Title: VS. Versus #4
Author: Keiko Yamada
May Contain Spoilers
In New York to perform with the Hakuto Philharmonic, Reiji has fallen under the sway of conductor Bartholomew, despite Hane’s objections. Reiji learns that Bartholomew was with her when she had her crippling accident, and the damning circumstances behind the tragic event. When Hane doesn’t appear for the concert, Reiji fears that Bartholomew is up to his old tricks. As he races off to his apartment to rescue her, is he forfeiting his chance to play with the orchestra?
I am enjoying the heck out of this series. So many dramatic moments to savor! Reiji dashes hither and yon to have violent confrontations with villains, while Aoi, stepping into the spotlight for his first violin solo, courts death to play the music he loves more than his own life. Even carefree Nachi has a dark past that she hides with an artificial smile. I have to say that Hane is the most pitiable character – even after being cruelly abandoned, she still harbors an almost cancerous love for the man who helped destroyed her career.
The focus turned to Nachi in this book, and her reluctance to return home for the weekend. She coerces the bewildered Reiji to come and pick her up later in the evening. When he finds her being molested by a family member, he confronts her attacker, and later, berates her for keeping quiet about it. She is finally allowed to display emotions other than her constant cheerfulness and silly grins. I thought that the scene with her playing the violin with Reiji accompanying her on the piano was really well done. The art, from the moment she dashed into the room on her scooter, captured her infectious joy as she performed music created by her favorite composer.
Rated for Teen +