Kaori signs Arima up for his first piano competition in two years, and she coaches/berates him into practicing and getting back to the level he was once at. She tries to get him to put his own emotion into the pieces, but this is something Arima has always struggled with. Similarly, it's time for all the sports tournaments, with Tsubaki competing in softball and Watari competing in soccer. Tsubaki becomes jealous of how close Kaori is to Arima, and she relives some of their childhood memories when she supported him through physical and mental anguish, including carrying him home after he hurt his ankle. She's pleasantly surprised to see Arima come out to support her in her tournament, and even more pleased when he carries her home after she hurts her ankle.
The narrative pacing was much more even in this volume, and there wasn’t a lot of jumbled like vol 2. The flashbacks were clear and provided a lot of necessary exposition, and even Arima’s visions and memories were much more clearly defined and added depth. There are some really sweet moments, especially between Arima and Tsubaki. The struggle Arima goes through in this volume about adding his own emotion and soul into a piece is a quintessential struggle of musicianship, and it was well portrayed (in my musical opinion). This series will really speak to students who are involved in music or art in general, as most of the visual and performing arts require the artist to leave a piece of themselves in each of their creations.
The art is still a little rough, and it pulls me out of the reading every once in a while, but the story makes up for the strange details or awkward proportions.
Sara's Rating: 9/10
Suitability Level: Grades 7-12
Reviews of previous volumes in this series: vol 1, vol 2
Publication Date: August 25, 2015
ISBN: 9781632361738 (Paperback)
Tags: Rating: 9/10, Suitability: Middle School, Suitability: High School, Manga, Music, Friendship, Kodansha
I've been reading manga and comicbooks for years. Now, I write reviews and other helpful things for School Librarians, teachers, parents, and students.
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