KareKano Concludes

Well, TokyoPop finally released the last volume of Kare Kano (volume 21 — my official review of that title on Amazon which you can vote up or down if you like). I can say that Tsuda-sensei ends on a high note after getting bogged down in Arima-kun’s parent’s story.

As with many manga titles I’ve read, I saw the anime first and enjoyed it. When it ended, it was clear to me there was much, much more to know about this story, and so to TokyoPop’s release I went. I was mildly annoyed by the lack of honorifics, happy when they started using them for a few volumes starting with volume 11, I was happy. But then they quickly went back to no honorifics and well I have strong opinions about that (one day I’ll blog on the reasons).

Still, I read the manga and complaints with TP aside, I enjoyed the story. Even when Tsuda-sensei shifted focus to give Arima and Yukino’s friends focus and fleshing out, I enjoyed those stories a great deal. Some were better than others, but I found all of them to be enjoyable.

However, when Tsuda-sensei decided to delve into Arima’s family and the darkness in his soul, the manga lost all of its fun and I found myself not caring to read about this group of awful people in Arima’s family. Who cares? I didn’t. I wanted to read about Arima or Yukino or their friends, not some evil people. That’s not to say the story didn’t need to be told, but she did it in such a way as got lost in the forest (to coin a phrase).

I think of how Takaya-sensei explores different characters in Fruits Basket. She never strays to far away from the core characters when exploring these side stories. But Tsuda-sensei not only strayed from the core characters, she mostly forgot about them. It was really frustrating and I would have stopped reading with volume 19 had I not known that she ended the manga at volume 21. But somehow once she realized she was going to end the series, she got back on track and so things ended on a good note.

With my problems with TP’s adaptation and with the story bogging down for a few volumes makes the series not high on my re-read list. So I may end up putting it up for sale on eBay eventually. I’m not sure yet at this point.

So goodbye Kare Kano. I wonder what Tsuda-sensei will do next?

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