The sixth novel picks up immediately following the last line of the fifth novel (which means that there is no usual opening…something author Konno Oyuki comments on in her Afterword.)
There were few surprises in this novel, and those were small surprises. The anime pretty much killed this novel in a death of a thousand cuts. I think that if I had read the novel first, then watched the anime, I’d have been pretty livid, since the anime made everyone seem completely out of character and kind of stupid in comparison to the novel. Especially Yumi. The anime made her seems really doofy, but she’s not at all like that in the novel – and no lame “cliffhanger” where she thinks Sachiko has walked off, thank heavens.
For the record – 16 pages of notes this time – THAT’s how much was changed, cut, or just plain interesting. Again, some of the many things I will comment on were in the anime (no manga is available yet, and I have not yet had the pleasure of listening to the CD Drama), but for whatever reason, if I thought it of note, I jotted it down.
Notes will be in three parts, since there were three parts of the novel. :-)
“First Date Triangle”
The section heads of this particular story were food-related: Hors d’ouevre, main course, etc…
1) As Shimako falls apart in Sei’s arms, crying because Sei will leave when it becomes spring, Sei comforts her with the thoughts that the rest of the Yamayurikai love her and that time moves on, she’ll find a soeur, etc. Shimako thinks, but does not say, that although her friends in the YYK are fine, they are not Satou Sei!
Sei jokes that Shimako seems cranky.
Boy did they leave THIS out of the anime: Sei then comments that, after the school elections she and Shimako embraced. If Shimako wants, now, Sei will kiss her…or do anything else she’d like. (!)
Shimako declines, thinking (again, not saying out loud) to herself that Sei offering such a thing is enough for her. They are too much alike – if they got to close, they’d end up being dependent upon one another to lick each other’s wounds. For Shimako, Sei and she are mirrors reflecting each other’s existence. Shimako’s wish is that RG remain there for her. That Sei was there in her life is enough for Shimako; she doesn’t need to be held.
As in the anime, Sei then puts Shimako’s hand in her pocket and begins to walk. When they reach the statue of Mary, Shimako stops, as customary. However, Sei grabs Shimako’s hand and pulls her past, saying, “For today, don’t.” Shimako goes along with Sei, but it’s the first time she hasn’t stopped and put her hands together in front of Mary. She thinks that Sei is the cranky one, now.
2) Yumi and Yoshino are alone in the Rose Mansion. As in the anime, Yoshino is writing out a list of girls who gave chocolate to Rei, so she can return the favor on White Day (March 14, when boys give girls they like – and return the favor of obligatory V-Day chocolates – with white chocolate.) Yoshino’s pretty pissy about having to do it and complains because Yumi doesn’t have to. Yumi apologizes that her
onee-sama is so fastidious, in a very fond tone. Yoshino is extra pissed, because Rei not only asked Yoshino to do this since she’s really busy, but its extra burdensome because when students found out that last year she gave white chocolate back, it encouraged even more gifts this year. Yoshino grumps that that’s what she gets for having a sexy and soft-hearted onee-sama.
All of this was in the anime, done just slightly differently. Yumi is hoping to ask Yoshino advice for her date with Sachiko. However, what was cut out (or washed out in the anime version) was, Yumi leaning forward and quite suddenly asking Yoshino if they could become closer friends. Yoshino responds by getting all embarrassed and a little gruff. Yumi tells Yoshino that she likes her and, since they are going to be en bouton and one day Rosas together….
Yumi asks, “Do you dislike me?’
(Let me digress for a sec. As I mentioned in my notes for Kibara Kakumei, the second novel, it is quite apparent that, other than Rei, Yoshino has no friends at all, really. So this is a really key moment for both of them.)
Yoshino wonders why it embarrasses Yumi to ask this, and Yumi admits that she can’t just come out and ask Sachiko if she, Sachiko, loves her, Yumi, although she wants to. Yoshino admits that she and Rei tell each other all the time that they love each other. The two girls look at each other and laugh at their mutual embarrassment. Yoshino stands up and puts a hand out and Yumi takes it. With a shake and few ritual words “Yoroshiku,” “Kochira koso” they move from being acquaintances to close friends.
Now that Yumi is more comfortable, she says, “So, can I ask you something – about my date…”
I loved this scene and wish it had been included in full in the anime.
3) A Tsutako scene, like all others where Tsu shows off her understanding of human nature and Yumi boggles. Lol
Tsu, rather facetiously, tells Yumi to look up the word “date” in the dictionary (which she does, which leads from a Japanese dictionary to an English one to a French, which they don’t have on hand. Tsu boggles at Yumi doing this the entire time…) Tsu comments that Rei and Yoshino would, naturally, living next to each other and being cousins and soeur, go out all the time, so Yoshino most likely really
can’t help Yumi with her issues. If Yoshino and Rei go shopping, it’d be a kind of date, so…
Tsutako offers to go on a dry run date with Yumi so Yumi can “practice” her schedule. Yumi thinks she doesn’t have the time as the date is this Sunday. But more importantly, this is the 2nd time we get a glimpse that Tsutako likes Yumi a little more than she lets on.
Tsu suggests going to ask Shimako.
4) Shimako seems listless. Minako wants a preliminary budget for each date and a report by each en bouton and contest winner – Yumi thinks it all sounds oppressive.
When Yumi asks Shimako if she’d asked Shizuka about the date, Shimako falters and Yumi rushes to keep her from falling. Yumi asks her what the matter is, Shimako says that she doesn’t understand Shizuka’s true intentions.
5) This leads Yumi to see Shizuka, who accuses her of coming because Shimako or Sachiko suggested she do. Yumi denies it, but breaks out in a cold sweat.
Shizuka tells Yumi that she’s not a god, or a psychic – she happened to find Shimako’s card entirely by accident.
6) When Sachiko smiles, Yumi thinks that she looks like Maria-sama, but then she decides that she likes the hysterical Sachiko, too. We get a moment of Yumi being besotted – a long look at Sachiko, admiring her outfit, then thinking that what was in the clothes is even better. (!)
As in the anime, they have decided to go Dutch on this date, because they couldn’t agree who would pay. The final agreement is that they would each put in half and Sachiko will give Yumi something for White Day – to keep it all even.
The first place they stop is a bookstore. Yumi sees Yoshino following Rei and Chisato.
7) Yoshino spends a huge chunk of this section reproving herself for following them. Disgusted with her own behavior, she berates herself for scene after scene.
8) Tsutako, who is hoping to get a picture for the newspaper, is hungry. In a cut-out scene, (gosh, I wonder why they cut this?) she spends about two or three pages fantasizing about eating something with rice. lol It’s an entire chapter of Tsu thinking about lunch!
9) Shimako and Shizuka get off to a bad start, which is pretty fairly done in the anime. BUT, we didn’t get to see Shimako wondering if Shizuka picked their meeting place because there were many places to buy food. In fact, Shizuka picked it because she knew Tsutako would be there and thought that it would be fun to try and dodge her, “Playing with fire” a little.
Shizuka points out that Shimako picked the school as their “date” place for the same reason. Bull’s-eye. In fact, as the bus pulls out of the station, Tsu sees Shizuka in the window, and Shizuka sees her as well.
To Be Continued…