Octave, Volume 5 (オクターヴ) is a deceptively subtle volume.
On the surface, it appears to be a similar formula to the previous 4 volumes – Yukino and Setsuko have a disagreement stemming from their disparate worldviews about their relationship and we watch Yukino assimilate, deal, integrate and grow.
Only…it’s not the same. Not this time.
In previous volumes the driver of the disagreements has always been Yukino’s lack of confidence in herself, in their relationship – even in her perception of what a future *ought* to be. And it is apparently Yukino who causes this disagreement again. But this time, it’s *not* because she lacks confidence, or trust, or anything like that. This time it’s less philosophical – she was completely blindsided.
In Volume 5, Setsuko suddenly asks Yukino to move in with her. Yukino asks for time to think about it – and Setsuko has the hissy fit. “You could have at least said, ‘Yay!’ or something.” But Setsuko has had time to think about it…and Yukino has not. I can’t tell you how I cringe when I see people propose publicly for this very reason. Dude, you’ve been thinking about this and planning it for ages…what if she says no? Ugh.
Anyway, in this case, in this volume, I am 100% behind Yukino on this. She’s *just* finally become truly independent. Give her a chance to think about it! And she still has some work to do, too. Yukino has been given yet another idol to manage – and therefore, yet another girl who wants to know more about her private life than she’s willing to share and more professional contacts who don’t know when to stop “teasing” and she has to deal with a best friend who wants to drag her back to being the person she was, instead of allowing her to be the person she’s become.
She does deal with all these things. We can see that she’s become more confident, that the little white lies don’t torture her anymore, because sheesh, it’s none of their business anyway!
The entertainment world is nice and incestuous for us, so when Setsuko gets a job writing for Yukino’s former idol groupmate, now relaunched idol, we can smile at the realization of just how much everyone knows everyone else.
At this point, I am completely, totally entranced by this series. It’s soap-opera-y in a Shoujoai ni Bouken way – totally real people doing totally real things in a just-more-than-slightly-unreal setting.
Volume 5 was *excellent.* I hope to get 5 more volumes of this, and a live-action series, and a pony named Ruffles.
Art – 8
Story – 9
Characters – 9
Yuri – 9
Service – 4
Overall – 9
My *only* complaint is Kamo-chan dropping the ball on being a good friend. That irks, but is not unrealistic. Here’s hoping Yukino finds a new, better, best friend. I’m going to re-read this volume tonight, because it was that good.