Sunday, August 11, 2013

Manga Review: A Devil and Her Love Song, Volume 9, by Miyoshi Tomori

Rating (Out of 5): ~4.5
Publisher: VIZ Media (Shojo Beat)
Volumes: 13
Spoilers?: Yes, major ones with warning.

Goodreads Synopsis:

A moving coming-of-age story that showcases a fierce, dynamic heroine who speaks her mind. 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...

Unable to tell Maria his feelings for her, Shin decides to channel all his energy into playing the piano. His hard work pays off when he lands a role in a big concert, but will Maria even be there on the day of the show?

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


So, a couple of volumes ago, this series was just good. It was heading into the, like it but not obsessed with it, territory, and then volume 8 was very good and exciting again. And then this volume happened. And tore me apart. And now I’m obsessed again.
It starts where the last one left off, with Kurosu leaning in to kiss Maria, but what happens after that is not what I was expecting. Maria pushes him away, and then Shin punches him. Not what I thought was going to happen. And then Kurosu leaves, feeling unwanted by everyone. Maria feels bad for him, though, because she understands why he did it, and she understands that he wants to be accepted by them and now feels rejected and alone.
The group try to lure him back, and it succeeds, and he’s deemed with the nickname “Eros”, which Maria accidentally called him, combining Kurosu and Erotic. Then they all head back to school, and there’s talk of wishes, and Maria talks to Kurosu about why she likes Shin, and Shin talks with his father about getting a spot at this concert, since it’s a wish of Maria’s to see him at one.
Then we get a chapter in Shin’s head, and we see him second-guessing his decision to stay away from Maria, as he watches her get closer to Kurosu and more used to touching. Then he gets a spot in the concert, his confidence goes up, and he invites Maria, and only Maria, to it.
And this is where everything inside me just tore apart. There are not enough words to explain my feelings towards what happens next.
Okay, so Maria is nervous and excited about seeing Shin, she’s told that it’s a date and wonders about his feelings towards her and gets all dressed up. She runs into Yusuke and Kurosu while all dressed up and they coax her to sing in public. (SPOILERS!) And then—and then!—, as she’s heading to the concert hall, she’s attacked.
It turns out that it’s that guy, a couple volumes ago, who was singing in public before, who Maria was going to sing for and then decided not to. He heard her sing earlier and got all jealous and angry and is trying to strangle her. She’s getting flashbacks of what happened with her mother, but she pulls her phone out and dials Yusuke (because he’s the person who showed up on her recent calls list, because of his late night calls to make sure she sleeps nightmare free), which makes the guy stop choking her to take the phone. This makes him also stop trying to choke her, and she yells at him a little, telling him why he’s feeling this way, and that he’s a coward (yes!), and things seem to have calmed down and he’s feeling regretful. And then he goes to apologize or something and reaches out to her, and she totally tells him off, saying that, duh, he just tried to kill her and she doesn’t even want to look at him (!), and to leave (!!), and so he does.
At this point she’s alone in the bushes, a mess, and crying, and she hears Shin’s music from the music hall because she’s so close, and that comforts her, and then Yusuke shows up (!). He’s concerned, worried, asks her what’s wrong, touches her and then recoils because of how she’s previously reacted. But she hugs him, and she tells him that she cares a lot about him, and even though she understands his feelings for her, he’s not getting rid of her. And it’s so goddamn sweet and I love it and ohmygooooood!
Throughout this very intense and important and sweet and ohmygod moment between Yusuke and Maria, Shin is performing at the concert. When he gets through, he hurries out, knowing that Maria didn’t show up and worried about why (especially since he’d previously told her that he really wanted her to listen, and had decided that if she understood the music [which had been called erotic] that he was going to tell her about his feelings). He shows up and sees Maria and Yusuke embracing and is worried. Later, he calls her and asks, and she apologizes for not showing up, but says she heard him playing, and that it comforted her, as she was alone and hurt at the time she heard it. She doesn’t tell him about getting attacked, because she knows he’ll worry. He doesn’t believe her, seeing as he saw her with Yusuke.
Now, this is surely to cause trouble, and I know that I’ve previously been full on Shin’s team, but I think I’ve changed my mind. Because during all that time with Shin, and how important it was supposed to be about his seeing her and Yusuke, I couldn’t form an ounce of care, because my mind was full of Yusuke. I’m pretty sure I love him at this point, and I don’t even know how that happened. But I do. He’s so sweet and nice and loyal; he’s there for Maria anytime she needs him, he calls her every night so she can sleep, he’s there to comfort her, showed up because she called him and didn’t answer when he called back, and he’s okay that she doesn’t feel the same way about him. I honestly want her to feel the same way about him now, but don’t doubt that she’s going to end up with Shin. Still, I love him, and will fangirl over him incessantly from now on.
So, Shin has lost some of my feelings for him. He just needs to buck up already; hopefully he’ll do that soon. And I’m rather fond of Kurosu now, too. I’m not sure in what way, but I like him. He’s sweet and funny and good for Maria. And there were several comic strips at the end of the book featuring him and his feelings for Maria, and they were just adorable, and had me laughing the whole time.
So, I’m loving this series completely again. I’m kind of obsessed, particularly with Yusuke, but also with Maria. She’s just so strong—she’s having problems with her past and with the boys in her life, yes, but she never backs down, she’s so straightforward, and she’s helpful and honest even while being hurt and angry. She’s awesome, and there need to be more people like her in this world. 
I’m obsessed and in love, and now that the volume has come out, I am very eager to get my hand on it.

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