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31 Ai Dream

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Oh, FMWS was so f*cking terrible....I was probably purple with rage. XD Don't get me started....I will rant forever and a day.

 

EVEN THE DVD SUBTITLES HAD MISTAKES. I MEAN REALLY?

 

OH MY GOD THEY DID AND I AM STILL NOT OVER IT

 

But I have to thank Viz for translating Arina's works because the last 8 years of my life would have no meaning I wouldn't have read any of it otherwise.

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OH GOD. THAT MOMENT WHEN THE FANSUBS ARE BETTER THAN THE OFFICIAL RELEASE. :/

 

Seriously, fansubs are mostly full of errors but I am sure they were better than the FMWS viz butchering. Let's not even talk about the dub. It never happened in my reality. This is a safe space mmkay? *Puts up safe space police tape of denial* (South park reference if anyone has been watching the new series XD)

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Okay, I need to talk about volume 2. I'm gonna assume not everyone is caught up, so please reply using spoiler tags. If you've forgotten how to use spoiler tags, just fill in where it says "write spoiler here" and make sure there are no spaces. Easy, right?

 

[ spoiler ] write spoiler here [ /spoiler ]

 

(Sorry if this is redundant information for you guys-- I just don't wanna spoil anything for anyone else.)

 

Anyways... my thoughts on volume 2:

 

I'm oddly torn between ships. Okay, Tokita. We'll start with him. I'm not happy that Tokita blamed Chikage for him almost kissing her. But he didn't act out on it. And he's just really sweet. He knows he probably won't get anything out of helping Chikage, but he keeps doing it. (the scene where he cheered her on with the signs? omigod i internally combusted reading that scene) But I am really uncomfortable with how much he wanted to see her young again. I get that she was his childhood crush, but she's not the same person you knew then. Based on what I'm saying, I probably sound like I hate Tokita, but I actually really like him. Also, he used to be the bullied nerd at school. People really can change.

 

Hibiki. Oh. My. God. Save me from him. He seemed like such an asshole at first, but seeing him with his family was great. Also, their backstory. Just... ouch. It's no wonder no one can keep up with Hibiki. Keeping up with all of his siblings keeps him on his toes. Just... what a good kid.

 

Chikage. Bless her. Protect her. Cutie. Ugh. I just... I love her so much. She's just so awkward, but painfully relatable. God, I related to that glare she gave her co-worker who was hitting on her. Stage fright, too. I totally get that-- pretty common fear, but knowing that someone who I trust is somewhere in the audience helps.

 

Relevant update: I've learned that one drink does not affect me like drinking affects Chikage. Trust me-- I had a night where I tried to get drunk. It took 3 tall glasses of pineapple juice and vanilla-flavored vodka to make me start feeling anything. I hit the point of lightheadedness and stopped.

 

 

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^ I will never touch alcohol in my life, I swear. XD

 

Still Team Hibiki ♥ His backstory is just so ♥♥♥ I just find Tokita kind of boring...and yeah, it feels like he's in love with who Chikage USED to be instead of who she is now.

I'm so weird how adult love doesn't interest me in the slightest in manga lol

 

I thought it was weird and not really necessary that

Chikage is also an orphan. I mean, I'm the same age as her and my parents are only in their sixties. What the heck did HERS die from?

 

That's dumb. :FMTakutosweatdrop:

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I am also verrrry picky when it comes to drinks, I will add. I did find a pineapple cider I liked. I usually can't stand carbonated drinks (doesn't matter if it's got alcohol or not), but the cider was pretty good. I need to find it at a grocery store, where it's probably not $4/bottle. But yeah, I don't drink very often, and it's usually just at my apartment with my roommates. I don't throw wild parties. I don't attend any either. Just not my thing.

 

Anyway... getting back on topic before I steer this thing into a completely different direction:

 

 

Not feeling team anything. I just really love Chikage and want her to be happy. And I feel like either guy has the potential to help her become a happier person. :')

 

I just took it as her parents had died of old age, not that she was orphaned as a young child. Her parents could've been older when they had her? Idk. I thought that scene was meant to be comical-ish? Didn't she think something like "I actually haven't had any traumatic experiences, I'm just your average 31-year-old"? I can't look it up because I left my copy at my apartment.

