“文学少女”見習いの、卒業。// Bungaku Shoujo Minarai no, Sotsugyou

^Let’s finish up the series with some pixiv art, shall we?

I have seen Nano’s name appear in some of the works that are set further into the future, so at least this doesn’t seem like a final farewell… 。゜゜(´□`。)°゜。

I really do hope she meets Tooko at some point.

“文学少女”見習いの、卒業。
 ”Bungaku Shoujo” Minarai no, Sotsugyou.
 The Literature Girl Apprentice’s, Graduation (Off-Hand TL)

著:野村美月 (Author: Nomura Mizuki)
画:竹岡美穂 (Illustrator: Takeoka Miho)
ファミ通文庫 (Famitsu Bunko)
ISBN-13: 978-4047267251
発売日: 2010/09/10

Introduction:

I already miss Nano. (´・ω・`)

Just for the record I made that time travel reference -before- I sat down and watched 2 hours of Steins;Gate. Also, read Fahrenheit 451. Wow that was unrelated, and wow this “Introduction” is about 1/10th as long as it usually is. I’ll probably be reading Bakemonogatari next, but I’m not sure I’ll write a review for that…. anyway, I’ve seen Nano name pop up in at least two places in books I haven’t read yet (the fourth book of Bungaku Shoujo short story collections and in the newest series with an adult Tooko who is an editor)… so we’ll see….

I’m rambling. Let’s hop to it! Did you know by chance, that I usually write the introduction last?

Main Characters (in order of Prominence):

日坂菜乃  Hinosaka Nano [Narrator]
・Literature Girl in Training, First Year Literature Club Member
井上心葉  Inoue Konoha
・”Novelist Who Faces the Heavens” and Head of the Literature Club, (Detective)
冬柴瞳   Fuyushiba Hitomi
・Nano’s Childhood Friend, Suddenly Involved with Konoha
忍成良介  Oshinari Ryousuke
・Hitomi’s Former Tutor, Currently Serving as a School Librarian
琴吹ななせ Kotobuki Nanase
・Konoha’s Ex-Girlfriend and Tsundere, Friends with an “Angel”

Story:

“文学少女”見習いの、寂寞。
 ”Bungaku Shoujo” Minarai no, Sekibaku.
 The Literature Girl Apprentice’s, Loneliness.

So you may have wondered why I put a delete tag on Hitomi last post. This is why: Nano spots Hitomi and Konoha kissing in the Literature Club room. Hitomi tells her, “Haven’t you figured it out yet? You’re just in the way.”

(Here I pause for your shocked faces, while you imagine Nano’s)

Of course, if you believe in Konoha (as by now you should – it really should be half of the shock) you should know I as figured – after calming down a bit – that Nano only saw what she was afraid of happening and jumped to conclusions. But Konoha does admit that he’s dating Hitomi, and Nano saw exactly what Hitomi wanted her to see

What!? Now even the librarian is telling Nano to stay out of Konoha and Hitomi’s way!? How does he know her name…?

After Nano re-organizes her thoughts she worries about what’s happening to Hitomi. She’s pushing Nano away, but why? Something like this happened before, but…

Nano tries to get an answer out of Konoha, but Konoha only lets her know that “Yes, you’re on the right track, but if I told you anything it wouldn’t fix the problem. You’ve got to figure this one out on your own. But aren’t you her best friend? If anyone can do it, you can,” and gives Nano a push in the right direction by handing her Natsume Souseki’s “Kokoro”, a tale of loneliness, and of ego.

“Wait… isn’t this Boy’s love?”

“Souseki will be rolling around in his grave right about now… *sigh*”

ある日のななせ
 Aru Hi no Nanase
 A Day with Nanase

(Narrated by Nanase)
How Nanase spends Christmas Eve with Yuuka/”Angel”.

“文学少女”見習いの、卒業。
 サヨナラのための短い物語
 ”Bungaku Shoujo” Minarai no, Sotsugyou
  Sayonara no Tame no Mijikai Monogatari
 The Literature Girl Apprentice’s, Graduation:
  A Short Story In Order to Say Farewell.

After a little bit of training under Nanase, Nano makes Konoha chocolates for Valentine’s day and is able to fix a date with him on White Day, but White Day is just one day before graduation. Nano is forced to face the fact that even though Konoha isn’t physically moving away for college, this may be the last time she may ever see him. There is no promise tying them together. It would be wrong for her to keep sticking to him after their relationship of upperclassman and underclassman dissolves. Just what has she been doing all this time? The reason she wanted to be a “Literature Girl Apprentice” was to get closer to Konoha, now that she’s lost the only reason…

This is true loneliness. Her best friend is gone, Konoha is going away, even Nanase for that matter. Looking for solace in something, Nano wanders into a bookstore to buy some comics, but instead ends up buying “The Cherry Orchard” by Anton Chekhov…

Just how can she say goodbye…?

“Welcome, brand new life…”

Evaluation / Rating:

I think Nomura Mizuki has a time machine, and used it to travel into the future just so she could read my reviews (after learning English) and prepare her next book adjusting it according to my (few and far between) complaints.

