Wahhh! I thought I had posted this weeks ago, but find I did not. Oh well.
Before I say anything else, I want to say this – the anime did *such* a disservice to Sachiko. She is, without fail, THE most romantic character I’ve come across in a years. She is always touching Yumi, caressing her, snuggling her, and generally doing unbelievably romantic things. (like the hair ribbon in the last book….)
The anime failed to communicate that well – not because of any flaw in Sachiko, but because we see it through Yumi’s eyes and she feels so unworthy that she doesn’t take note of it. She sees Sachiko’s attention as being corrected, when it really means that Sachiko simply cannot take her eyes (and hands) off Yumi.
Sachiko’s only real fault is that she doesn’t want to burden Yumi with her own worries…and of course, that’s what blows up in their face in Rainy Blue…but I digress. In any case,I am now, officially, a Sachiko fan. ^_^
Notes on Rosa Canina, by Konno Oyuki
Once again there is suprisingly little change from the anime or the manga) with about three small scenes cut from the anime altogether. The election arc takes about half the book, while the New Year’s arc is the other half – so there wasn’t as much detail lost in the translation to anime as I feared. The changes to the New Year’s Day arc in the anime were sort of odd, but the manga has remained much closer to the novel.
1) The “Cast of Characters” at the beginning of the book is presented as snapshots by Tsutako. I really liked that. ^_^
2) At the beginning of term ceremony, Yumi watches for Sachiko while waiting for all the older students to be seated. She’s so obsessive that, as she drifts off into a nap, Yumi dreams that she has “Sachiko-itis” and that Sei is a doctor who tells her that she’ll have to take medicine after every meal.
3) Shimako acts “uncharacteristically” throughout the whole novel…which leads me to believe that Yumi doesn’t really understand Shimako’s character at all. (Shimako bursts into the Council room, she runs after the bus waving her arms and calling for it to stop, and later cries in Sei’s arms.)
4) And how is it that Yumi has never heard of the school elections or how they work?
5) On the bus that afternoon, Sachiko asks Yumi to sit close and leans on her. They huddle for warmth and space. Yumi, who has been feeling very distant from Sachiko is thrilled, but also still feeling distant.
6) The reason Yumi thinks that Rosa Canina should be a black color, is that black is the traditional color for villains.
7) Tsutako comments that Yumi has a natural charm, and Yumi misunderstands her to mean that she is a natural goof. (We also get several mentions in this novel of Yumi’s low-self-esteem/self-abhorrence from Yumi herself.) Tsutako tells Yumi that that is NOT what she meant, and we get a teeny little glimpse into a Tsutako that is just a teeny little jealous of Yumi and Sachiko.
8) In the classroom, Shimako is standing in front of a window with mist on it, and Yumi thinks it makes her look like she has wings. This prompts a thought in Yumi’s mind that white is definitely angel-like Shimako’s color, at which Tsutako (who has clearly had the same thought) turns to Yumi and jokes that as she’s a member of the Red Rose family, she’s going to have to blush every day. :-)
9) Initially, a big part of Yumi’s stress factor over the school elections is the concern that Shizuka may supplant Sachiko as Rosa Chinensis. She isn’t really aware that Shizuka poses the biggest threat to Shimako until it is pointed out to her. (The other half of her concerns – the part that blows up in Yumi’s face over and over is that both she and Sachiko sort of feel that they ought to be able to intuit each other’s needs, and thoughts and moods. Since neither really knows what the other is thinking, they base their actions of what they *think* the other is thinking and get upset when that doesn’t seem to be working. This will be a theme that comes back over and over…)
10) No one really remembers Shizuka, because at the school festival, her hair was long. It is rumored that Shizuka cut her hair to mimic Sei, since she was (so the school newspaper reported,) a leading candidate for the position Sei’s petite soeur. When this rumor is revealed, Sachiko wonders if Shizuka is anything like Shiori, while Rei says that Shizuka seems like the kind of person who deserves to be at the Rose Mansion.
11) Tsutako is the one who reveals Shizuka’s information to Yumi, not Yoshino, as in the anime.
12) In the library, after Yoshino explains that Shizuka, aka Rosa Canina, is the nice librarian who helped Yumi, Yumi notices slips of paper marking pages in the books she is holding. One after the other, they mark the pages with pictures of Rosa Chinensis. The last one marks Rosa Canina. Yumi and Yoshino think that it must be a message from the enemy.
