Friday, September 8, 2017

Waiting For Spring Volume 2: Review

Mitsuki continues her quest to try and not only be more open with others but figure out her relationship with Towa is as well as now having to deal with her childhood friend Aya-Chan not only being back in her life again but the strong girl she wanted to be like is actually a boy and a star basketball player as well. With this, her ill defined relationship with Towa and her attempts to make female friends floundering Mitsuki is trying to figure out how to interact with others and sort out her burgeoning feelings for Towa that she feels only half aware of. Mitsuki in this volume is an interesting focal point while the boys of the school basketball club do get some focus for the most part it's Mitsuki trying to come out of her shell or figure out how she feels about Towa or Towa trying to figure out how he feels about Mitsuki it's a slowly burgeoning relationship of some kind. While it honestly ends up not feeling like harem series with the only serious apparent rival bring Mitsuki's childhood friend Aya. Aya is now back from America and revealed to be a boy who is up front about his intentions with Mitsuki. So a possible love triangle is in the works and the strongest parts of the volume are the interactions between Aya and Mitsuki be it the flash back of how they became friends to the in retrospect embarrassing amount of close personal contact and personal conversations they had while Mitsuki thought Aya was a girl. This is less a volume less about romantic matters of the heart and more about Mitsuki figuring out how to interact with others be it her and Reina going over how to improve her asking other girls out after school so she can hang out. To the internal monologues replete with self-doubt and recriminations of her own lack of presence in a social setting. For anyone who had an awkward adolescence or is simply more socially anxious or introverted, it's really easy to relate to Mitsuki. For this Waiting for Spring is something special while Towa is less a wish fulfillment "boyfriend" and more a kind of dense guy who sees a rival in Aya but also realizes how important Aya is to Mitsuki as well. Thankfully avoiding the overly possessive tendencies found in some male leads in Shojo Manga. With a mixture of the sweet awkward blossoming of Mitsuki and actual engaging potential love triangle in which both rivals feel like legitimate contenders. While also not reducing the female lead to a "Mary Sue" Anashin is to be praised. Panel layout and flow of action, in particular, should be praised as often times Shojo Manga is more about the mind and emotions the basketball pick up game the boys try to use cheer up Mitsuki shows that action can flow just as well as intimate moments of emotional vulnerability and introspection. With this volume, the series has gained emotional depth while never sinking into melodramatic angst or vicariously inflating the audience's sense of self or ego. In conclusion, this volume is less about the will they or won't they of a potential relationship although that is an element and is more about Mitsuki coming out of her shell and coming to terms not only with the past but a future that she subconsciously feels undeserving of in her own mind. I have to respect the series for being willing to give this much introspection to a lead character as it would be easy to reduce Mitsuki to an audience self-insert but instead she is fully Mitsuki and I while I thought the appeal of this series would originally be a seemingly light and frothy harem caper no instead it's a well-done story about a girl learning about herself and also experiencing love or it's first pangs at least. Impressive to say the least this volume is a treat for those that want a well-written heroine in Shojo Manga and male leads that feel real not some strange abstraction of the Mangaka's fantasies or idea of what the audience would like.

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