In Volume 5 of Kimi no Tame Nara Shineru (姫のためなら死ねる) Sei Shonagon of The Pillow Book fame has hit a slump. Not just a slump, but a debilitating, crushing and potentially career-damaging slump. And near-constant harassment from the onmyouji “Abe no Hito” isn’t helping.
Not only is Shonagon suffering because of this slump, but Teishi-sama is starting to think that Shonagon doesn’t care for her any more, as her requests to read new entries in the diary are met with vague promises, and excuses. Shonagon, it turns out, is fearful of showing her mistress the uncensored delight she has in the Princess. Too embarrassed and too scared to let anyone know what she’s feeling, she is unable to write anything at all.
Koshikibu and Benkan are alternately worried about and annoyed by Shonagon, but it’s Murasaki who shakes her out of her slump and encourages her to pen openly adoring verses about Teishi-sama. Teishi-sama is likewise embarrassed at the near-worship of Shonagon’s Diary, but they reconcile at last.
As the book comes to a close, Murasaki Shikibu is confronted the disorder known as “reading fanfic about your characters.” And, as it usually is in the real world, it’s not a good thing.
The gags are, if anything, becoming denser. There’s a lot of research that goes into this book and it shows. It’s also getting harder to follow for this reader, as my knowledge of the Heian-kyo is superficial to say the least. ^_^; But what is funny is funny and even when there are hints of somber things to come, it’s all jokes all the way down.
Art – 6
Story – 7
Characters – 8
Yuri – 2
Service – 4
Overall – 7
Luckily for me, in between the otaku humor, there’s more “Shonagon is gaga over Teishi-sama again.”