13) Shimako confesses to Yumi the one of the reasons that she is not running is that she has never really had a chance at “normal” student life, because she was brought into the Yamayurikai almost immediately upon entering. She expresses a desire to become friends with Yoshino and Yumi. (Later we learn that one of the reasons Shizuka considered running for the Yamayurikai is that she’s been in chorus as a soloist from
the beginning and she wanted to be in a “normal” club. Sei points out, rather sarcastically, that being a member of the Student Council is hardly “normal” student
In the manga, we get foreshadowing of Shimako’s later arc, with comments inside her head like, “Every day I am here, I’m committing a crime.” But those are not in the novel.
15) When they hear Shizuka’s footsteps on the stairs, Yumi thinks it must be Rosa Chinensis, because the footsteps are soft and even, like Youko’s or Shimako’s. She notes that her footstep ID is getting better, although not as good as Sei’s.
16) One thing not really captured in the anime or manga is that Shimako is really cold, and almost rude, to Shizuka when she comes to the Rose Mansion to make her offer. (It’s done well in the Drama CD, though.)
17) In the manga, when Shizuka meets Yumi in the hallway, Yoshino is with them. In the anime and novel Yumi is alone with Shizuka, until Sei joins her and Shizuka leaves.
18) Youko confronts Yumi about her role as imouto, not on a bench outside, but immediately outside the Rose Mansion door. She brings Yumi inside the storeroom on the first floor, puts her up against a wall, puts both hands on her shoulders and talks into Yumi’s face.
In the anime, Youko never touches Yumi, until she is about to graduate. In the manga, Yumi is once again on the bench, and Youko has brought Sachiko with her, instead of sending Yumi up to her. The manga also cuts out the lecture Youko gives about how, as she’s the little sister, it’s not Yumi’s job to worry. She should simply support her onee-sama and be cheerful for her. It’s the older sister’s job to be responsible. As the chapter is called “What is a little sister?” I was sad that they cut the speech, since it answers half of Yumi’s concerns.
18) When Sachiko sees Yumi again and realizes that they have both been worried about their onee-sama, she tells Yumi that what she wants most from Yumi is that when she is down, for Yumi to hold her hand.
When Sachiko goes to give her speech, Yumi kvells at her from the wings. (“Kvelling” is a yiddish word for when you’re so proud and happy that you want to burst.)
19) Cut scenes:
Shizuka’s supporters, wearing Rosa Canina headbands and shouting her name at the assembly.
Shizuka asks Sei to meet her after the elections, regardless of the outcome. (Very well done in the Drama CD, though. This request is part of what sparks Sei’s genuine interest in Shizuka.)
Yumi, Sachiko, Rei and Yoshino in the Rose Mansion, waiting to get the results of the election. When they go to learn who has won, Sachiko asks that Yumi and Yoshino stand with her and Rei. Shimako comes late because she was at a committee meeting; Shizuka never even shows (she’s busy meeting Sei and, in any case, as she says, she’s not really concerned with the outcome.)
20) Sei meets Shizuka, as requested. The scene is pretty much intact in the anime (with the exception of Shizuka’s reasoning for wanting to run.) Since we originally saw this scene without having seen Sei’s arc, we lack a little crucial information – Shizuka is, IMHO, coming on rather strongly to Sei. “I wanted to see my reflection in your eyes just once.” Go home and try that. You have to be darned close to see your reflection in someone’s eyes. Shizuka admits that she doesn’t want to be Sei’s soeur…and Sei understands, I think, and gives her a kiss as a “going away present.” It’s an *incredibly* sexy scene between them.
21) Yumi, who has been eavesdropping, thinks to herself that if she ever saw Sachiko kissing anyone, on the cheek or forehead, she’d freak. So she promises Sei she won’t tell Shimako, but Sei can’t understand why.
22) After Yoshino and Rei leave (and my, isn’t the interaction between them really suspicious! Yoshino comes running up, grabs Rei’s arm and the two of them hustle off, “Got to go! Bye!” and they practically run off together….uh-huh, she says, knowingly…) Yumi sees Shimako crying in Sei’s arms. Sachiko and she leave and Yumi asks Sachiko if she can do anything for her – anything at all. She’d bungee jump, eat glass, whatever. ^_^
Sachiko just asks if they can go back to the Rose Mansion and eat the lunches they couldn’t eat earlier out of nervousness. “Seeing your face has suddenly given me an appetite.”
The End of Part 1