or the last one, but hope to get them soon.
I really like this series. It’s just… a really sweet series. It isn’t mature, at all, and even though it says for 13+, I would think that it’s fine for kids a bit younger than that. I mean, it’s true that some serious stuff is happening, but it’s not graphic, the humor is much more for younger teens, and there’s the fact that the main characters are in, I would think?, late elementary school (and if they're not, they really act like it most of the time).
Anyway, this volume contained the, pretty much, end to the search for Sana’s real mother plot line, including meeting her, Sana talking with Akito about it and him trying to cheer her up, and Sana and her not-biological-mother talking about it. This was a rather serious plot, and my favorite part of it, was getting to see Sana act serious, and it showing us how she hides behind humor so much. Usually it just shows us the humor, and a lot of it, and it was interesting to see her trying to joke when the reader, and her close friends and family know that she’s faking it. It was sad, but also a little sweet.
Sana also went to visit the orphanage that took her in, and we got some more backstory on Naozumi (the other actor, who likes her). Then the story moves on to something more lighthearted: Christmas, and Sana and Akito’s mid-year birthday part, since Akito doesn’t like celebrating on his birthday. Akito has a hard time picking something out for Sana, and so doesn’t get her anything, but at the last minute decides to show her his true feelings by kissing her, even though he’s already been told that he has to outright tell her, as she won’t get it through being shown. And, of course, she doesn’t. She’s confused, and frustrated, by the kiss, but when she asks him if he likes her, he’s so dumbfounded that she didn’t get it, that he tells her no.
During all of this, Sana is turning down all of her movie/tv offers, which is frustrating Rei (her manager), and finally she agrees to do this one movie, since the part is a bit close to her heart and the director wants her specifically to play it, and Naozumi is also in the movie. She’s worried about not getting to be around all her friends, but Akito reassures her that nothing will really change.
Then, in the last chapter, they all move up into the next grade (they’re in middle school now), in which Sana is in a different class from all her friends, but she meets a new girl, Fuka, who she gets quickly close with. But the other kids are all freaked out about going to school with Sana, and there’s this boy who I think likes her and fights with Akito, plus Fuka knows Akito from elementary school, and she is not happy to see him.
This volume, much like the other volumes, was very good, and I’m really hoping to get the next one soon. I’m guessing that the movie is going to cause us to see more of Naozumi, who is a nice character, but I’d much rather see more of Akito. I want to see Sana get closer to Akito, have them talk more and have him outright tell her how he feels, and I hope that happens soon.

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