We start today’s review with a “well, I never expected that” moment. ^_^ In 2010, I was exasperated beyond tolerance by Momono Moto’s Kimi Koi Limit. The protagonist was, I felt, unlikable and selfish and the most interesting character was treated poorly. I never expected to see poor Hiroko again. Well, here we are 4 years later and there’s Hiroko again!
We begin the first story in Momono-sensei’s current collection Rainy Song (レイニーソング). with “Aru Shoujo no Gunjo”, a bittersweet story about a girl who shares in the relationship highs and lows of fellow train commuters, and her attempts to cheer up Eri, a woman who loses her female lover to marriage. It’s not happy story, but I quite liked it – and it’s the strongest story of the collection
Following this, we turn to “Kurayami no Asterisk,” the story of underachiever Tendou Nozomi, known as ‘Ten’. She’s gone through school and just hasn’t found her purpose in life. Right now she is unmotivated by a job at a cafe and sees no particular goal for herself. So when she meets, and falls for attractive, polite and slightly sad Hiroko, she find herself in turmoil. I found myself amazed that 4 years later we were finally learning what happened to Hiroko after Sono left her.
Hiroko has an office job where she does her work competently, but doesn’t connect with anyone, and she works nights at a friend’s “ladies” bar. She, like Ten, is moving through life on automatic. When the two of them meet, it will throw them both into confusion. But ultimately they find each other and, we hope, happiness.
In “Snow Frakes” a long-delayed confession is finally conveyed, to the delight and sadness of a best friend.
And in the title story, “Rainy Song” a persistent fan in school becomes a friend to an aloof musician.
What a change in personality-types from Kimi Koi Limit! For one thing, there are none of Sono’s hideously selfish behaviors here, and while Hiroko starts of sad, there’s only a little moping to be dealt with. This collection has surprising depth, despite the reliance on shorts, especially given how superficial the story in Kimi Koi Limit was with all that length. Momono-sensei has a much more mature feel in this volume and her ability to convey complex emotions is touching and entertaining.
Art – 8
Story – 7
Characters – 8
Yuri/Lesbian – 8
Service – 1
Overall – 8
A much, much better sequel than I could have ever expected. And, it was an unexpected pleasure to see Hiroko happy.