Saturday, March 23, 2013

Manga Review: Kodocha: Sana's Stage, Volume 9, by Miho Obana

Rating (Out of 5): ~4-4.5
Publisher: Tokyopop
Volumes: 10
Spoilers?: Yes.
Buy it here: Amazon.

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 guessed, in my review of volume 8, that the tension between Akito and his teacher would be coming to a head in this volume. I was wrong. Instead, Obana threw in something else, something that I was really not expecting.
The first half of this volume was fantastic, it was so much fun. Christmas Eve, also known as Sana and Akito’s halfway birthday, is coming up, and so Sana wants to throw a party like the year before. But all of their friends are busy, so it ends up being just the two of them. Also, Sana realizes that Akito is, actually and officially, her boyfriend now, which puts her up in seventh heaven. This part is just really hilarious and adorable.
There are some super sweet and adorable and hilarious moments between Sana and Akito, but I’m not going to spoil them. They’re having a lot of fun, messing around and hugging and even sharing a kiss, but there are a few moments that are hinting that Sana is trying not to think about the things that depress her: like Akito’s arm and how Akito and Fuka used to go out.
One thing that surprised me, was how Akito and Sana remind me of a married couple that has been together since they were kids. You know, the type of old married couple that found each other young, and somehow stayed together throughout their life. I’ve never really thought that far ahead for most couples in books, and I’ve never had that kind of feeling from one before, how I could actually see them staying together, happy, for their whole lives. But I get that feeling from Sana and Akito. And I love that.
There are a couple of minor plots throughout the book: we see Naozumi for a bit, Sana does some acting stuff, and Akito and Sana work together to try to get Fuka and the boy she liked from her old school together. Apparently, him and the other girl broke up, and he still likes Fuka, and so Akito and Sana get his new number (‘cause he moved) and give it to Fuka. It doesn’t show whether she called him, but we see that she’s thinking about it, so I’m assuming she does.
Now, the big, main point: Akito is moving to America. At first, I was thinking this was a bit cliché and didn’t like it. But it’s actually done in a new way. First of all, Sana tells him not to leave, and so he says that he’s not going to, but his dad won’t let him stay in Japan, so he has to tell Sana that he has to go. Sana tries to stay supportive, and not break down, but the fact that Akito’s leaving is really depressing her.
And here’s the even bigger thing: Sana loses her smile. She is actually unable to smile, to move her expression from anything but blank, even though her voice sounds normal, and she doesn’t realize that she’s not smiling.
We find out that this has happened to her once before, and the reason her expression came back was because of something Naozumi did, when they were little (before Sana actually knew him). Sana doesn’t realize what’s happening, but her acting jobs aren’t working very well, and everyone is worrying about her. Naozumi and Akito try to fix it, but at the moment nothing is working out. And then, the volume ends with Naozumi telling Akito that he thinks himself and Sana are meant to be, and maybe Sana is thinking the same thing. (Ironically enough, before that last chapter, I’d thought about how much I’d grown to like Naozumi. Yea, his declaration changes that real fast.)
So, to sum up: I love Sana and Akito. I love them way too much. They are perfect, and this series is so much more than I thought it would be, and I already have the next (and last) volume, so I will be reading that now, right this instant, now that I’ve finished writing this up.

No comments:

Post a Comment