Wow just look at my ego.

But really. The one thing that bothered me about the second book in the series, (that was far improved over the first) was that I thought that it relied way too much on connections established in the main series. I said that it didn’t bother me much because it was “inevitable” and I expected the last book to carry the same flaw. But it doesn’t. Not at all.

The last book breaks from that formula and really focuses on Nano; it get’s much more personal for her – this is her best friend we’re talking about. She may have made major contributions when it counted in the previous books, but Nano herself, despite being the narrator – was often delegated to the side-lines. We watch Konoha take care of things, through Nano’s eyes. But as Konoha appears to approach that perfect-being status – probably partially a side effect of Nano-narration, he pulls away. He’s less active, and less present, taking on more of a role like Himekura Maki.

What this all adds up to is a more complete picture of Nano. “Loneliness” deals intimately with characters that Nano knows more about than the reader does. This is actually a bit unusual – in as many books as I’ve read (okay, I suppose it happened in Zaregoto 2 as well… in a different way) – but it forces you to pay more attention to Nano’s actions and thoughts to pull more about the characters she’s talking about than what she actually narrates. This is the polar opposite of what happened last volume where Nano doesn’t know who Chia or Miu are, or anything about them – but of course we do. While I would have to say that Konoha definitely does come in and save the day and does orchestrate a bit on his own, it was finishing touches on what Nano worked hard on – an editor to a writer – something like that.

In “Graduation”, Konoha is pretty much absent (even when he actually is “on screen” so to speak, for all intents and purposes he is absent until the very end), and as much as it is about Konoha leaving and his “graduation”, it is about Nano’s “graduation” – her first step into her own new world. The fact that she turns to literature for comfort, not just as a means of getting closer to Konoha, shows how far she has come, and I really like the ending. (Not to spoil anything).

And, not to ignore Nanase, I like how they tie the Nanase of the main series to the Nanase we see in the epilogue (of the main series). Though this may sound a little harsh… Konoha was slow to improve, and evolve, and so forth… but Nanase, she didn’t change at all in the main series. Not at all. I gave up on her ever changing – even though the epilogue said she would, but part of the way through the second Nano-book she took a step forward and in this book she really makes that shift into post-Konoha Nanase. I’m not even sure I can exactly say where it happens, but it’s because of Nano, and her little “A day with Nanase” confirms that change in a few pages. So, I’m glad it was there.

Overall: 9.6
I’ll admit that my favorite Nano section is in the second volume, (“Heartbreak”) but I still would rate both volumes on about the same level. Both showed unique sides to Nano, and both set her on the path to who she would become.

Here, with Minarai 1,2,3 as 9,10,11.
Subjective Ranking: 1st,2nd,10th,8th=7th=3rd,5th,11th,6th,4th,9th
Objective Ranking: 8th=7th=2nd,3rd=5th,11th,1st,10th,4th=6th,9th

Concept: 9.8
I like the back and forth of the characters in “Loneliness” because their actions don’t make sense. Why? You ask would I rate something higher for not making sense? Well, it’s because it’s more believable that way. I can’t possibly give examples without spoiling but all of Hitomi’s actions are contradictory and counter-intuitive and self-denying, and that is very human. The argument between Hitomi and Ryousuke about who deserved more guilt or blame was a BEAUTIFUL illustration of the ego that is present in Kokoro. So even without Tooko (which is why I knocked the Minarai series to 9.7 from 9.8) a lot of other “conceptual” moments cause me to push the rating up.
Pacing: 9.6
The pacing was sound. With just a little caffeine I was able to make a nice last spurt over 200 pages in one night. \o/ – The very beginning of “Graduation” was a bit too slow… but maybe that’s just because I no longer have the pure maiden’s chocolate filled heart for Valentine’s day…
Plot: 9.7
I was very glad to see the plot mostly free from ties to the main series. It really made for a better vehicle to push Nano’s characterization.
Characters: 9.5
I was very, very happy to see Konoha, Nano, and Nanase develop. I wouldn’t say Hitomi really developed much, rather than her eyes were opened a little more, and the chains around Ryousuke were loosened a bit, but overall I was very happy. I suppose I’d say Hitomi/Ryousuke/Kai were interesting enough characters for forego developing them too much.
Writing Style/Flavor: 9.7
Nano is wonderfully Nano.
Illustrations: 9.5
At 9.5 because I love Miho’s illustrations but nothing particularly wowed me like I was wowed last volume.

    • choong jo yi
    • May 29th, 2012

    now that konoha graduates , so who’s going to take over the book club?

    • One would assume that Nano does – there’s one more short story with her that I haven’t gotten to yet (but it’s the very next one I have to read) and I think she appears in the very Final book of the series as a whole which focuses on Tooko as an editor. (Basically there are still two books -out of 16- that I haven’t read yet.)

    • choong jo yi
    • May 30th, 2012

    i see thx i’ll be waiting for the next one ..

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