VS Versus #5 by Keiko Yamada Manga Review


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Title:  Vs Versus #5

Author:  Keiko Yamada

Publisher: CMX

ISBN:  9781401210724

May Contain Spoilers

Reiji is accused of attacking Nachi’s brother, and to protect his friend, he refuses to reveal the details of their fight.  To prevent him from being expelled, Nachi must confront her brother and drop her carefree facade.  When she confesses her love to Reiji, he’s caught totally off-guard.  Blind to her feelings, in love with Mitsuko, he rejects her.  Wounded, Nachi declares that she’s giving up the violin.  Will Reiji be able to keep her friendship, and convince her to play again?

Life for Reiji is filled with so many upheavals, it’s a wonder he gets anything done!  First, he’s got Nachi turning all girly on him and declaring her undying love for him, and then he’s got Aoi putting himself at death’s door every time he plays the violin!  Why can’t a guy just have normal friends?  Oh, wait, Reiji would hardly be considered normal himself.

I didn’t like the way Nachi just caved after Reiji spurned her affections.  I thought she was stronger than that.  Sure, she had a lot on her mind, what with her lecherous brother being thrown out of the family home and the love of her life pining for another woman.  She became a lifeless shell, and she even turned her back on her family, thinking that she, and by extension, her violin,  was the reason her step-brother turned into such a rotten egg.  Hopefully someone will whack her with a bow and set her straight again.

Now Aoi has an entirely different problem.  Back in New York, when he collapsed during the concert with the Hakuto Philharmonic, he made his heart condition even worse.   Now he struggles to keep the severity of his illness a secret.  Reiji helps him cover up his condition, selfishly wanting to continue to compete with him, but also ignorant of how poor Aoi’s health really is.  When Mitsuko reveals the truth, that Aoi’s doctor told him to retire from performing, Aoi lashes out against them, refusing to give up his music.  For Kenzaki, his violin is his life,  and the prospect of living without it is unbearable. 

Reiji is finally forming some relationships in this volume, even though they are shaped with his own selfish purposes in mind.  He has respect for the skill Nachi and Kenzaki possess, and he wants to compete against them, because they bring out his own abilities. He is again causing Mitsuko grief, and in this volume, Aoi is causing difficulties for her as well.  Everyone in Versus lets their emotions carry them along on a tide of self-created turbulence.  While I’m enjoying the series, I’m so glad that I don’t have to deal with these people in real life.  It would be so exhausting! 

Grade: B

Rated for Teen +

This review is based on a galley provided by the publisher, CMX.