POSSIBLE KIND-OF SPOILERS
Chakuro is compelled to write so he chronicles the events of the Mud Whale, a giant castle-ship that floats around on a sand ocean. It’s a closed society consisting of two types of people: the Marked, who use a type of magic; and the Unmarked, who don’t use magic but live longer and because of their longer lifespan, actually govern the Mud Whale.
Things start to get crazy when they spot an island and do some recon, only to “salvage” the lone survivor.
This will sound morbid but I actually liked the end of this volume the best. I appreciated the world-building and setting the scene but it felt…I don’t want to say “stagnant” but the entire time, you know something big and mysterious is going to happen (anything involving a Committee of Elders is a dead giveaway) and it’s like, “Get on with it!” I love a slow burn and appreciate pacing, but the anticipation was almost uncomfortable.
So when everything erupted with the suddenness and violence that it did, it was sickeningly gratifying. Like, “Yes! This is what I was waiting for!” even as I felt like a bad person all the while for so eagerly devouring their misfortune and trauma.
One thing in those final scenes that I thought was conveyed exceptionally well is the feeling and realization that the Mud Whale inhabitants hadn’t seen lethal violence. They had no reference for it. The incomprehension rather than terror on their faces during the initial wave really drove home the fact that these people had lived in isolation and relative innocence their entire lives…and thus the slaughter felt even more brutal and tragic.
I can’t believe it’s been twenty-five volumes! This is really the only way it could have ended; after the last page, I just felt like, “Yep. That was the ‘right’ ending. That’s the way it had to be.”
For anyone reading the series but hasn’t finished it yet, I do recommend buying the limited edition and getting the Kamistravaganza booklet. It’s totally worth it as the epilogue/extra story/final-final chapter included in the booklet really ties things up nicely. That last story was really necessary for closure after twenty-five volumes.
I’ve said in recent posts that I don’t read as much shojo as I used to, but back when I “used to” Kamisama Kiss was one of my favorites. While my love for the genre has waned a bit, I still think this is a very solid shojo series and I loved it till the end.
What time is it? It’s Golden Kamuy time! Woo!
Approximately four pages into this volume, I wanted to scream to the world, “OMG I LOVE THIS MANGA!” It is really just that freakin’ good.
Saichi has great scars. Asirpa kicks ass and makes poop jokes. The bad guys are skin-crawly. The violence is intense, the live animals perfectly detailed, and the dead animals…even more perfectly detailed. The entire time I’m reading, I think, “Everything in this manga is perfect.” Even the comedy is totally on point. I can’t get enough.
I cannot say enough wonderful things about this series. Watch the anime, read the manga–this series deserves your attention!
Volume 13 is the final volume…and in my opinion, it’s perfect. Everything is wrapped up nicely, nothing drags on too long, and we can see everyone off with a smile, loving them even more than when we started. I feel like this is a refreshing departure from the “how the heck do I end this..?” syndrome I’ve seen too often lately. Sure, the ending of My Love Story!! isn’t anything too radical or revolutionary, but it is a well-thought-out ending and I appreciate that.
On a final note, while I’ve loved Suna from the beginning, his role in this final volume really just made everything perfect for me. My Love Story!! doesn’t just encompass the romance between Yamato and Takeo, but the friendship between Takeo and Suna as well.
Volume 7 is one of my favorite volumes so far. Things started opening up in volume six and now I think the story has hit its stride.
This volume begins on a pretty serious and dramatic note since Yona and Yun are captives in the slave ship with the stolen girls. As a result, we get to see both Yun and Yona have to make some tough decisions and risk their lives to get that flare up so the (good?) pirates (with Hak and the Dragons) can target the ship and save the day.
I don’t want to spoil things so all I’ll say is that I’d forgotten about Yona’s last minute shot. I realllllly liked it. Yona now has to be viewed in a different light and I really like what that action means for her character growth.
On a lighter note, this volume is wonderfully full of Jaeha being…Jaeha and Hak trying to be smooth and Yona being oblivious. It has a great balance of tense action and dramatic situations offset with humor and sweetness.
Volumes six and seven are when the series (to me) turns into something “more.” The first volumes can be kind of meh, but this is the arc I have in mind when I encourage people to just keep reading, it’ll be worth it.
I can’t help but always love Black Clover.
This volume we’re still underwater but rather than attacking the members of the Underwater Temple in a game, everyone is teamed up to counter the attack by the Eye of the Midnight Sun. This villain is all about “despair, despair!” and no matter how grim things get, Asta is pretty much the opposite of despair. And it does get pretty grim…
We do get a couple other characters rising to the occasion in this volume. Things may not turn out so great for Kiato and Kahono, the enemies-turned-comrades from the Underwater Temple, but many of the Black Bulls get to shine a bit. We get a glimpse of Grey’s full ability…as well as actual Grey! And Charmy kicking ass is always great. Aaand Noelle gets into it and levels up as well.
Volume 8 was another great example of full-on shonen action, humor, battle-manga perfection.
So Volume 17 brings us to the battle between Karma and Nagisa and their respective Kill Koro Sensei/Save Koro Sensei groups.
I don’t actually have much to say about this except I was kind of surprised because I remembered this scene being relatively short in the anime yet it took up most of this volume. I didn’t expect this battle to be quite so beefy in terms of the manga.
…Though now that I’m thumbing through again, I apparently forgot entirely about this ridiculous and perfect Colonel Sanders snuggling with Ronald McDonald title page for chapter 143. And Ronald’s button says “KILL.” I think it’s worth buying this volume just for that one picture.
Anyway, I do like the weird friendship backstory we get as a result of the Nagisa/Karma battle. So it’s only fitting that those two go together to hijack the Space Station…which is an arc that to this day makes me kind of frown and shake my head and ask, “Really? They went that route, huh?” But most of that is saved for Volume 18…
For a story with an ultimately very dark plot, I’m always amazed at how funny it can be. Though the humor for me comes in the little side-things and end-of-volume author’s notes and whatnot. It’s all very well done. I loved the final page pitch from The Offices of Koro, Attorney At Law.
Not to be maudlin but reading Volume 17 felt just a little weird and a bit sad. The final volume is near; we know this. So with each volume we read, we continue marching toward the bitter (?) end.