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Latest Chapter Discussion


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#1
Comadrin

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I just thought it was about time to start one of these topics for this manga.  There definitely seems to be enough readers who are fairly passionate about it.  I did enjoy the latest chapter, although my liking for the "sensei" who is the club advisor is conspicuous by its' absence.  The jerk only shows up to throw cold water on the aspirations of a group of adolescents who are trying their hardest.  He did the same thing the year before, when the former club members didn't make it into the Nationals.  What a dedicated "educator."  I'd wonder what the hell he's even doing as a teacher, except that I ran into his type throughout my time at school; teachers who boost their own egos by putting down their students all the time.  They always seem to do it with the most earnest students, as they are easier to crush psychologically, and afford much better "sport" than the students who don't give a damn.

 

I thought the way they pulled the fangs of the Vice-Principal was really well done.  They basically killed him with gratitude in front of a large audience.  I'm sure we haven't seen the last of him, though.

 

The theme of "troubled athletic/cultural club getting an infusion of enthusiasm and succeeding against odds/ apathy/hostility" is a fairly common plot in manga, but this mangaka is doing it well, and not borrowing characters from other manga.  I think the characters are really well thought out, and I'm looking forward to seeing more chapters.



#2
Jae

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Well... I really hope that jerk of an advisor does something redeeming in the later chapters.

Even as the scanlator, I don't know what to expect.

 

What are your thoughts on the new girl Hiro? 



#3
Comadrin

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I haven't really reached any conclusions on how she's going to work out yet (haven't seen enough of her character, I guess).  She might be there for the guys, some excitement, or she might really be interested.  Even if it's one of the first two reasons, she might either be a nuisance, or she might really get interested in the koto (kind of how the mc in Tomehane ended up being obsessed with calligraphy).  Whatever comes from it, I just hope the manga stays as interesting and character-driven as it has been so far.  The mangaka (so far) hasn't descended into being hackneyed or boring.  Cliches are always there; it depends on how they're dealt with.  Romeo and Juliet was a cliche plot when Shakespeare wrote it, but it's definitely better reading than an Harlequin formula novel.  Manga seems to be the same way.  It can go in any direction, but how the mangaka handles it makes it good or not worth reading.  

 

Back to the original question:  I'd enjoy it if her character develops in an interesting way, whether she becomes an integral part of the group or is just a distraction.

 

Oh, and Jae:  Thanks for your hard work.



#4
Comadrin

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Well, Hiro chan is quite a piece of work.  I've definitely met people during my life who are only happy when they're destroying something for other people.  I don't know if it's a form of sociopathy or what, but I try to give these kind of people as wide a berth as possible.  In the military, they can destroy the morale of a unit in short order.  They seem to have the mentality of, "OK, let's have you and him fight."  

 

I was pleased, by the way, with the speed with which Kudou recognized her for what she was.  I don't think things are going to go her way without obstacle.



#5
inzaratha

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I think you're exactly right.    She seems to have joined with ulterior motives. 



#6
Comadrin

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Wow, Hiro chan is even less likable than she was after the previous chapter.  Not only is she a manipulative kill-joy, she's also a "kick-em- when-they're-down" kind of person.  Does anyone else think that pulling the wings off insects was her favorite pastime as a child?  Maybe it was scattering poisoned bird seed.  She has the perfect personality for a malicious gossip columnist.



#7
Evilnemesis

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Wow, Hiro chan is even less likable than she was after the previous chapter.  Not only is she a manipulative kill-joy, she's also a "kick-em- when-they're-down" kind of person.  Does anyone else think that pulling the wings off insects was her favorite pastime as a child?  Maybe it was scattering poisoned bird seed.  She has the perfect personality for a malicious gossip columnist.

 

Yeah that person... Is even less likeable than the worse of love rivals in most shoujos, even those that employ the most vile of tricks.

Because in her case, she doesn't seem to have any personal motive for doing anything. I think the quote "Some men(little bitches) just want to watch the world burn" is fairly appropriate here.



#8
inzaratha

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Great chapter,  he learned a lot about her while she was sick and took good care of her.    I think he can understand family issues better than most.    Her back story was pretty rough. 


Edited by inzaratha, 02 February 2014 - 04:00 AM.


