Yuri Manga: R.O.D. – Read or Dream, Volume 4 (Part 2)

November 10th, 2005

We left Read or Dream, Volume 4 with Anita and Hisa in a lovey-dovey moment, dancing at the folk dance.

We pick up the next chapter with Hisa, mooning over a picture of herself and Anita. Hisa’s manager arrives at the sisters’ apartment and begs them to let Hisa stay with them, as a favor. Hisa has requested this as a way of getting past the final roadblock, the last scene of her newest story. Of course, they are all thrilled to be of assistance.

Hisa moves in and is promptly fondled (in an okay way – no bad touch) by Michelle, who offers Maggie a chance. Once again, we get to see how awkward Maggie is in social situations, in contrast to Michelle’s lack of boundaries. But…really the dynamic is all about Hisa and Anita once again. Anita remembers her dream from several chapters ago, when she “met” Hisa. In the park, the two girls vow eternal friendship hold hands and otherwise exhibit all sorts of “in love” behaviors. Hisa realizes that she’s found her last scene, and leaves. Anita returns to the apartment to let the others know that Hisa’s gone, but hides her tears from them.

The manager gives them an early manuscript of the book, while far away Hisa is thinking of Anita. A paper airplane floats in with a picture and a message from Anita, saying that they’ll meet again.

This pretty much functionally ends the story of this manga series. The next chapter looks backwards at a slightly differently told version of the meeting of the three paper masters, and their rebirth as the three paper sisters.If you’ve seen ROD The TV, the beginning won’t be unfamiliar. But the end will. In this version Michelle and Maggie are given Anita to take care of. For a year they live together and learn to love another…when Dokusensha shows up to take Anita away. They remind the two older women of the agreement they made, hand them checks for tremendous amounts of money, and take Anita.

Maggie and Michelle look at the checks, think of all the books they could buy – and run off to save Anita. When they finally arrive they hold out the checks, which have been voided with the word “ANITA” across the fronts, and take their “sister” with them. Incidentally, we get to see Maggie and Michelle in full battle paper master mode for what is maybe the second or third time in this series. Once they return home, they become the Three Sisters Bibliodetective Agency and we live happily ever after.

Except that there’s one chapter left! And this chapter is the “Who’s Who” chapter, where we basically recap all the original characters from the earlier, pre-Hisa stories, in case we forgot. ^_^ Kuri and Ramu, the young man who was searching for an author, and the author he found, show up to say that they are getting married. They are all blushy and cute about it. ^_^ On the way home from the bookstore, (a trip about which she is NOT happy) Anita runs into the boy she met in the story about the Brigadoon-like library. Chi-Hon has decided to become an author – he’s on his way to drop his manuscript off. Watching this exchange from a nearby rooftop is book (and author) thief, Lilith and her jaguar, Orion. She looks on, and vows (to no one in particular) to meet her young arch-enemy again, then rides off on Orion’s back.

Anita starts the struggle home with her overlarge bag o’books, Anita collapses on a bench, where an exceptionally familiar overcoat hangs off the corner we can see. Anita addresses the “old lady” on the bench and lo and behold! It is no one but our beloved Yomiko Readman, making her only appearance in this manga. Yomiko tells Anita why she loves books so much, and then proceeds to explain to Anita that her hatred for books actually comes from her love of them. Anita thinks back to all the people she’s met, and all the adventures she’s had, because of books, and has to agree.

Yomiko comforts a young girl whose paper airplane gets crushed, and when she refolds the paper into a butterfly, Anita asks who she is. Yomiko replies she’s a lover of books. As Anita watches Yomiko walk away, she watches the paper butterfly begin to fly behind her.

Anita goes home to find that she has a package waiting. Inside is Hisa’s new book, inscribed to her. Anita announces that she’ll be the first to read it – then spends some time fighting off Michelle.  As the manga winds down, we see paper flying into the air, in which hangs a brilliant full moon, while the three sisters look on, smiling.

If you enjoy the goofy paper sisters, the ROD-verse in any permutation, get this series, asap. Same Yuri, same goofy, different stories and lots of fun.

Ratings:

Art – 7
Story – 8
Character – 8
Yuri – 7

Overall – 8

It reads like an alt-universe fan anthology, with better art and consistent characters. ^_^ A definite must-have for ROD fans. The only downer – no Nenene. Boo-hoo.

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2 Responses

  1. Ticket 4 Two says:

    My little brother would worship you ;) I’m sure you’ll have a cult following soon….

  2. I already have a cult following. :-) You can find my fan club at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/alecto_fury or join the rest of the gana at the Yuricon ML at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Yuricon

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