 

It's very likely that we'll outlive our parents. So by that technicality, I guess we'll all be orphans at some point, right?

 

I don't know where I was going with that thought but that was really awful. Wow.

 

 

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Good for you; that's the way to go. XD

 

my idea of parties is sitting with a bunch of friends and snacks as everyone shares their favorite viral videos on their laptops

 

 

 

I just took it as her parents had died of old age

If so, that's the weird part!

 

They could not have been that old....plus the Japanese have the longest life spans! It was probably an accident or something cliche like that...but I'd preferred Chikage to just say she moved out and they live far away.....or something.....anything is better than having another orphan. I mean, Mitsuki and Sakura are orphans because the stories require that. This one feels like "oh just because". So it annoyed me. But I always let stupid things annoy me . XD

 

Hibiki was like "You're young but you've had it tough, huh?"

and she's thinking, "No, I'm actually 31!" lol

 

 

.......................D: Otaku......WRRRRRRRRRRRRRRY.

 

lol

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ARRRRG I NEED VOLUME 2 I AM DYING I DON'T WANNA CLICK THOSE SPOILER TAGS BUT I WANT TO BE UP TO DATE THE STRUGGLE IS SO REAL RIGHT NOW I AM TOO HYPE ABOUT THIS SERIES.

 

*deep breaths*

 

This is one of the only recent Arina series that I have been super hyped about. I am actually shipping Tokita and Chi now after re-reading volume one :) The kiss thing still irks me as I think he may have actually done it if she didn't start mumbling but he didn't so I will focus on that. I think there might be more to him than meets the eye, or maybe he will just turn out boring, or another jerk- we shall see! He definitely lacks character development in volume 1, though. I'm hoping it's intentional.

 

 

I also picked up on some foreshadowing somewhere and now I can't remember what it was but it seemed kinda dark XD HYPE HYPE HYPE TRAIN. CHOO CHOOO.

 

If Hibiki wasn't like 15 I'd ship it maybe, because he is cute, but that's so weird... like... imagine you're 15 and dating someone and you find out they are actually 31. I thiink maybe she is going to take a lethal dose of I-dream and be 15 forever, tbh. I'm sure that's coming at some point. Maybe she has to make a choice there. Maybe volume 2 has like... added some things that I'm not aware of but those are my conspiracies so far. XD

 

I mean, Hibiki is cute but kinda too forceful sometimes. I'm hoping that's an act to mask the pain he feels inside but you never know. He seems like a very lonely character inside and maybe the way he acts is because of that.

 

It'd be super weird if this is some entire conspiracy set up by Tokita... can you imagine? Tokita has been drugging Haru with this stuff for years so that Haru could go back and start Valentine and now he's trying to set Chi up with him to make her happy? That would be ridiculous, lol. I love making up really dumb tin-foil hat theories for series.

 

 

The clothes in this series are also too much. I can't handle. I want to cosplay all of them. Especially that striped dress in V1. Like oh my gosh Arina outdid herself on the clothes this time!! They're so cute but some looks have a super alternative feel to them that I LOOOVE. The striped dress is SO newwave meets lolita. Ugh loooove. The outfit worn on stage by Akari too

 

 

 

 

Also, can we just take a moment to appreciate the mini comic at the end of 1 where Arina talks about how people have been controlling her creativity?! I called it all along. I'm actually glad that Chi isn't too headstrong like originally intended- I feel like Arina writes some HELLA strong lead females- but Chi is going to be strong in her own way. As an awkward introvert, I relate hardcore to her. I feel like Arina has never really played with a character of this calibur and she is doing SO well with writing her. I like the message of "no matter how much you feel like you suck at being an adult and are not on the same life level as your peers, you can get that confidence back" because I really think that by the end of the series our lovely lead gal is going to be badass as hell. :D

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ARRRRG I NEED VOLUME 2 I AM DYING I DON'T WANNA CLICK THOSE SPOILER TAGS BUT I WANT TO BE UP TO DATE THE STRUGGLE IS SO REAL RIGHT NOW I AM TOO HYPE ABOUT THIS SERIES.

