Sunday, February 24, 2013

Manga Review: Kodocha: Sana's Stage, Volume 5, by Miho Obana

Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
Publisher: Tokyopop
Volumes: 10
Spoilers?: Yes.
Buy it here: Amazon. (Out-of-Print)

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.


I was unable to find this volume for a little bit, but now I have read it, and am only missing volume 10. So, it will probably be pretty quick reading until I finish book 9, then I will have to wait and find the last book. I’m super excited, though, now that I have most of the volumes and will actually get to finish this series. And it’s so good, too.
So, in this volume: Sana’s new friend, Fuka, hates Akito, because he kissed her when they were five and ruined her life. And she keeps bringing up things that he did wrong and yelling at him, and I don’t like it. She just needs to get over it already. And apparently her hate is because it ruined her chance with this guy from her old school, but we meet him and she lets him go; and, really, thank god. She needs to just move on already. Also, it seems like she’s starting to grow feelings for Akito, which is just not okay.
We also find out that Sana is questioning whether Akito does actually like her or not, and that ever since the thing with her manager (from volume 1), she’s just been very confused about love and romance, and whether a guy actually likes her or not. Which is why Akito needs to actually tell her up front, but he’s too chicken. Also, Sana gets confessed to by this guy at her school, and she told him she is going out with Naozumi, so she didn’t have to be mean and reject him, which is sure to backfire later
While some of this happens, Sana is gone on location filming her new movie, with Naozumi and Rei and Rei’s secret-girlfriend Asako. I really like the interactions between Rei and Asako; I wouldn’t mind seeing more of those. Also, it nice to see Sana growing up and getting some advice/having conversations with an older woman (including shopping for her first bra), as well as seeing how upset Rei is that Sana is getting older.
It’s surprisingly nice how funny the scenes with Naozumi and Sana are. I don’t like them together in a romantic sense, but seeing them just be friends and joking around is fun. Plus, it’s adorable how embarrassed and determined Naozumi can get. I’m warming up to him rather well, it seems.
While Sana and them are out on location out in the mountains, they have no cell service, and so have very little/no contact with the world back home. Which means that Sana hasn’t gotten to talk much with anyone, including Akito. This spells trouble, and I’m a little unhappy and suspicious. Akito was going to confess to Sana before she left, but kept putting it off, and then decided to tell her when she got back, which is in two months. I’m sure something is going to happen to complicate things, and I’m not looking forward to it.
Anyway, Sana is also having some trouble with Naozumi’s fans, three of which keep showing up and spying on them. They’re super jealous of Sana being Naozumi’s girlfriend, even though she’s not (magazines keep saying they are). And at the end of the volume, they’re all beating Sana up with a piece of wood or something, when Naozumi finds them and gets super pissed. He looks like he’s going to hit them, but I doubt that’ll actually happen. I am excited to see what he’ll do, though, and what the after-effects of their bullying is going to be. Hopefully it won’t result in some sweet, lesson-learning moment with the bullies.
A tiny bit off topic, but some of the characters cursed in this book. I think it was only twice, but I was a little surprised by it (I don’t think they’ve cursed in the previous books, but maybe they have?). I don’t know if it says the same thing in Japanese, or if they translated it differently, but I was kind of unsure on if the cursing really needed to be there or not, and I don’t really think it does. I mean, the characters are in middle school, and I know that some people do curse then, but these characters don’t really seem the type, and it didn’t really add much emphasis or empower the moment. Plus, I’ve always thought of this series as targeted toward the younger ages. It just didn’t seem like the cursing needed to be there, to me, but maybe I’m wrong.
I already have the next volume, and I’m planning to read it now that I’ve written this up.

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