In Volume 1 we were introduced to Minato, a teacher, and her student Otome, whom she removes forcefully from a household where – on good days – she was being neglected. In Volume 2, Otome and Minato wrestle with feelings for one another as they live together. Here we are, at the final volume of Hoshikawa Ginza 4-chome (星川銀座四丁目).
Otome and Minato move into a new apartment. Slightly larger, but less money, it’s a loft apartment over an old used book store. In the early chapters, the girl who works at the bookstore develops a creepy obsession with Otome, and when she discovers Otome’s feelings for Minato, blackmails her into posing nude for her. Ultimately, Otome gives in, apparently out of pity. Hina doesn’t hang around much longer after that. The bookstore closes, leaving Minato and Otome alone in their loft.
But they aren’t meant to be at peace. In response to her request to adopt Otome, Minato receives a communication from Otome’s mother, which prompts her to suddenly and ridiculously ask a former classmate to marry her; in hopes that, if she was part of a legitimate family unit, Otome’s mother might be more favorably inclined to letting her go. When the truth comes out, Otome learns her parents have divorced – neither of them thought to tell her – and that her mother has remarried. She wants her daughter to live with her again. Otome lays the law down…she is still a minor, she will return home, until she is accepted into college. When she is, she’ll come back. And so she does, returning once again, at last, as an adult.
The final chapter of the story proper shows Otome returning home once more after an absence to a very wifely Minato. Clearly we no longer need to worry about them…they are both adults and together, officially.
As I read this volume I was overcome by some emotion, but I was until the very end unable to identify it. This story makes me sad. I couldn’t tell you why, but it makes me inexpressibly sad. Perhaps because of all the nasty service-y bits with which Kurgane Kenn laces the narrative, I feel it is almost impossible to be plain old happy for the two of them. And I should be able to be. They are in love, they are together, the end. So why do I want to cry?
Art – 8
Story – 8
Characters – 8 See below
Yuri – 10
Service – 10
Overall – 8
Ultimately the big fail here was that Otome deserved to be treated better than Kenn was willing to treat her. His gaze throughout this series disgusted me, right to the final volume and the repulsive chapters with Hina. How I wish someone who wasn’t a creepy lolicon had drawn this story. Oh well.