 

*deep breaths*

 

This is one of the only recent Arina series that I have been super hyped about. I am actually shipping Tokita and Chi now after re-reading volume one :) The kiss thing still irks me as I think he may have actually done it if she didn't start mumbling but he didn't so I will focus on that. I think there might be more to him than meets the eye, or maybe he will just turn out boring, or another jerk- we shall see! He definitely lacks character development in volume 1, though. I'm hoping it's intentional.

 

I also picked up on some foreshadowing somewhere and now I can't remember what it was but it seemed kinda dark XD HYPE HYPE HYPE TRAIN. CHOO CHOOO.

 

If Hibiki wasn't like 15 I'd ship it maybe, because he is cute, but that's so weird... like... imagine you're 15 and dating someone and you find out they are actually 31. I thiink maybe she is going to take a lethal dose of I-dream and be 15 forever, tbh. I'm sure that's coming at some point. Maybe she has to make a choice there. Maybe volume 2 has like... added some things that I'm not aware of but those are my conspiracies so far. XD

I

mean, Hibiki is cute but kinda too forceful sometimes. I'm hoping that's an act to mask the pain he feels inside but you never know. He seems like a very lonely character inside and maybe the way he acts is because of that.

 

YAY ANOTHER TOKITA FAN GOOD GOOD I AM NOT ALONE THERE THANK GOD

 

(I promise you will love him so much once you have Vol. 2 in your hands. I promise.)

 

And yeah, those are my reservations with Hibiki: age and forcefulness. Just imagine the scandal if that gets out: "Valentine idol Hibiki, 15, caught on a date with a 31-year-old woman." His career'd be ruined and obviously Chikage's would be, too.

 

 

It'd be super weird if this is some entire conspiracy set up by Tokita... can you imagine? Tokita has been drugging Haru with this stuff for years so that Haru could go back and start Valentine and now he's trying to set Chi up with him to make her happy? That would be ridiculous, lol. I love making up really dumb tin-foil hat theories for series.

 

 

jfc that's terrifying. whyyyyy

 

 

Also, can we just take a moment to appreciate the mini comic at the end of 1 where Arina talks about how people have been controlling her creativity?! I called it all along. I'm actually glad that Chi isn't too headstrong like originally intended- I feel like Arina writes some HELLA strong lead females- but Chi is going to be strong in her own way. As an awkward introvert, I relate hardcore to her. I feel like Arina has never really played with a character of this calibur and she is doing SO well with writing her. I like the message of "no matter how much you feel like you suck at being an adult and are not on the same life level as your peers, you can get that confidence back" because I really think that by the end of the series our lovely lead gal is going to be badass as hell.

 

A moment? No, I will take HOURS if not DAYS to appreciate that comic on a number of levels. ("You're asking me, Arina Tanemura, to write a comic that's not an Arina Tanemura comic" lmao) But yes, I think we'll see a lot of character development with Chikage because she is so awkward and introverted.

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Eh, I don't think Hibiki's any more forceful than Izumi or Chiaki. :/ For the most part, he is just sort of fooling around since he's a kid and that's what kids do.

 

But in volume 02, after he gets to know Akari a little better, he kind of gives the opposite impression.

 

 

When he invites 'Akari' to come over again, he looks a bit shy and nervous about it...which is seriously adorable. Which makes me think that if he got into a relationship with her, he'd act more like that and not force himself on her.

 

 

31-year-old Chikage in her 31-year-old form with him WOULD be so strange.....but when "Akari" and him have cute moments, my heart just goes "squee". XD

 

and......just wait.....because things are going to get even MORE complicated........cause I have seen dem raws, bruhs. o_o

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Oo yass I am essite to see him be less forceful. I personally cannot stand Chiaki lol. Izumi I do like but at times I facepalm and am just like... Izumi take a chill pill, okay? I get you're f**ked up, m8, but plz.... let's put this childhood behind you and just chill out.

