The good news is that, phew, that’s behind us now. No more Rainy Blue ever again…until the manga catches up. D’oh!
Well, for the moment, we can wallow in the comfort of the 14th Drama CD of the Maria-sama ga Miteru series, Parasol wo Sashite, in which Yumi gets back both her favorite umbrella and her beloved onee-sama.
This Drama CD is a 2-disk set, each disk has about 45-60 minutes of material.
The first disk has the half of the book in which Yumi meets Katou Kei and her older relative, the entirely adorable Yumiko. The second has the appearance of Youko and the revelation of what Sachiko has been going through for the past few months.
Two scenes in this story were critical to my understanding of the characters. When Touko snaps at Yumi outside the cafeteria, it occurred to me that, at that point, Touko has no idea that Yumi does not know what’s up with Sachiko. So, to see Yumi having fun with classmates is upsetting. Of course, yes, Touko’s a absolute jerk about it, which adds to the drama of the scene. But in the second half of the book, Touko knows that Yumi doesn’t know, which is probably one of the very first bricks in the wall she builds between Yumi and herself.
The second scene that really blew me away, was the scene with Kei’s older relative, Yumiko. Kei imagines her to be a taciturn old lady and Touko later points out that she was clearly used to frowning alot. But something about Yumi’s unexpected kindness opens up Yumiko in a way that I think she could never have expected. Yumiko tells Yumi something so important that I missed it the first 30 times I read/watched/read/listened to this scene. She says, simply, that if Yumi loves her onee-sama, she should tell her. Verbalizing this changes Yumi’s whole perspective…and Yumiko’s own life.
Of course it was nice to encounter Sei and Youko again, and “meet” Kei.
And the whole bit at the end that had gotten cut out of the anime, about Youko being too competent to forget an umbrella, then not having one, proving that she was totally discombobulated and Sachiko’s mother obsessing over convenience store food were told in full, to my immense pleasure.
The second disk also includes a bonus track, in which the actresses point out that it had been almost a year since they recorded Rainy Blue and how they were all kinda tense about that not being resolved.(Most of them have now read the novels, something I find fascinating.) But the thing that makes the bonus track priceless is right in the very beginning, when they are all talking about how emotional this CD is and Itou Miki says that saying “I love you Yumi,” was really emotional for her. When Itou-san says the words, “I love you, Yumi,” Ueda Kana immediately replies, “I love you too, Onee-sama!” And I, and the entire cast of Maria-sama ga Miteru screamed of “Ow! That hurt!” as our hearts exploded from the cuteness. (^_^) Toyoguchi Megumi says something like, “Aw, c’mon, I don’t want to see that!”
So, although it took a really long time to get…Parasol wo Sashite was totally worth it.
Overall – 9.5
Now that I think about it, this novel had *three* adorable adult characters – Sachiko’s mom Sayako, Kei’s relative Yumiko and “Miffy-chan,” the middle-school teacher who returned Yumi’s umbrella.