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Notes on the fourth Marimite novel, Part 2

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  • atheniag
    Have I mentioned that Sei is gay? Cause she is. Really, obviously gay. I just want to make the point. (In case you feel like arguing that falling in love with
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 3, 2005
      Have I mentioned that Sei is gay? 'Cause she is. Really, obviously
      gay. I just want to make the point.

      (In case you feel like arguing that falling in love with a woman once
      doesn't make you gay, with which I agree, let me remind you that,
      after Shizuka and she have their conversation, she comments that
      Shizuka is quite charming, and that she would have liked to get to
      know her sooner - they could have been good friends. Then Sei kisses
      Shikuka as close to the lips as she can. Still not convinced? Read on.


      The New Year's arc is written in first person, from Yumi's point of
      view. It gives us some serious insight into her thoughts. The rest of
      the Yamayurikai do not show up for this arc, something that is done
      correctly in the manga, but not in the anime.

      The entire first part is Yumi at home with her family on New Year's
      Eve and Day - all very normal family interaction and establishes her
      relationship with Yuuki much better than the anime does. It turns out
      that Yuuki was conceived right after her birth then born prematurely,
      so that he's a little small for a boy. It mortifies Yumi that they
      look like twins, but she's glad he's a boy, so not in the same school
      as her. She's also very older sister-y to him, despite the fact that
      they are pretty much the same age.

      Sachiko's New Year card was drawn with calligraphy pen and ink - Yumi
      did hers on the word processor with clip art, last minute, because she
      forgot. :-)

      Yumi hears the phone ring and her mother answer it, and based on the
      responses, she thinks it must be her grandmother, because her mother
      is speaking so formally. So she's quite shocked to find out that it's

      Yumi's first thought at Sei's invitation to "hatsumode" (first shrine
      visit of the new year) is that she might get to see Sachiko praying at
      the shrine in kimono.

      Sei goes from speaking like an old man, wanting to see Yumi's pajamas
      in her bag, to speaking like a child - probably just to drive Yumi
      crazy. When Yumi asks how Sei got there, Sei responds, "bun bun" -
      like a baby calling a car a "vroom vroom."

      Sei shoves a bag of sweets in Yumi's coat pocket, then spends the rest
      of the scene reaching into Yumi's pocket to pull out candy. (Yumi
      does, as well, so the scenes are accented with flavors as she puts
      pieces in her mouth.)

      When they get to the shrine, Sei makes them get fortunes first. Yumi
      finds it hard to believe that Sei is even normally religious (and, in
      fact, Sei never prays while at the shrine), but when she sees that
      pretty young miko seem to be handing out the omikuji, Yumi becomes
      suspicious of Sei's motives.

      Sei comments that in Yumi's family, she can tell that Mari-sama and
      Buddha live side by side, because of the smell of incense and sacred
      wine that comes from yumi. Yumi starts to protest, but Sei just looks
      at her seriously and says that it was just a metaphor. Yumi think that
      she's right though - although her family isn't religious, they have
      ofuda hanging, and Yuuki has Buddhist objects from Hanadera, while
      she, obviously, has Christian things from Lillian.

      When they finally get up to the front of the line Sei does, in fact,
      flirt with the miko, giving them openly "eroppoi" looks - let's call
      it somewhere between a leer and bedroom eyes, shall we? When the miko
      hands over the omikuji, Sei takes her hand and holds it.

      On the way to the car, Sei keeps handing Yumi all the bags of food to
      carry - at some point Yumi feels as if she's running away from home.

      It turns out that *Sachiko * was the one who coined the "Gingko
      Prince" nickname for Kashiwagi. (And, btw, neither Sei nor Yumi can
      remember his name initially.)

      There is no butler at the door - really, all the servants are gone.
      Yuuki answers the door, to Yumi's shock. Which brings me to this point
      - Yuuki did not lose a bet at the game center - he WAS the bet. His
      friend Kobayashi lost to Kashiwagi, so Kashiwagi got Yuuki for the
      night. lol

      As Yumi gazes lovingly at Sachiko, when she comes to the door, we get
      a *detailed* description of her clothes, her hair - even how her make-
      up is romantic. Yumi is overcome by the desire to turn around and
      shout, "This lovely woman is my onee-sama!" to everyone and anyone

      Sachiko's mother, Sayoko, is very relaxed and delightful. She tells
      Yumi right off to call her Sayoko, and that she will call Yumi Yumi-
      chan. (Yumi notes that when Kashiwagi called her Yumi-chan, Sei got
      pissed, but when Sayoko does, Sei doesn't protest.)

      I think that Kashiwagi is gayer in the novel than he is in the anime.
      Remember - Sei pegged him immediately in the first novel. Here he
      serves tea...traditionally a woman's job.

      Sayoko plays cards with everyone and Yumi begins to really like her.
      But when she catches Sayoko-obasama pouting at Sachiko she wants to
      run up and hug the older woman, because she's so cute! (I'm SO sorry
      we didn't have time in the anime to get to know Sayoko better - she's
      really adorable.) Oh, and Yumi recognizes the pout - she's seen
      Sachiko use it on Rosa Chinensis.

      Yumi catches Kashiwagi stealing sushi out of Sachiko's box and gets
      indignant...even when she realizes that he's probably just taking the
      things she doesn't like, it still annoys her. In her head she calls
      him, "You bastard Kashiwagi" - in the same tone of voice that Rosa
      Gigantea uses when she talks to him.

      Oh - when the sushi is opened, both Yuuki and Yumi hesitate to eat it,
      knowing that, if they do, they will never be able to eat sushi again.
      lol (I've had that problem myself, so I sympathize. Once you've had
      good sushi, you can never order it again at a place that's mediocre.)

      Unlike in the anime, (where Sachiko and Yumi never had this talk) Yumi
      *does* know about Kashiwagi's sexual preference and she worries
      through the whole story about Yuuki. (Acting older sister-y again -
      and she's very conscious of the fact.)

      Kashiwagi and Sei get into an argument just before Sayoko comes by
      with the Nakakiyono paper and brushes. Kashiwagi complains that no one
      likes him because he's too cool. Yumi think of Yoshino's line - "your
      brain is turning into miso."
      Sei just clears her throat derisively.

      Sayoko and the boys all do the Nakakiyono charm with the girls. Yumi
      complains that her writing is terrible - she's not used to writing
      vertically, or right to left, or with a brush. Then she sees Yuuki's
      characters and feels better.

      And last of all, Yumi's first dream of the New Year is this:

      Sachiko, dressed as Benten, goddess of wisdom, is staggering under
      many large black boxes of sushi, while Sei, as Kokuten, god of wealth,
      has bags of takoyaki and roasted corn in one hand and in the other
      from her mallet flows a wave of candy, "falling down like a never-
      ending rain."

      The End

      Once again, a fun book from Konno Oyuki, a woman for whom I have
      nothing but immense respect as a writer. (Except her puns kill me.)

      Oh, and btw...Sei is really gay. lol
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