Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
Publisher: Shojo Beat (VIZ Media)
Release Date: 2010
Hagu and Takemoto are the last of the gang to graduate, and after his bike odyssey Takemoto has a future in temple restoration. But Hagu's recent injury might steal her ability to paint forever. Can love make up for such a painful loss?
I love this series, don’t get me wrong. The art is sketchy and gorgeous. I’m attached to all of the characters. This series is beautiful and thoughtful and smart. But the ending left me with a little something to be desired.
After Hagu’s accident, she was having a hard time deciding what to do with herself. She had a few romantic contenders, one of whom she does have feelings for, plus Shu, whom I believe she loves like family. Her decision made sense to me—given her relationship with him, it makes perfect sense for her to choose to stay there. It still seemed a little sad, but I understood.
I liked Takemoto’s decision. He’s pretty much on his own, aside from friendships. I loved his journey in this series, and am purely happy for him.
I was pretty okay with Mayama’s conclusion. It makes sense for him, and it’s what he wants. And while I like Ayu and Nomiya, their conclusion just leaves me unsatisfied. I think they could grow really close, to love each other, but I don’t think it’s really what Ayu wants. It just doesn’t seem like what she wants, even if she could grow to love it. It just feels like she should have got something more.
To me, the overall feeling of this final volume seemed to be settling. It seemed like everyone was sad about parting, which made sense, but more than that, like they didn’t all feel confident or happy about their decisions. It left me feeling unsatisfied, which I’m not too happy about. I wanted to love this volume, just as I’ve loved the whole series. Now I’m just unsure.
Still, I’m glad I picked this series up, and that I’ve finally finished it. It was worth it, I would recommend it, and I would definitely love to read other series like it.