Friday, July 6, 2018

Horimiya Vol. #10 Manga Review

What would you do if the world was ending tomorrow?

Creative Staff:
Art: Daisuke Hagiwara
Story: Hero
Translation: Taylor Engel
Lettering: Alexis Eckerman

What They Say: 
Hori and Miyamura decide to ring in the New Year at the local shrine...but with it also comes the beginning of their last term in high school. As the pair and their friends return to their everyday lives and the usual hijinks, both the special days and the humdrum ones prove irreplaceable as the Kiri High gang looks to the future...

The Review:
Content: (Please note that the content portion of the review may contain spoilers)
Jeez, ten volumes really flew by, huh? Though, I guess when you're a series as consistently enjoyable as Horimiya, time  really isn't much of a factor. I mean, I've been following the publication for almost three years now and, apart from a few modifications to the character designs, not much else has changed. The entire roster is still the same lovable bunch they've always been and they're backed by the same well-written comedy and gorgeously clean art from Hero and Hagiwara respectively. Of course, being a romantic comedy, relationships have made steady progress thus far, ultimately culminating in last volume's tide-turning and spontaneous marriage proposal from Miyamura. This installment picks up exactly where things left off. 

And then immediately abandons it. 

It's unclear all throughout book-ten exactly what happened at the end of this proposal. We don't see any more of the scene and any time it comes up in conversation, Hori and Miyamura become incredibly [and expectedly] awkward. And even though this continues through all eight chapters, the atmosphere never seems heavy. It's still remarkably clear that our primary romance is in no danger whatsoever and that the manga is using this gap of uncertainty to propel the central plot forward. Without beating around the bush, it works. It's not the most subtle storytelling method we've seen, but it's definitely well-executed, predictable or not.

All that aside, it's important to note that, in typical Horimiya fashion, several of the side characters also have room to shine this time around. The primary focus bids adieu to the Yuki subplot we've grown familiar with as of late and, instead, focuses on the origins of Remi and Sengoku's relationship. Sengoku, who actually appears very often throughout this entire book, is shown in a relatively different light than usual. Even though he remains his normal, reclusive self throughout the founding of his relationship with Remi, he displays some uncharacteristic behavior in straight-up confessing to her out of the blue. Remi, of course, returns the favor and confesses as well, creating what I'd call the best scene in the entire volume.

Apart from that, Honoka makes her first substantial appearance in quite some time, arriving at Miyamura's house to sleep one night due a storm keeping her awake. In the following scene, we learn that Honoka is being bullied by some of her classmates. Miyamura, being Miyamura, winds up [silently] standing up for her, adding another layer to their increasingly odd relationship. Regardless, I hope we get to see more of Honoka in the near future. She's actually one of my favorite characters in the entire series despite her incredibly underwhelming amount of screen time.

At the end of the day, book ten falls into the 'filler-ish' side of Horimiya releases, straying from any major developments. Though, I guess that's to be expected considering the end of volume-nine. It's not easy to say where exactly the whole 'marriage' thing is headed, but if I know these characters as much as I think I do, I can't imagine it heading downhill any time soon.

In Summary:
The tenth book in the series reunites almost every character we've met thus far for another side-character focused fun-fest. Miyamura's proposal has created a relatively suspenseful means of moving the series forward, while in no way damaging the relationship that we've watched flourish up to this point. The chemistry between both main characters remains some of the greatest in recent memory and, thanks to a meticulously spontaneous structure and flawless English translation, Horimiya remains arguably the best romantic comedy on the market.

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

Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: March 20, 2018
MSRP: $12.99

No comments:

Post a Comment