 

It makes sense for a kid to be in the industry to be like that, though! Never thought about that... even though I work in the same bloody industry LOL. I can't wait to meet the real him eventually. Kids in general I'd disagree are pushy, but in show business... yuuup.

 

 

Oh yeah, I totally ship them when she's Akari, but I am forseeing future issues. Like... what if he fell in love with her then found out that she's not who she says she is? D8 That would actually break my heart and I'm scared that it's coming up in the future. That awkward moment when you're making out with your 15 yr old girlfriend and she suddenly transforms into a 31 year old... LOLLOLLOL. Oh god I'd die. I hope that doesn't happen. o___o Noooope.

 

 

The real question is, though... who is going to be killed off? I have a feeling there's a death coming. I don't know why... I just kinda feel like something bad is gonna go down. Place your bettts.

 

I wonder if volume 2 is on ebay or amazon here yet... I'll have to have a looksie !

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Oo yass I am essite to see him be less forceful. I personally cannot stand Chiaki lol. Izumi I do like but at times I facepalm and am just like... Izumi take a chill pill, okay? I get you're f**ked up, m8, but plz.... let's put this childhood behind you and just chill out.

 

It makes sense for a kid to be in the industry to be like that, though! Never thought about that... even though I work in the same bloody industry LOL. I can't wait to meet the real him eventually. Kids in general I'd disagree are pushy, but in show business... yuuup.

 

 

Oh yeah, I totally ship them when she's Akari, but I am forseeing future issues. Like... what if he fell in love with her then found out that she's not who she says she is? D8 That would actually break my heart and I'm scared that it's coming up in the future. That awkward moment when you're making out with your 15 yr old girlfriend and she suddenly transforms into a 31 year old... LOLLOLLOL. Oh god I'd die. I hope that doesn't happen. o___o Noooope.

 

 

The real question is, though... who is going to be killed off? I have a feeling there's a death coming. I don't know why... I just kinda feel like something bad is gonna go down. Place your bettts.

 

I wonder if volume 2 is on ebay or amazon here yet... I'll have to have a looksie !

 

Nagoya Chiaki is something else. He's an overprotective, perverted, impatent ass. And yet I love him? I don't understand it. I really don't. XD

If he were real, I wouldn't even be friends with him. Hell, I probably couldn't stand to be in the same room with him for more than a few minutes at a time. (This is probably why I give him the hardest times in my fan fictions. All his teasing was gonna bite him back one day.)

 

The kiss thing you described is honestly my biggest prediction?? Like I've envisioned that same sort of image for Hibiki and Chikage. That mid-kiss transformation would become the scandal of the decade. But yeah, the future issues of their relationship are what make me sort of lean a bit more towards Tokita. Just a bit.

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Nagoya Chiaki is something else. He's an overprotective, perverted, impatent ass. And yet I love him? I don't understand it. I really don't. XD

 

I get it.....somehow.

There's something so lovable about Chiaki. He just needs to get his jealousy under control but the way he treasures Maron so much is just....really precious. Like he can still go doki-doki as an ADULT over his WIFE whom he made love to several times!? That is ridiculous in the cutest way.

 

And he gets jealous easily only because he's so insecure even though he wants everyone to think he's completely cool all the time.....his vulnerability is cute....and he also has a great sense of humor. (like how many times has that manga made you laugh because of something he did or said?) Sometimes he's so mature and other times he's so childish and I like both of those sides of him. He's nobody's "perfect boyfriend" because that's not interesting. He's a complex character with many sides, including good traits and bad ones. Nothing wrong with loving him. If you love a character, that just means you love his good traits enough to overlook the bad ones.

 

 

Back to Ai Dream......I don't really foresee a death of anyone in this series....because it doesn't feel dark in nature. AnCxH could be a totally different story just based on the fact that our heroine is a demon princess and love with a human is forbidden. Someone could totally die just for that. lol

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Nagoya Chiaki is something else. He's an overprotective, perverted, impatent ass. And yet I love him? I don't understand it. I really don't. XD

 

I get it.....somehow.

