Title: Minima! Vol 4
Author: Machiko Sakurai
Publisher: Del Rey
May Contain Spoilers
I can’t figure out what makes this title so appealing to me. It’s really an average title, with stereotypical characters who don’t really stand out and make themselves very memorable. Ame is a shy girl who can’t express her feelings, while Midori is her childhood friend. He’s hopelessly in love with her, but can’t get her to realize that he’s the guy for her. Instead, Ame has her sights set on the stunningly handsome Sasaki, leading to a love triangle that stays rather low-key and restrained. Most of the story is told with subtle, quiet overtones that lead up to big emotional outpourings from Ame. She’s lacking confidence in herself, she can’t communicate effectively with other people, and she doesn’t see the love that is right in front of her.
What makes Minima! special for me is Nicori. He’s a stuffed toy that can talk. Like Ame, he’s afraid of being rejected and forgotten. He doesn’t want to be thrown away, and this fear eats away at him and keeps him from finding happiness. He is so afraid of Ame setting him aside and forgetting about him that he leaves her and goes back to the amusement park where she found him. While he’s there, he begins to learn what love really means, and that there are far worse worries than being thrown away. Two stuffed dogs make him see that his concerns are groundless, and that never being loved is a fate worse than being thrown away.
The scene with the dogs really got to me. This book just kind of steams along, and then, out of the blue, there is a jolt of emotion that actually makes your heart ache. It’s about the fear of being alone, but finding the strength to finally reach out for what you want the most. It’s about finding within yourself the power to reveal your deepest feelings, regardless of the consequences. Both Ame and Nicori finally face their feelings, leading to a touching, bittersweet ending that seems a little blurred and dreamlike.
I really enjoyed this series. It seemed a little rushed and jumbled at the end, but overall, it delivers a touching read. Do I have to admit that I cried at the end? Both times I read it? At five volumes, this is a fairly short series, so it won’t dent your wallet too much. Give it a try, and I think you’ll get sucked into the magic of Minima!
Review copy provided by Del Rey