Saturday, July 20, 2013

Manga Review: A Devil and Her Love Song, Volume 8, by Miyoshi Tomori

Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Publisher: VIZ Media (Shojo Beat)
Volumes: 13
Spoilers?: Yes.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Meet Maria Kawai—she’s gorgeous and whip-smart, a girl who seems to have it all. But when she unleashes her sharp tongue, it’s no wonder some consider her to be the very devil! Maria’s difficult ways even get her kicked out of an elite school, but this particular fall may actually turn out to be her saving grace... The start of her second year in high school brings someone unexpected into Maria’s life—Shintaro Kurosu, a brash first-year student who does as he pleases. He takes a strong liking to Maria and sticks to her, making Maria and her crush Shin Meguro extremely uncomfortable. Like it or not, Kurosu’s presence is about to change Maria in a surprising way…

Reads R to L (Japanese Style) for teen audiences.


This series is just so good. And while the last few volumes were good, it was a little muddy with the whole Anna plotline, and now it’s really started kicking up again. This volume was just plain fun, along with some good plot development. And gah that ending, but I’ll get to that further below.
The first chapter closes up the Anna storyline in a very good way. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen with that—if they were going to leave us hanging, if something more dramatic was going to happen and they were going to go find her, or what. What did happen, though, was really nice. I don’t want to give it away, but it wasn’t what I was expecting, it was much preferred to my other ideas, and it left me very satisfied.
Then the story moves in a different direction, and we’re introduced to a new character. First, there’s a marathon at the school, and things seem tense between Maria and Shin. Shin is, really, just being dumb and Maria doesn’t know what to do or think about it. Then, as Maria and Shin might be moving closer, might be moving farther apart, in comes Shintaro Kurosu. He makes quite an enterance, as well, but I won’t give that away. And he proceeds to be very pushy with Maria, upfront with that he finds her interesting, wants to be around her, wants to walk her home, and later, that he’s in love with her (and I’m going to ignore how fast that sounds, because even if it is, it kind of works, and I’m okay with it). Him and Shin talk, and Shin tells him some stuff about Maria’s past and why he’s not making a move on her, and Kurosu straight up tells him that he’s not going to hold himself back from being with Maria if he can, and that she’ll be able to work through it and he would be there to help her.
So, I’m a little unsure of Kurosu. I like Shin, that’s obvious, but he needs to get his mind in the game and stop holding himself back, especially when Maria is ready to be with him, and she needs to work through what happened with her mother. But Kurosu has his good parts. He’s very similar to Maria, in that he’s straightforward, isn’t afraid to speak his mind, sees through a lot of people's acts, but the big difference is that he doesn’t think that’s a bad thing, whereas Maria believes that she needs to learn how to interact with people better. But I like that he’s so straightforward. Also, he’s slowly making her get more comfortable with being touched and touching other people, which is very good.
Then there’s Yusuke, of course, and I like him. He’s sweet and he’s nice and he’s very good to Maria. And I feel bad for him during all this, seeing as how Maria is his friend and knows he wants more, and he’s just kind of stuck watching her love Shin as someone else moves into the picture. I mostly just want him to move past his feelings for her so that he can fall for someone who will love him like he deserves. I know there’s Ayu, but I’m not fully bought on her and him being a thing.
Anyway, Kurosu is moving steadily in on Maria. She’s still obviously in love with Shin, and rather open about her feelings even while hesitant around Shin, but she’s quickly forming a close relationship with Kurosu. Shin inadvertently invites everyone to his family’s beach house for the weekend, and the girls and Kurosu (who pretty much invites himself to both things) go swimsuit shopping, in a very nice scene. Then they’re at the beach, and we meet Shin’s father (in an odd meeting), and Shin and Maria seem to be growing a bit closer. 
And then, the end of the volume comes, and it’s just really not very nice. I’m not going to spoil it, but it’s a rather horrible way to end a volume, and am I ever so glad that I have the next volume ready and waiting so that I can go start it right off, because I would hate to have to wait to see what happens next. And now, I’m going to go do just that.

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