Sasaki and Miyano: Second Years Light Novel Review

Sasaki and Miyano: 2d-Years Gentle Novel Overview

The Sasaki and Miyano light novels aim to bridge some of the gaps that the manga’s original creator, Shō Harusono, had to leave behind. They promise to offer us more time with our favorite characters as elements that were brushed over or hardly mentioned have their chance to shine, in addition to letting us know that Harusono is closely connected with these books—something her illustrations still make clear. That applies to characters and story aspects as well. For example, Sasaki and Miyano: Second-Years gives Kuresawa the same amount of page time as Sasaki and Miyano: First Years did for Tashiro.

Kuresawa narrates a complete three of the book’s five chapters. Sasaki receives the last two. He might not be the most intriguing character in the series, but he is certainly one of the most reliable, and this is also true in this instance. Kursesawa’s chapters consistently revolve on his fiancée, if there’s one thing you can be sure of. He imagines everything through her eyes and what she would like to hear about, even when he isn’t with her or speaking to her. Kotoko Hachijo, the series’ committed novelist, is a talented enough writer that we can see that there’s more to him than just the joke of the guy who’s much too into his lady, even though at times that might come across as irritating or even eerily obsessed. Kuresawa is always aware of Yuki’s serious health problems, which keep her from leading a normal life. Although she’s not in the hospital for this volume, Kuresawa seems to want to live experiences for the two of them, and she’s still very much stuck at home. Though he isn’t subverting his own life in the process, he can’t help but think about her, and that gives him a unique viewpoint on the developing (at least in this volume) romance between Sasaki and his friend Miyano.

Kuresawa, a young man in love, senses the situation long before Miyano does or until others do as well. While Miyano is still hesitating, he is well aware of Sasaki’s feelings and is sympathetic to the elder boy’s position. This is most evident in the chapter that describes the class trip from the second year; while he’s thinking about taking pictures for his girlfriend, he also begins to consider what he could do for Sasaki. Additionally, he sees through some of Miyano’s actions and denials to realize that he’s also trying to work through some warmer feelings. Kuresawa largely keeps his distance, but even in this case, we can see him quietly supporting Miyano’s decisions, even if he obviously prefers Miyano to date Sasaki—and not just because his girlfriend is a fujoshi.

Seeing Miyano via Kuresawa’s eyes is one of these chapters’ most fascinating features. This is an opportunity to get a glimpse of the title characters from the outside, as we spend most of the manga inside their thoughts. When Kuresawa is the main character, Miyano comes across as much more prickly, and Sasaki and Kuresawa’s perspectives on Hirano—who appears in the final chapter—are equally fascinating. (Kagiura makes a few brief appearances; Kuresawa is primarily astounded by how enormous he is physically.) The fact that these light novels are written in a style that closely resembles Harusono’s makes their various interpretations of the manga characters feel true to the original while also serving as a powerful reminder that each person is the main character in their own story and that we are only witnessing four different perspectives on the experiences that they have in common.

Harusono’s contributions of the book’s drawings and a few little comics at the rear are really beneficial. (Reading them first doesn’t require turning the book around because they are designed to be read after the prose novel.) The novel’s color drawings are superb, and the two major couples are depicted in some incredibly cute semi-chibi pictures on the second page. It’s probably because Harusono has already sketched out the stories that are included in the book that they blend in so well with the rest of the series. But as I’ve already stated, Hachijo should be commended much for accurately capturing the tone of Harusono’s work.

This might not be as enjoyable as the first novel if you’re not a fan of Kuresawa. Compared to some of the other characters, he lacks some of their interest. His viewpoint does, meanwhile, provide something fresh, and the harmony between his narration and Sasaki’s somewhat less composed voice serves to maintain the book’s overall interest. If you’re a fan of Sasaki and Miyano, you should invest some time in this series since each edition—manga, novels, anime, and anthology—brings something fresh to the table.

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