Story/Art: Shuzo Oshimi
Translation: Paul Starr
What They Say
Bookworm Takao falls in love with Nanako, but he cannot express his feelings through words. Instead he secretively acts out in a heat of passion, which creates a huge scandal in his school. There is one person who knows his true nature, and this girl will do anything to nurture what this Charles Baudelaire hides.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Though Takao is finally come face to face with Nakamura once again, it seems her mother is going to turn him away. Surprisingly, though, Aya becomes forceful and manages to arrange a meeting at the beach. The two then finally have something of a talk, and Nakamura effectively gives Aya and Takao her blessing before starting to walk away. Shockingly at this point Aya doesn’t just stop Nakamura, she actually says that Nakamura and Takao belong together. With that an explosion of emotion and action bursts forth, and together the three wear themselves out, with Nakamura finally sending the two lovers on their way.
In the aftermath, we skip ahead and get a chapter of a Takao that’s far more adjusted in his life, living happily with Aya. Following that comes a look into the ever flowing future, slowly, silently, and beautifully hinting at what’s to come for each of the characters, while also leaving things open through the imagery used.
Finally, in an interesting finale, we get a look at the very start of the tale from Nakamura’s point of view. It’s twisted and more than a little disturbing, but it’s also a stunning look, with an ending that remains a hopeful transition to the rest of the story as well.
In an unusual twist, with this last volume it’s the art that’s flexed more than the dialogue of the story. Fortunately, though, even when the book goes silent or repeats earlier scenes, it’s doing so in a way that allows the art to capture something raw and incredible. Even though it’s hard to say this book hits on particularly strong scenes for the series, it’s this beautiful non-verbal communication that really helps to hold this volume up as something special. It may not be the strongest book in the series, but it’s certainly a finale that should satisfy fans. And if you haven’t picked up the series yet, let this stand as confirmation that these books are ones that absolutely demand your attention and are worth reading.
Content Grade: A
Art Grade: A+
Package Rating: B+
Text/Translation Rating: B+
Age Rating: 13+
Released by: Vertical
Release Date: October 14th, 2014