I made it all the way to the end of Marine Corps Yumi, Volume 5 (まりんこゆみ) before completely losing my shit.
In Volume 5,we start getting into the nitty gritty of non-com life as an American marine stationed in Japan. A large portion of the book is about joint training with the Navy, Army Air Force and the Japanese Self-Defense Forces, which includes a discussion for the Japanese readership of the crucial difference between the pronunciation of “Corps” and “corpse.”
Of course the reactions to the quarters and food vary significantly and some of the best bit are when the Marines look at their new space and think “Kkay” while the Army begins to complain and the Navy women are like “Cool! Look at all the SPACE!”
Yumi acquits herself so well she’s “traded” to the JSDF for a while and we get important, super critical analyses on Japanese and American junk food (apparently we die without donuts,) and the rituals that accompany the ends of joint training, such as trading clothing items, like overshirts.
We get to see corpsman Erica Bush be actively horrible to anyone who needs help (“I’ve been cut.” “Here’s a bottle of water, now get lost.” “I have a broken bone.” “Here’s a bottle of water, now get lost!”) except Linda to whom she is overattentive. ^_^
Rita meets a guy working for the JSDF and there were more than a few autobiographical shades in that story. ^_^
It was all very amusing and I didn’t get choked up once.
Until the final pages, which included pictures from Ana’s memorial service, including – and this is where I lost it – a display of her challenge coins. That was it. Goddammit, Ana. Seriously pissed you’re not here.
Art – 8
Story – 8 This volume had a lot of laugh-out-loud moments
Characters – 8
Yuri – 3, But Erica’s a complete dick about it. ^_^
Service – 5
Overall – 9
Marine Corps Yumi is still ongoing in Japanese and I’m still tuning in regularly. It’s funny and poignant. Thank you Nogami-sensei for keeping it going.