Saturday, June 16, 2018

How To Raise A Boring Girlfriend Vol. #07 Manga Review

Her first rebellion caused a dull being pricked by a pointed tree branch.

Creative Staff:
Original Story: Fumiaki Maruto
Art: Takeshi Moriki
Character Design: Kurehito Misaki
Translation: Kumar Sivasubramanian
Translation Consultant: Chitoku Teshima
Lettering: Phil Christie

What They Say:
Tomoya takes a trip to the mountains to see Eriri, who's hard at work finishing the art for their game. But when Tomoya gets there, he finds Eriri collapsed with a high fever! Is completing their game worth risking Eriri's health?

The Review:
Content: (Please note that the content portion of the review may contain spoilers)
Well, we're approaching the end, ladies and gentlemen. With only one volume remaining and Cherry Blessing finally complete, the end is all but spelled out for our friends in Blessing Software. But even though the final climb may be bittersweet in nature, there's still a fair share of cuteness to go around. And even if that cuteness may be the result of poor decisions on behalf of good ole' Aki-kun, it's still something to look forward to as everything we've built over the last couple years comes crumbling down.

When we last left off, Tomoya had abandoned his promise to Katou, venturing off to the Nasu Highland to check on Eriri after she collapsed from fatigue. Considering that there is no way in hell someone like Katou would have objected to this in the first place, Tomoya's hasty decision seems a bit...unnecessary. Sure, he was worried about his childhood friend. Who wouldn't be? Eriri has predominantly been my favorite girl throughout the series too- but even I'm not understanding the reason for his sudden...spontaneity. The only reason that comes to mind is that he might not be entirely comfortable with the end product his team has created. Or at least, that would have made sense if he didn't rave about it for the next few chapters.

Even though the game wasn't entirely finalized in time for Winter Comiket, Blessing Software was still able to hand-print a solid 100 copies. To their surprise, these copies sold out almost immediately once word spread that "Eri Kashiwagi" had done the artwork for it. Following this, Cherry Blessing became even more sought-after due not only to its limited production and stunning artwork but also that its story rivalled some of the best writers out there. Needless to say, the game was a success. Everything that our team had been working on for an entire school year (Which really isn't all that long in terms of VN production, if we're going to be real) had panned out okay. Well, almost everything.

After Comiket, Tomoya plans on throwing a mini wrap party of sorts. But when approaches Katou about the matter, she can't help but finally show off a glimpse of emotion- telling Tomoya that he essentially screwed her over and rendered her useless by going behind her back. I'm sure there was a bit of jealousy thrown into that mix as well, but what pissed her off more than anything was how little she meant to the team in the long run. With all that being said, she storms off back to her house and leaves Tomoya speechless in confused. And, as if that wasn't enough, we're faced with an immediate time skip to several months in the future where things still aren't remedied between them.

What makes this even worse is that our protagonist has decided to choose the least opportune moment possible to pitch the idea of a second game. Utaha is about to graduate, Eriri is so happy that she can't even draw anymore, and Katou is all but MIA. It's not like she's attempting to avoid Tomoya or anything but, in her mind, she's made it pretty clear that she doesn't want any part of the circle from this point on. So just what the hell is Aki-kun going to do now? He's only got one book left to patch things up with Katou and reunite the team. There's absolutely no way things can work out like this...right?

In Summary:
With yet another well-structured and well-written installment in the series, Saekano remains just as consistent as ever. With only one book left until completion, it's sad to think something I've enjoyed so thoroughly is going to ultimately be coming to a close soon. Hopefully, the last bit of problems (Which are greater than ever, mind you) will be wrapped up as neatly as they were in the animated series. And if perchance, they are not...well, I'll be pretty darn irritated. Because up until now, this has been one of the most entertaining and intellectual harems I've ever had the pleasure of reading.

Content Grade: A
Art Grade: A
Packaging Grade: A-
Text/Translation Grade: A+

Age Rating: 16+
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: September 19, 2017
MSRP: $12.99

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