Jun 21, 2022
Spoiling the ending in the prologue chapter? Interesting choice.
Keep in mind that at the point of writing this review, I have yet to see the movie, so however well the adaptation performed, it bears no influence on my evaluation of the novel.
This is another work of the “dude with poor social skills gets the popular girl” genre. The schtick this time is that the girl is just straight out terminally ill. This is of course used as a plot device to get these two together, because how else would you build a relationship, duh.
Well, I say “together” but the protagonist couldn’t be more passive. But
of course, the story depends on this, as it could have been over quickly and differently had he not been completely unassertive. These kind of stories should just be slapped with the fantasy genre, as awkward asocial male getting the attention of the resident gyaru is about as plausible as suddenly being teleported to another world and being awarded cheat powers and personal harem. It is no coincidence those two tropes have overlap in the intended audience. So, my dear blank state protagonist, had this not been a fiction, a girl would not suddenly appear and discover your totally awesome personality that is surely hidden only because the harsh society - such scenario is only a simple wish-fulfilment. Only a protagonist of young adult novel could get a free hand-out like that. This is simply not going to work out in a real world.
Seeing the general success of melodrama stories involving some kind of illness or handicap (not just in anime or manga but in media general) makes me wonder, could it be that they are so greatly received simply because people would feel bad not rating it super high, like not doing that would feel like they are being mean towards the poor patients? Well, not that I can fault the work itself for such overreaction of course, unless it’s deliberately exploiting this.
That said… beyond cringing over this kind of setting, when reading this I wasn’t bored most of the time. It’s no brilliant script, but it was quite an alright read. “But wait”, you might be saying at this point, “you’ve spent the whole intro tearing the premise apart, you’re saying it was just alright and yet you gave it a 7? What happened ta girl?”
Well, you see, right when the writing has been going from the “alright” to the “meh” territory and I was contemplating whether to rate this 5 or 6, the finale came around. Ironically, I’d say it was thanks to the novel being so self-aware about how everyone saw the conclusion of terminal illness coming. Thanks to confessing right from the start what is going to happen the story was able to go a bit further than being just a generic final moments of a patient melodrama. A finale that was surprisingly nicely executed with well done emotional pay-off. Now, as much as I would love to write in greater detail about it, I would also like to not rob you of the opportunity to experience it first-hand, so you’ll have to be satisfied with me not spelling everything out. What’s important is that I was suddenly contemplating not between 5 or 6, but between 6 or 7. And I’m possibly getting soft as “good” it is. There, I didn’t completely trash a mostly sentimental piece of fiction, save your booing for later.
So, the most important piece of info regarding this novel that I want to deliver through this review is – if you pick this up, even if you don’t like it that much, I suggest you should at least finish it.
What did you think of this review?