The past looms heavily over this latest volume.
Story/Art: Miyoshi Tomori
Translation: JN Productions
English Adaptation: Ysabet MacFarlane
What They Say:
As Maria begins to recall bits and pieces of her tragic past, Yusuke tells her that he’ll stay by her side and support her, no matter what. Meanwhile, Maria still hopes to reconcile with Anna, so she enrolls in the same music school that Anna attends. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like Anna wants Maria’s help or friendship…
When everyone goes to meet up, Maria’s face is of course a topic of discussion, but she (with the help of Yusuke) manages to brush it off as a simple fall. However, when discussing the meaning of a fight, Yusuke and Maria end up getting into a fight themselves. Just when Maria is starting to feel extra crappy, the television show they appeared on comes on, and Maria realizes that she’s been bottling up her own true feelings. She then decides to finally tell everyone why she got expelled in the first place, and gains a little support and hope in the process.
When Yusuke goes to walk Maria home, he confesses once more, but when Maria thinks that he’s just lying, he goes to hug her. Unfortunately, this does in fact trigger a bit of Maria’s memories of her mother’s death, causing her to black out. When she wakes up, Yusuke is there to tell her that he’ll be there for her, no matter how she thinks of him. Later on, Shin calls Yusuke to tell him not to get too close to Maria, only for him to respond that he intends to keep on standing by her side. Meanwhile, Maria decides to form a group with Anna in the music class, and Shin and Yusuke join in, as well as a teacher by the name of Shougo Sakaki. We then learn that Yusuke has been calling Maria every night before she goes to sleep in order to keep her from having bad dreams that make her remember her painful past.
When the group meets up to discuss what they’ll do, Shougo ends up clashing with Maria, and then goes on to suggest that she try performing on the street. Yusuke and Shin both have opposite reactions to this suggestion, but in the end Maria decides to at least take a look. Upon arriving Yusuke and Maria find two groups performing, one that’s popular and one single singer who isn’t getting any attention. When Shougo appears and starts fighting with Maria over the importance of technique versus emotion, she ends up going to sing alongside the young man. Before she can start, however, Anna appears and furiously tells her not to steal someone else’s words again. When Maria says once more that she wants to hear Anna’s true feelings, Anna responds with a single sentence that says everything: “I want to sing.” Crushed, Maria can think of nothing else but to have Shin go after her and try to give her comfort.
As the volume comes to a close, Anna abruptly disappears, leaving behind nothing but a cross identical to Maria’s.
There’s a lot of emotion packed into this volume, and at times it almost explodes off of the page. Yusuke in particular comes into his own here, acknowledging that he may not be the one that Maria wants while still doing everything he can to help her. Meanwhile, Maria finally manages to force out Anna’s emotions, and when they come out they are particularly raw and touching. This is definitely a great entry into the series, and I can only hope that the conclusion to the arc proves every bit as powerful as what’s shown here.
Content Grade: A-
Art Grade: B+
Package Rating: B+
Text/Translation Rating: B
Age Rating: 13+
Released by: Viz Media
Release Date: February 5th, 2013