Sunday, January 19, 2014

Happy Marriage?! Volume three review

Chiwa and Hokuto's marriage continues to evolve as Chiwa finds herself falling more in love with Hokuto, and revelations about his past and family are revealed as well. After a first volume that felt like almost nothing and a second volume that was more a bridge to the story than a self contained narrative. Volume three feels like the characters have finally become actual people and not simply older version of archetypical Shojo Manga characters. Chiwa struggles with her growing attraction to Hokuto seeing that often times he's cold while also sympathizing with him over the problems with his Mother's death and also struggling with the physical aspect of there relationship as well but it's at least dealt with in a way where she is not simply passive and reflects on what she actually wants and not simply to please Hokuto it's not much but it's a start on making her an individual. While Hokuto is still very much the cold sometimes mean spirited romantic lead but will also be affectionate and loving, of course the question is also raised and it's one of the good parts about the story Enjoji has written in Chiwa's doubts about Hokuto's sincerity and giving her more presence of mind than simply being a cipher for the audience. In fact there is vary little of the "Fairy Tail" element of the first volume and it's more a question of now that Chiwa and Hokuto are married is the marriage still a sham or has it grown in to a real marriage with the potential for growth? These are the best written parts of the volume because they're questions that feel grounded in reality and the uniqueness of the situation. The fact that the wish fulfillment and comedic parts are toned down and it's more about Hokuto being an outsider in his own family, and his relatives condescending and sniping at him and Chiwa make it more engaging and a better story as if it was simply about the fabulous life of the rich it would get boring quick. This story line is nothing new and the shunned illegitimate son is a story line that's been written many times before. Here though it feels realistically portrayed in the petty comments of Hokuto's cousins it's not overly melodramatic despite the possible truths behind Hokuto's Father and the death of Hokuto's mother. While the end of the volume shows a new growth in Chiwa and Hokuto's relationship. Chiwa is also shown to not be afraid to stand up for Hokuto either it's a small scene that shows that Chiwa can be courageous and though times may be hard she loves him and will trust him come what may. It's a simple moral and the questions raised are obviously going to be answered in latter volumes but it shows a good amount of character growth and places the relationship in a new dynamic for the better. While also feeling overly reliant on trite story ideas that drag down the character growth leaving it a frustrating mixture of maturity and banality. Character design is good for the most part everyone looks like an individual person but it's not terribly original with most of the men looking the same except for the color of their hair or other small differences and less important charterers not even looking like they where finished . Also a distinct lack of backgrounds where large spaces are simply screen tone or someone's large talking head or an reaction shot making it feel scarce and underdeveloped but detailed in other parts as well simply getting the job done in most places while not being terribly impressive. Thankfully it's at least no longer sterile looking office and apartment interiors as the first two volumes took place in the office buildings and indoors so what little changes from fishing villages to open fields are in this volume it's welcome.
Full Post

No comments:

Post a Comment