There's something so lovable about Chiaki. He just needs to get his jealousy under control but the way he treasures Maron so much is just....really precious. Like he can still go doki-doki as an ADULT over his WIFE whom he made love to several times!? That is ridiculous in the cutest way.

 

And he gets jealous easily only because he's so insecure even though he wants everyone to think he's completely cool all the time.....his vulnerability is cute....and he also has a great sense of humor. (like how many times has that manga made you laugh because of something he did or said?) Sometimes he's so mature and other times he's so childish and I like both of those sides of him. He's nobody's "perfect boyfriend" because that's not interesting. He's a complex character with many sides, including good traits and bad ones. Nothing wrong with loving him. If you love a character, that just means you love his good traits enough to overlook the bad ones.

 

 

Back to Ai Dream......I don't really foresee a death of anyone in this series....because it doesn't feel dark in nature. AnCxH could be a totally different story just based on the fact that our heroine is a demon princess and love with a human is forbidden. Someone could totally die just for that. lol

 

 

All good points on Chiaki. Amen to that. XD

 

With ChicxHack (I'm just gonna abbreviate it to that for now), I can't help but think it's like The Little Mermaid but with demons. XD

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That would make the Little Mermaid 1001 times better. I'm getting the chapter next week. SO EXCITED

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There was something in there that made me think of death... and now I can't find it. Maybe it was the "unforseen side effects" , but that's more like I think she's going to be stuck 15. I don't know, I just feel a death coming, maybe not a main character... but I can FEEL THE DEAAATH. xD Place your bets...

 

Also... Full Moon was cute... at one point. Then it was soul destroying. I don't trust anything that Arina writes any more. I'm just like "lol this is cute, I wonder when it's going to TEAR MY SOUL APAAAART".

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Full Moon was cute.....but since one of the major themes was death, I didn't think it was only going to be light-hearted. XD

 

But you might be onto something there with side effects causing problems for Chikage.....that could make some good twists.

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Yeah, Full Moon was adorbs, but I feel like the cuter the series is... the more twisted Arina's mind gets. AND I LOVE HER FOR THAT. The mix of cute and crying my eyes out for days is a bonus. Ai dream is super cute but I really think it has the potential for little bits of darkness. I think the love triangle may bring me a lot of crying in the future... I haven't been this emotionally invested in an Arina series in a long time but I LOVE what she is doing lately. The bonus of how amazingly pretty her style is currently, too... every time I think that Arina's drawings can't get any better they just amp it up and continue to stun me.

 

 

I feel like a major theme in Ai dream so far is living in the past, and I feel as if there's going to be some serious message about how you can't afford to get trapped in the past. What if it gets to the point where if Chi takes another dose then it will literally kill her and she has to choose: Go back to the past or live on with the new knowledge and experience that I have acquired?

 

I wonder if it's going to start making her eye sight worse than it already is, too :o Oh god... I hope she doesn't go blind //3 I really like Chi.

 

 

Otaku is a frickin' angel and has ordered Volume 2 for me and I am freaking internally, I am so excited to get caught up. I need to know what was in those spoiler tags *________*

 

 

ALSO, IF DEATH DOESN'T HAPPEN IN CHIC HACK... wat? The "hack" in the title totally reminded me of hacking up bodies, lol... I know that's probably not intentional ;) That would be such a troll, though. Arina does a super dark looking series that is actually just fluff and difficult moral stuff and 0 death. xD

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Also... Full Moon was cute... at one point. Then it was soul destroying. I don't trust anything that Arina writes any more. I'm just like "lol this is cute, I wonder when it's going to TEAR MY SOUL APAAAART".

 

^^^^THIS. Midwestern weather patterns and Arina Tanemura's manga series are why I have trust issues.

