It was that volume that made it an all-time great.
Clearly, even without it, Marimite would’ve gone to my hall of fame as soon as i finished the penultimate chapter of Hello, Goodbye.
But it was that volume that made me elevate it to all-time great with 3 more entries left.
I’m talking about Marimite 30.
It starts interesting with the arrival of Sachiko amd Kashiwagi. The car part was pretty good and unexpected. But of course, it isn’t until they arrive to the amusement park in less than a stellar mood that the chapters start switching to the other couples. Which is the key to this chapter’s greatness.
We see the reason for every characters foul mood, we see how they try to either ignore it and plunge ahead, or pretend that is not happening and take it easy. The two most interesting pov’s are the Yellow Rose sisters and Tsutako and Shouko.
The interactions(or lacktherof) between them is amusing, finding the cause and seeing how raw they get is troubling…. but then their overall demeanor during the day just pulls me in and makes me want to know more about them, hear more from them… See more. It settles with Yoshino realizing the root of the problem during an incredibly rare talk and walk with Sachiko.
They talk about the problem sensibly, though a little bit hesitant on Yoshino’s part. But the way they solve it, the beauty of them two interacting… it’s just a moment that stands out as one of the best from the whole series.
Tsutako’s dilemma was more into herself, she had the challenge of not using the camera the whole day, as agreed with her uncle.. And while she and Shouko were amiable enough(with Shouko adorably trying to put up topics to not let Tsutako get bored), it isn’t until Tsutako opens up about the joy she feels from Yumi and the others forgetting all about her camera that their pov starts to shine.
This part just finishes fleshing out Tsutako for me. She was the cool girl with the camera, and nothing dettered her or shook her. But by opening up her insecurities to the incredibly adorable Shouko, i finally let her in, and came to love her. That hit home, her describing the joy of Yumi seeing her and inviting her as a friend, not as a girl with a camera.
The ending chapter is masterful. It’s an all-time great chapter. It’s name:
Amongst the Stardust.
This is the pinacle of Oyuki Konno’s writing. Her prose, her feelings, her everything is swirled together in this chapter in a way that brings out extreme emotion from anybody who’s come to love Marimite.
The first part is about Yumi and Sachiko mounting a carrousel. Yumi is in the horse behind Sachiko. I can’t describe the feelings the last few lines brought on. Sachiko happy, full of visible joy, turning back to look at Yumi and calling out to her, and Yumi capturing the sight with her mind, and with her heart. Incredible.
The last part is where it all comes together, all the arguments have been settled or are settled. The happiness from being with each other is engulfing, and the wonder of the fireworks fills them with emotion.
There they are, standing on the shore of the lake. One as a group, one as friends, ones that love each other.
Tsutako and Shouko framing the sky with their fingers, Noriko and Shimako holding hands, Sachiko amiably agreeing to let Kashiwagi drive them back, Yoshino lovingly telling Rei “Your mouth is open”. And Kanako and Yuuki standing near the starstruck soeurs, Yumi and Touko. Holding hands, smiling, filled with wonder. Masterful, emotional, sublime moment that is made all the more sweeter after 29 volumes of tears, laughs, and joy with these characters.
And it ends, with this:
“Shine, shine. Sparkle.
The firework’s brilliance was just a moment in time.
But they’d never forget it.
Everyone was smiling.
All sorts of things had happened, but everyone would carry with them some happy memories.
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