I’m pretty sure you all think that when I mention this series, because JManga is ancient history now and no matter how amazing a job Erin S. did on the translation, you probably forgot all about it, and ran right back to scans, or forgot the series existed at all. ^_^; Well, it still exists and it’s still a bizarre mashup of high culture and low. If you’re new, here’s my reviews of Volume 1 and Volume 3. Volume 2 was never reviewed because it went straight to translation at the time.
Volume 4 of Kimi no Tame Nara Shineru, (姫のためなら死ねる) introduces us to two new characters. One, Sei Shonagon’s brother, is rather more a distressing than a positive influence in her life and I was glad when he sort of slid back out of the narrative once more.
The second is a new court lady, Sugawara no Takaesu no Musume, whs is a straight-up otaku obsessive about Murasaki Shikibu’s writing. This leads to a startling confession by Murasaki that she has never known the kind of passionate love she writes about, it’s all…duh…fantasy. (Which means if Sei Shonagon is a blogger and tweeter in our vernacular, Murasaki is a doujinshi writer.)
There’s a bizarre little interlude when
Kuzushiro-sensei flails for plot ideas Murasaki and Shonagon switch bodies, which leads to many, many breast jokes. (Murasaki’s are large. Hahahahah.) And we are then introduced to a third new character and we can see that Kuzushiro-sensei has just about given up on historicity with her. The new character is the Onmyouji, Abe no…wait for it…Hito (Which would roughly translate as “that Abe person”), whose face is always obscured by material, which reflects ASCII art of her emotions.
Were my expression at her appearance to be rendered into text it would read “…”. And so it is with the rest of the cast, who kind of wonder why she’s there, too.
This volume was a bit more otaku humor, a bit less Yuri. We do get a bit of lovely Takako-sama (Teishi’s mother) and Benkan service, which I quite enjoyed.
I hope that Volume 5 (yes the series is still ongoing, remember?) returns to the formula of Shonagon being besotted over Teishi.
Art – 6
Story – 7
Characters – 8
Yuri – 3
Service – 5
Abe no Hito? Really?