 

Yeah, Full Moon was adorbs, but I feel like the cuter the series is... the more twisted Arina's mind gets. AND I LOVE HER FOR THAT. The mix of cute and crying my eyes out for days is a bonus. Ai dream is super cute but I really think it has the potential for little bits of darkness. I think the love triangle may bring me a lot of crying in the future... I haven't been this emotionally invested in an Arina series in a long time but I LOVE what she is doing lately. The bonus of how amazingly pretty her style is currently, too... every time I think that Arina's drawings can't get any better they just amp it up and continue to stun me.

 

 

I feel like a major theme in Ai dream so far is living in the past, and I feel as if there's going to be some serious message about how you can't afford to get trapped in the past. What if it gets to the point where if Chi takes another dose then it will literally kill her and she has to choose: Go back to the past or live on with the new knowledge and experience that I have acquired?

 

I wonder if it's going to start making her eye sight worse than it already is, too :o Oh god... I hope she doesn't go blind //3 I really like Chi.

 

 

Otaku is a frickin' angel and has ordered Volume 2 for me and I am freaking internally, I am so excited to get caught up. I need to know what was in those spoiler tags *________*

 

 

ALSO, IF DEATH DOESN'T HAPPEN IN CHIC HACK... wat? The "hack" in the title totally reminded me of hacking up bodies, lol... I know that's probably not intentional ;) That would be such a troll, though. Arina does a super dark looking series that is actually just fluff and difficult moral stuff and 0 death. xD

 

Also, consider this: we all know Arina likes big plot twists. What if her next plot twist is that there is no big plot twist? She's just gonna troll us. (Like the whole thing in TSK: "Full Moon is cute..." etc, etc... And it was cute, but then you have a point of DEATH, ANGST, and SUFFERING. Cute but painful.)

 

"Otaku is a frickin' angel..."

 

 

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Oh, the irony that you're referring to the person who sits on the throne of hell in this fandom... (or claims she does.)

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OKAY I AM CAUGHT UP.

 

 

 

That cliffhanger :/ HARU. Woops. Kinda dropped yourself in that one, m8. I want to know what happens next already x---x

 

I am very glad that we got Hibiki backstory and I definitely like him a lot more now. "Marry me?" killed me, Chi handled that like a PRO. Bwahahah. Totally owned that scene. I was worried for a moment. That whole "You'll get used to men if you do this" bs rubbed me the wrong way and I am so glad that she owned him for that. I don't believe him when he says he doesn't have feelings for her at all, I think this slight mocking business is because he DOES in fact like her. Or atleast the fact has crossed his mind. Why else would he invite her back over to his place?

 

His siblings are soooo cute. Ughhh

 

The orphan thing is really weird, I agree. I thought "yeah, that is way too young to have BOTH of your parents die from natural causes". I think maybe she slipped up because she wanted to be relatable to Hibi?

 

Like srsly my Mum is almost 55 and her mother is still alive, and her mother HAD her in her 30s, not young like kids today are having kids. Today, people can have children from any time from teen years --> 30s, but I'd say the average (here at least) is mid twenties because you want to enjoy children when you still have the energy. I do hope that we get a follow up on this, but then again; Chi is always alone. Maybe she does not have a good relationship with her parents so they are "dead" to her? Perhaps they are disappointed because she is 31 and a virgin, not married. In Japan, marriage is a big thing, right? And proves your success? I have heard about parents making their children attend "marriage interviews" so to me it would make sense if Chi's parents are alive but just don't approve that she isn't married and they are "dead to her". That would be a better way to run things IMO because we have already had a few orphans, as Chiibi has said.

 

I still like Tokita very much but something seemed off about him in this volume. What if there is a bigger risk to this that he isn't mentioning but it is worth it to see Chi as her younger self again? Idk... something feels a little wrong right now. Got mega creep vibes from him. I don't know how I FEEL. UUUUGH.

