Friday, October 4, 2019

Nameless Asterism Volume 4 opens up Washio's experience (Manga Review)

three teen girls sit on a couch doing their hair surrounded by stars
Nameless Asterism vol. 4 - 7.5/10

Nameless Asterism vol. 4 (Seven Seas) is split between Washio's back story and Subaru's current story. Both add some needed depth to the characters, and overall it's a strong volume.

To catch up, since it's been a while since volume 3 came out. Nameless Asterism is the story of three female friends trapped in a love triangle. Tsukasa is in love with Washio, Washio is in love with Kotooka, and Kotooka is in love with Tsukasa. Got it?! Then we have Tsukasa's twin brother Subaru who is strangely tied to his sister (maybe it's a twin thing and not a gross thing) who has become friends with Asakura who is in love with Tsukasa. Got it?!

This could be a hot mess, but it's a dramedy so while there is some moping and angst, there are also funny moments and levity. In volume 4, Washio's story, particularly how she met and fell for Kotooka, takes center stage. Through that story, the reader watches as both those girls wrestle with their attraction to girls in vastly different ways. Washio doesn't even bother pretending to be interested in boys, and as she thinks more about her feelings for Kotooka, she realizes that it is romantic love. However, we see Kotooka in her early stages of denial, as she hops from boy to boy trying to find something that will work for her.

Their story reaches an interesting, complex, and somewhat authentic impasse in the final chapters of this volume as it becomes clear that Kotooka knows about Washio's feelings and is trying to drop hints that she can't reciprocate. At the same time Washio is worried that Kotooka might know and is worried about what the hints may mean (ie that she has no shot). Yet, they haven't actually talked so they haven't confirmed it with each other. But it becomes clear that their friendship is struggling in light of the conflict.

The other substantial portion of this volume addresses Subaru and his friendship with Asakura. Asakura genuinely seems to want to be friends, but Subaru is struggling accepting him. Yet, we can't also ignore the potential that Subaru might actually be attracted to Asakura although it isn't ever said in so many words. These chapters add some complexity and depth to Subaru that should help the series in the long run. I'm also glad to see it move away from Subaru's cross dressing as it was never handled with any respect either towards actual cross-dressers or drag queens nor to transgender people. I'm never comfortable with cross dressing as a comedic plot point because that only reaffirms stereotypes that undermine the LGBTQ+ community. So anyway, there is no cross dressing in this volume.

The art is solid with bold lines and a moe-ish quality. There was some nice character depth in this volume and some backstories that add to our empathy for the characters. It'll be interesting to see how they resolve the love triangle especially since we're starting to get more emotional weight in the interactions and seeing the strain it is placing on their friendships.

I'm continuing to like this series and hopeful that it will keep getting deeper and more intimate as the stakes get higher. I hope that it finds a realistic and authentic resolution, though perhaps, that means some pain and grieving and loss and moving on. We'll see, but one can hope. But volume 4 gets a nice 7.5/10.


Please legitimately purchase or borrow manga and anime. Never read scanlations or watch fansubs. Those rob the creators of the income they need to survive and reduce the chance of manga and anime being legitimately released in English.

All comments are moderated by a real person who only checks them once a day. Therefore, comments may take a while before they show up. Thanks for understanding. It's how we keep this a community of lovingkindness.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Remember: please talk about the work, and offer counter points to others' analyses but DO NOT ATTACK THE PERSON whose analysis you are countering. (no ad hominem comments) Thanks! <3