Honey and Clover Volume 10
by Chica Umino; adapted by Akemi Wegmuller; due out June 1
This volume ends the series. Since I stopped reading around book 4, I’m perhaps not the best person to evaluate how satisfying a conclusion it is.
Also, I still dislike Hagumi, the elfin artist whom most of the guys are in love with, which creeps me out, since she (purposefully) looks like a child. Half the book finishes the main story, and apparently the only thread left to resolve is whom Hagumi will pick to spend her life with. She’s also suffering from a hand injury that may prevent her from painting, creating the art she lives for.
It’s very dramatic and emotional, all the more so if you care about any of these characters. For me, it’s very remote, as though I’m watching a soap opera for the first time, and if I’m understanding her choice and the reasons for it correctly, it’s even creepier (since it reads like she’s seeking a father instead of a mate). The story is punctuated by the nostalgic metaphors that attract its fans, such as the environmental description in one flashback:
I love rain.
I love how it softens the outlines of things.
The world looks dim and misty, and I feel like I’ll melt right into it.
All of the main characters appear, though, and the ending carries the style and tone of the series up until the end. The remaining half of the book is made up of six short pieces: two illustrated goodbyes from the author, two Honey and Clover bonus stories, an independent love story about a young handbag designer, and a silly piece around one of Doraemon’s gadgets. By featuring other, lesser works at the end, this book works to wean readers away from the series gradually, as it ends quietly.
(All books are published by Viz at $9.99 US. The publisher provided review copies of the above.)