In Volume 2 of Octave (オクターヴ) Yukino continues to deal with the hole in her life left by the absence of everything she thinks she wants. In doing so, she really pissed me off. ^_^;
On the one hand, Yukino is an ex-pop idol, studying to be a manager, living a life that is a poor reflection of what she strived for. She longs for adulation, for recognition, for hordes of fans to tell her how wonderful she is so she can see herself in the reflection of their adoration.
On the other hand, she is a hard-working young woman, trying to build a career for herself, living on her own in the big city, with an older lover and a decent life.
Unfortunately for Yukino the former weighs much more heavily on her than the latter. And her expectations of herself and her life weigh even more heavily. Her weaknesses far outweigh her strengths in her own mind.
In this volume, Yukino visits her hometown, bringing Setsuko along, but is not strong enough to acknowledge her. She meets her old friend, who is getting a second chance as an idol, but her envy makes her vulerable. Above all, her desperate need for recognition and “normality” (as she defines it) leads Yukino to do something that will stick in the craw of every reader who likes Setsuko.
This volume was a little rough on me. I wanted to like Yukino, to sympathize with her, to support her. But…I couldn’t. By the end of the book I was ready to slap her and then she does something that really pissed me off. The thing she does doesn’t bother me at all – it was *why* she does it that gagged me. There is nothing I respect less than people who only feel validated when it comes from an external source.
Whether Octave has a Yuri ending – or even any kind of happy ending – is of no concern to me. Right now, I really don’t care much what happens to Yukino. I’m more concerned about Setsuko, because she seems like a pretty decent person and I don’t want her to be hurt by Yukino’s selfishness.
Art – 8
Story – 8
Characters – 9
Yuri – 8
Service – 4
Overall – 8
Because of my strong feelings against Yukino and for Setsuko I have to admit that this is a good book. It’s got me giving a crap what happens.