#9
Comadrin

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Definitely rougher than most.  It must be horrible to have a loved and loving parent (especially if it's the only living parent) gradually turn into someone who hates you.  In a sense, it must be worse than never having been loved.  I am definitely curious as to who the hell the old buzzard actually is who bullied a grieving widow to the point that she turned on her own daughter.  The mother is a hard, yet brittle character who was easily manipulated, but the greed and downright evil in the old buzzard's face (hard to tell if it's male or female) was completely disgusting, not to mention the disgusting things said to the mother.  


Edited by Comadrin, 03 February 2014 - 12:18 AM.


#10
Pandora

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This is actually an amazing manga, it teach you many lessons about what really happens in society
Like, the fact that you shouldn't misunderstood or judge someone just because of the way they look in the exterior, just like in Kudou's case. (This causes that just like Kudou, to put all the blame on them self because they're used to it, and that is just sad) or that there's much to the fact of the way a character behaves, you don't know the things that they have go through until you see their past. This is one of my favorites because is weird to find in a manga this kind of things and is a unexpectedly sad manga too.

#11
Comadrin

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Wow!  I just have to say wow.  An extremely well done chapter by our mangaka.  It managed to pull the rug out from under us in a very clever fashion.  I think I was most pleased with how Takezou acted.  He may not be the MANLY STUD so beloved of shounen/shoujo readers, but he's definitely an interesting character and not just a two-dimensional stereotype.  I also thought Satowa's way of handling it when she talked to Hiro was very upbeat and mature.  Takezou and Satowa were very adult in a situation that would normally have ended in a disaster pleasing only to the Vice-Principal and the club "advisor."  

 

- Side note for Koto enthusiasts -  An album by Eto Kimio, one of the 20th Century's greatest koto players and composers, has finally become available.  I found it on amazon, and immediately ordered two copies.  His four LP's haven't been published since the late 1960's and this is the first release I have found on CD.  Unfortunately, I have never been able to find out if his Concerto for Koto and Orchestra, which he premiered with Leopold Stokowski was ever recorded.  A great pity if the performance has been lost.



#12
Evilnemesis

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Definitely rougher than most.  It must be horrible to have a loved and loving parent (especially if it's the only living parent) gradually turn into someone who hates you.  In a sense, it must be worse than never having been loved.  I am definitely curious as to who the hell the old buzzard actually is who bullied a grieving widow to the point that she turned on her own daughter.  The mother is a hard, yet brittle character who was easily manipulated, but the greed and downright evil in the old buzzard's face (hard to tell if it's male or female) was completely disgusting, not to mention the disgusting things said to the mother.  

 

From what I'm gathering in this chapter with the flashbacks, it looks like the mother kicked out her own daughter? Is the mother still in the family herself? That's something we don't know yet.

 

I have a feeling that the mother did that because she felt her daughter was extremely unhappy in her current situation, which means that she finally became aware of some things her daughter was feeling. The issue there is that I think she didn't understand WHY her daughter was unhappy, she must of thought it was just the pressure that was too much. Kicking her out, while relieving  her of the pressure to perform did nothing to heal the incredibly large rift between mother and daughter which was the main issue behind her refusal to play. On the contrary, it became so much larger because they don't even interact anymore.

 

Still, I think that it was definitely a beneficial move for her daughter, having friends her age that aren't spartan-like and being able to go at her own whim is really good for her. She'll be able to build herself an identity that isn't completely crafted A to Z by her old family.

Wow!  I just have to say wow.  An extremely well done chapter by our mangaka.  It managed to pull the rug out from under us in a very clever fashion.  I think I was most pleased with how Takezou acted.  He may not be the MANLY STUD so beloved of shounen/shoujo readers, but he's definitely an interesting character and not just a two-dimensional stereotype.  I also thought Satowa's way of handling it when she talked to Hiro was very upbeat and mature.  Takezou and Satowa were very adult in a situation that would normally have ended in a disaster pleasing only to the Vice-Principal and the club "advisor."  

 

- Side note for Koto enthusiasts -  An album by Eto Kimio, one of the 20th Century's greatest koto players and composers, has finally become available.  I found it on amazon, and immediately ordered two copies.  His four LP's haven't been published since the late 1960's and this is the first release I have found on CD.  Unfortunately, I have never been able to find out if his Concerto for Koto and Orchestra, which he premiered with Leopold Stokowski was ever recorded.  A great pity if the performance has been lost.

 

 

Classic trope right here, the bitter girl who's been betrayed by everyone.

