Story/Art: Arina Tanemura
Translation/Adaptation: Tetsuichiro Miyaki
What They Say
To pursue missed chances at love and success, 31-year-old Chikage Deguchi takes an experimental drug that changes her appearance back to how she looked at age 15. Brokenhearted after Tokita’s engagement, Chikage writes the lyrics of a new song to express her emotions as Akari. But her producer Hibiki has suddenly gone missing…
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
When Hibiki doesn’t show up for work, everyone is worried. Akari finds out his younger sister, Sayaka, is poor health is in a hospital. Hibiki finally reaches out to Akari, because Sayaka is upset that the nurses took her hair ties out that Akari put in previously. From there, Akari helps Hibiki out, since he has no parents to rely on. When Sayaka starts to improve, Hibiki decides to hit up a rehearsal, while Akari stays behind with Sayaka. But, while he’s gone, Sayaka passes away.
Hibiki is failing miserably as he attempts to deal with Sayaka’s death. He throws himself into practice as he continues to grieve. Akari does what she can to support Hibiki and the rest of his siblings, but it will take Hibiki coming to terms that Sayaka is gone. The story has also leaked and now the fans know about his situation as well.
Chikage, Akari’s adult form, is happy about her friend Hanami and Tokita getting married. It turns out though Hanami is four months pregnant and she isn’t sure who the father is. Ida, her ex-boyfriend, returns in the picture and is ready to commit to her and the baby, if it’s his, but he’s moving to Italy for work. The baby is indeed Ida’s, but Hanami is struggling with telling Tokita the truth. Chikage finds out about the pregnancy and says she will stick by Hanami’s side, but she has to tell Tokita the truth. But, when the day of the wedding comes, Hanami still has told Tokita and runs away.
When I started to read this volume, it made me feel like it’s been a long time since I read the previous volume. Sometimes a story is really good and waiting for the next volume seems like an eternity, but in the case, it was almost a year. The creator is also highly involved with iDolish7, so it might have been something that delayed the release of this story. Regardless, this story is really is a good read and really targets a large audience, as it bridges the gap between shojo and josei.
In particular, this volume was very emotional. Two very real-world issues, death and birth, were featured and how emotional both situations are all for those involved. As heavy of topics as those are, I am still waiting and waiting for Akari/Chikage to find a love of her own. There are possibilities as both Akari and Chikage, but I want the waiting to end!
Content Grade: B+
Art Grade: B+
Packaging Grade: C
Text/Translation Grade: A
Age Rating: Teen
Released By: Shojo Beat (Viz Media)
Release Date: August 6, 2019