Horimiya Volume 12
I had a hard time following Horimiya volume 12, simply due to its place in the series. This is a long-running relationship manga, which means by this point, we’ve left the core couple as focus a while back and spun out into various friends and schoolmates as continuing characters. We’ve caught up with Japan in terms of releases — there isn’t a backlog — so the previous volume came out almost six months ago. Combined, that means a whole lot of similar-looking people (due to school uniforms) that I have very little memory of how to tell apart, so I missed a lot of the character-specific implications to the various chapters here. And in this volume, there’s no continuing plot line to carry me through.
A cast rundown would have helped immensely, but it would have needed to be several pages. Time to re-read the past several volumes also would have been useful. Instead, I was left with finding what enjoyment I could in the concept of each chapter, since I didn’t recall specific character history or quirks, and they were a really mixed bag.
The ones about taking a hot drink to a friend waiting for a bus or helping a friend wake up to make it to class on time or sharing a love of a favorite manga magazine, they were cute and approachable. Several of the others, I’m not even sure what the point was and can’t sum up a key concept, since they ramble all over the place. One involved the difference between formal and casual language, so it didn’t translate into English very well. Another, about Hori grabbing another girl’s boobs, I understood but was confused by why that was a story.
Overall, this volume is only for dedicated fans of the series, those who remember all the different characters or have time to brush up on them. (The publisher provided a review copy.)