 

I am beginning to learn towards neither of them (unless Hibi is actually the same age?) because like... a 15 year old and a 31 year old? I hope that we can all agree for once on an age gap that is ehhhhhggghhh? Especially since he doesn't know, that makes it worse for me personally. I'm sure he'd feel super weird if he found out the truth :/ It's like if someone lies to you about their age... it makes you feel vulnerable....it makes you feel used. Unless there is a way for her to age backwards and become 15 forever to stay with him, I don't see that working long term, and if she keeps transforming forever- that could end up having really negative side affects on her health or possibly kill her. Plus, what about when Hibi ages? And as far as we know, Chi is still aging too so will still have her 32nd birthday regardless. We know that AI-dream can turn her 15 but can it do any other age? What about when Hibi turns 20 and Chi still appears to be 15... it's gonna get weiiird. I am starting to think that they are very cute together, but I just don't know how this would work in real world terms. I am more emotionally invested in Hibiki finding out and being like WTF at this point.

 

Haru seems cold but we know that he is single now. Maybe he will become a contender. I'm not sure that I like him at ALL though, and I don't think chasing your first love is a good idea anyway because they often turn out to be a totally different person, you're just blinded by love goggles. We can probably rule out that Haru is Hibi now from meeting Hibi's family but they could be perhaps related or something.

 

Arina seems set in the interview about this being a Toki/Hibi triangle, though. So I doubt Haru will ever be anything more than an angsty, one-sided plot point.

 

I need more story to decide which ship I will sink with. 8D I will say though, my brother is 15, and imagining him date a 31 year old stuck in a 15 year olds body is a very uncomfortable thought and I would fight the bitch. 16 is a legal adult here so he could do whatever he wanted then, but it's the deception that is the creepiest part of it. I don't want Hibiki to get super close to Chi and then realise that he doesn't really know her at all, because I feel like Hibi never lets anyone in and he seems to be opening up to her gradually. Inviting her back to spend time with his family seemed like a BIG deal IMO.

 

 

 

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My copy of the 2nd volume finally arrived the other day as well!

 

 

 

Re: the orphan thing-

 

From a conflict point of view, I'm actually sort of disappointed Chikage's parents aren't around. She starts the story at a pretty miserable place, and I feel like disappointed parents always asking things like "when are you going to get married" and the like...would've added more weight to that? Her arc has a pretty broad beginning with a dead-end job, no dating experience at 31, etc--your standard "society's conventional, disputable definition of loser" starter kit--and even though the addition of parents would've made the setup even /more/ cliched, it also adds character motivation. Chikage reads as a vessel for the reader to put themselves in a lot (especially the older audience Arina's writing for) and having parental pressures would've made her and her situation more relatable and realistic, I think. The TV show Being Erica (which I totally recommend btw--it's like Ai Dream but instead of drugs she has a time travelling therapist!) did a pretty job with this.

 

But I'm like 17...so what would I know about the life and trying times of 31-year-olds lmao

 

I liveblogged these chapters a year or two ago on my tumblr with the Chinese scans and my thoughts are pretty much still the same:

 

-what a cute backstory! The best one she's done in a while. The ribbon was a cool symbol (secret message meaning that she hated working for Ribon magazine? o_O *fake gasp* the world will never know)

 

-her competition with the other idol still reminds me of Mitsuki vs Madoka in concept, not in execution

 

-I still think Chikage's co-worker needs more development at some point. I get that Chikage really needed a foil in her adult life, but Arina's usually pretty good in avoiding the Contrived Mean Girl You MUST Hate character.

 

-I'm undecided on the shipping front too, but I love the thought of Chikage sorta joining Hibiki's family as a group mom. And also: if anyone's going to get hurt/die in this manga, it's Hibiki's younger sister. You don't make a sibling THAT adorable and make a main character love her THAT much without using all that cuteness and love as plot ammunition later on.

 

-Squinted a bit when in the interview at the end, she mentioned Neko being set in the world of showbiz. I mean, a lot of the characters are...but I wouldn't say the whole series is. But speaking of Neko: I love how she connects the two series! If Chikage and Hibiki's ever were a thing, 'd like to think that Hibiki's younger brother would be totally unfazed by the age difference: "my best friend felt up a 16-year-old in a church. I know this territory."

 

-^Also: did anyone catch those SDC teachers in that restaurant scene?

 

But yup, still loving this series! Still hoping the romance gets more consensual.

