Dude! It's SO epic! It's SOOOO epic!! You should all absolutely pick up this manga and give it the chance it deserves! If you read at least past the first three volumes and are not enjoying this series, then I don't know what to say other than: READ UP TO THE HALF POINT! (That would be Volume 7, my friends! And do we remember how epic Volume 7 was? We SHOULD~~~! XD) I'm seriously a major advocate for this manga! I know that if you love series like Fruits Basket then you're going to loooove this one! It has a lot of differences from Takaya-sensei's series, and they're both their own separate entities, but while they both take different routes to create great stories, they achieve the same enjoyable epic-ness that Fruits Basket became famous for. Now V.B. Rose just needs the support of crazy fangirls like myself to help boost its reputation! XD
So what can I say about this volume? Well we start off with more things concerning Mitsu and his past, especially the times that he knew Tsuyu. We get to see a lot of how they met, and also how they eventually lost contact with each other. The past follows Mitsu's side of the story since we've seen a lot of Tsuyu's side in previous volumes (and the last one) and it goes all the way from elementary school up until they meet again in high school. It's really nice because a lot of the things that I was flipping out about just in the last few volumes about how I didn't understand Mitsu's actions at all, nor Tsuyu's, no matter how hard I looked at them, were finally explained. Mitsu finally gets to share his thoughts and feelings with us, and suddenly we begin to understand everything we've seen from the beginning of this series up until this very point. You're sitting there every few pages and are struck with memories of times where he acted a certain way and you just couldn't figure out what the motive behind it was. We get that all explained to us step by patient step in this volume, and it's an amazing read when you get to see a character so complex and so profound revealed to us. And Mitsuya Kuromine only becomes more profound once we find out his feelings. They are unlike anything else expressed to us in this series. And to me... they are vivid and painful, but also beautiful, passionate, and full of power.
Kuromine-san has become a new man in my eyes after reading this volume, and the love that I had for him has expanded to include a deep-rooted and unshakable respect. Whether he grew or not, I can't say. I think in the end though, he was hiding this from us for so long. Just like Tsuyu was a little bit. But Kuromine-san especially. He was always this amazing man. We just couldn't see it because he didn't show it to us. When you finally see it all come, and man... the way it comes out...! *Smiles and sits back in her seat, looking into the distance thoughtfully as she runs over the memories* I must have read that part over ten times before I even put up my status updates as comments. And then another few times before I moved on in the actual manga. It was one of the best parts in this entire series. Seriously, it puts this volume on the same level of intense awesome as my other favorite, Volume 8. These two, Volumes 8 and 12, are my all time favorite volumes in this entire series. And I can't say a lick of what happened because it'll spoil the entire gosh darn thing for you readers. *Grins warmly* You seriously are missing out for not reading this series. Just saying. I know, for like the millionth time. <3 But you really are. It's so good. Just so, <i>so good. I want everyone in the world to read this series. *Laughs* And I know that's a high mark to hit, and I probably never will. But that's how much it means to me. And how amazing it is to me. <3 I just have to share it with the world, or at least you GoodReaders. *Laughs*<br/>
Anyway, back to the manga itself. Hidaka-sensei has a great sense of balance as usual. After the majority of the manga is filled with this immense revelation, we get a very hilarious concoction of humor in the ending parts. <3 It's so great to see her once more easing our hearts after a ridiculously emotional roller-coaster ride through this volume and the one before it. Not to mention she did a spectacularly considerate thing and wrote only two side panels in the entire volume, and then only at breaks where it wouldn't be interrupting any of the intense moments. Which, considering what was happening throughout most of this volume, was VERY much appreciated! Ahh, there are <i>so many compliments and things I want to say! I can't! Because I want every single one of you to live through all the same moments I did with the same freshness and love that I went through. I will tell you this: By the time you're done reading this volume, your heart will be full of so many wonderful feelings. Somehow, someway, everything winds up better at the end than at the beginning. And you'll never know how much the better until you read it for yourselves. So do yourself, and Hidaka-sensei who wrote this great series, and also me a favor, and get this series already so you can see just how epic it is. <3<br/>
I want to make one more side note! Since I don't have Volume 13 yet, and I don't know the release date for the last volume, Volume 14, I may not update this for a while yet with my last two reviews. But for those of you following them, please don't wait for them all to be out. Just read them now. If enough time passes, you might even do like me and read them through from beginning to the end again then. <3 But whenever I get my hands on the next two volumes, I will come back to you with reviews and status updates aplenty. *Smiles warmly* For now, let our separation be hopefully brief! Go out and try this great story! I truly hope you'll love it as much as I do! <3