 

Very well handled by our club members. Honestly, her little trick was going to fail from the get go. She's hiding the fact that she's been kicked out by her family and is living alone! Well... everyone would pretty much understand the reason behind that.


Especially when there's 4 delinquents / ex-delinquents that probably have more than enough problems at home. Our club leader also has some issues at home too, didn't he fail to get into the High School of his choice because he ( dat Japanese cold strikes again ) was sick? Couldn't attend the exam. Honestly I forgot, but bottom line is, every kid( every person actually) in the world understand that what happens with your family is private life.



#13
Comadrin

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Well, not another chapter to comment on, but I received the koto CD's  I ordered.  They are fantastic!  Also, the ninth track is Rokudan.  It is an incredible piece of music.  Listening to the album, I fell in love with the koto all over again.  Listen to  all the contemporary artists, and the koto ensembles.  But get Eto Kimio's CD, and listen to all the pieces he plays.  It it incredible.  I haven't heard anything to compare to it.  



#14
inzaratha

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Another good chapter  - the whole x chan and y chan thing was cute and they all passed.    His friend was acting like a friend here too and thanking their club president and I thought it was nice that Chika was able to acknowledge and thank him again and ask her to play - ( which was really beautiful and I think they are making baby steps in the romance department after he helped her with the cold and then she blushed when he asked her to eat with them but then he said no but it' was so she would eat with the other girl.    As a club they are working much better.   Even the other girl making apologies and receiving slaps was showing a lot of progress.    



#15
Evilnemesis

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Another good chapter  - the whole x chan and y chan thing was cute and they all passed.    His friend was acting like a friend here too and thanking their club president and I thought it was nice that Chika was able to acknowledge and thank him again and ask her to play - ( which was really beautiful and I think they are making baby steps in the romance department after he helped her with the cold and then she blushed when he asked her to eat with them but then he said no but it' was so she would eat with the other girl.    As a club they are working much better.   Even the other girl making apologies and receiving slaps was showing a lot of progress.    

 

Yeah she was the cutest this chapter. They way she blushed and acted so love-struck  the two girls obviously knew she had the hots for our loveable delinquent. In fact the one with the shorter hair already suspected it when they introduced themselves a few chapters back. I also found it funny that the first mention of Houtsuki's large mammaries was mentioned by a girl. Normally you'd expect boys their age to talk about it, but they're such diligent students. No time for that!

 

And the math.. "Please teach me how to stop X-chan from being alone". So incredibly cute. 

 

This chapter also gave character development to "tecchan" which we don't see that often since he's not in the club.

 

So it seems that everyone is making progress on all front, but now that they can concentrate on the piece... I'm sure stuff is going to happen.



#16
Comadrin

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I'm sure stuff is going to happen.

 

Lookin' forward to it.



#17
Evilnemesis

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Lookin' forward to it.

 

Heart warming chapter here, it's basically a continuation of the group moving forward, even our "never get serious" girl is moving on.

 

I gotta say though, his aunt is hooooooot.

Although she looks mean, she still picked him up, and she probably gives very good advice once in a while when she feels like it ( like when she said it would only rot if you didn't play it ).

 

There's probably going to have some flashback of him in the rain with her having an umbrella or some shit, so cliché but so good.

 

He stil has a small place in the pretty huge place... Still better than going to "that" household. Referring to his dad's of course.


Edited by Evilnemesis, 22 March 2014 - 07:46 PM.


#18
inzaratha

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That chapter had some really good character growth there. 



#19
Comadrin

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That chapter had some really good character growth there. 

 

It certainly did, pretty much for all the members of the club.  Satowa is becoming better at dealing with other people.  Chika is becoming more determined to learn and more patient and understanding of others.  The three comedy relief guys are working hard at getting better and growing more responsible.  Hiro is getting more serious about the club and the koto.  Takezou is getting more positive minded from everyone's enthusiasm and also determined to get better at the koto.  I'm really enjoying this story a lot.


Edited by Comadrin, 24 March 2014 - 05:14 AM.


#20
Jae

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With chapter 15, I'd have to admit that I'm liking Takezou more and more. The mangaka is giving a closer scope of the character chapter by chapter. The character development of Takezou is what I look forward to the most. His presence is kind of overshadowed by other characters in previous chapters, but now... I'm hella excited to have him in the spotlight.