 

 

For ChicXHack, I'm expecting a SHK sort of tone...but hopefully with some fish out of water gags as the heroine gets accustomed to the human world on the side!

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UMM ARIANGE

 

 

 

"secret message meaning that she hated working for Ribon magazine?"

 

HOLY SHIT YOU ARE A GENIUS. I can actually see that being a thing o__o We'll never know, but... I think it actually could be. Omg. Mind blown.

 

I am hoping for more consent too but HAHAH that marry me scene. Chi is my bae for that.

 

 

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The 'marry me' reaction was amazing and so in-character XD. I agree; it alllllmost makes up for what precedes it. I just found, like, the fact that he was literally unzipping her top and how she was clearly not in on whatever joke he was playing way excessive. I dunno.

 

Shit son--now I gotta psychoanalyze everything now in case she's been putting in messages like that everywhere ;P Seriously, though, after I made that connection, my train of thoughts became train wreck of "wait, so if the ribbon's Ribon and she's the tree, is the ribbon stuck to the tree or:...wait, is /she/ the ribbon tied to the tree, which represents the magazine tying her down?" Etc.

 

English class has made me a mess :,D

 

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Sitting in a hotel lobby in NYC because I needed to reply to these thoughts and comments. :D

 

Also, not gonna quote in spoiler tag because that takes work, and I'm so tired. Still will have a format... of some sort... I guess? XD

 

 

 

BWR: "I still like Tokita very much but something seemed off about him in this volume."

 

^No, I felt the same thing here. There's something unsettling about an adult who wants to see their childhood love at that young age. I really felt uncomfortable about that. (I don't remember if it was something directly stated in the series or...?) But Tokita's support of her during the concert? Disgustingly adorable. I loved that bit so much.

 

BWR: "I am very glad that we got Hibiki backstory and I definitely like him a lot more now. "Marry me?" killed me, Chi handled that like a PRO."

 

Yessss and Hibiki's family. Just... what a good kid. (Hibiki went too far in that scene, I absolutely agree there. But he did back off after Chikage's marriage comment. I will admit I laughed when he was trying to get her to move a certain way and whenever he touches her she loses it. Same, Chikage. Same.

 

Ariange: "She starts the story at a pretty miserable place, and I feel like disappointed parents always asking things like "when are you going to get married" and the like...would've added more weight to that?"

 

As a 21-year-old who has been single her entire life and actually loves being single, this is painfully relatable. I have a feeling it may get to the point where my relatives are going to try to set me up on dates and I am going to lose it. (Seriously, my godmother/aunt's husband wants to set me up with their 18-year-old neighbor. No way in hell for so many reasons. Hell no.)

 

But honestly, Chikage sort of is the "every woman" for awkward women everywhere and I appreciate it so, so much.

 

Ariange: "secret message meaning that she hated working for Ribon magazine? o_O *fake gasp* the world will never know"

 

THAT IS BRILLIANT OH MY GOD

 

Ariange: "I love the thought of Chikage sorta joining Hibiki's family as a group mom"

TEAM MOM TEAM MOM TEAM MOM (I'm not sorry for the 50 % Off reference.) But in all seriousness, that's adorable, and I am here for that. Also, with regards to some sort of tragedy possibly occurring, part of me wonders if there won't be one. Given the amount of characters she killed off in SHK, it doesn't surprise me she went with a more light-hearted(?) route with "Neko." It might be interesting to think about the shifts in tones in her series throughout the years. Like, after Full Moon, we get SDC, which is quite a bit more light-hearted and comical than Full Moon was. And then following SDC, we have one more lighthearted one-volume manga... and then we get back to pain and suffering. (So much death in SHK. So much.)

 

Ariange: "did anyone catch those SDC teachers in that restaurant scene"

 

YES I DID I LOST IT OKAY I DIDN'T EVEN READ SDC ALL THE WAY THROUGH BUT THOSE CAMEOS WERE GREAT i need more from other series

 

Ariange: "English class has made me a mess"

 

As someone who is majoring in English, I relate to this all too well. I think that sentence summarizes my life.

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