Review: Stepping on Roses Vol 5 by Rinko Ueda


Title: Stepping on Roses Vol 5

Author: Rinko Ueda

Publisher: Viz

ISBN: 978-1421539423


May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

Poor Sumi Kitamura… Her irresponsible older brother Eisuke keeps bringing home orphans for her to take care of even though they can barely afford their own basic needs! Just when Sumi’s financial problems become dire, wealthy Soichiro Ashida enters her life with a bizarre proposition: he’ll provide her with the money she so desperately needs if she agrees to marry him. But can Sumi fool high society into thinking she’s a proper lady? Moreover, is it worth giving up everything for this sham of a marriage?


Oh, my! Sumi!  Are you really that dumb?  I know that you  are very naïve, but in this volume, you push the boundaries of believability! I hesitate to label you too stupid to live because I adore you, but please!! Find some common sense! Quickly!  Not only are you breaking Soichiro’s damaged heart, you are causing me no end of heartache!  How do you get yourself into these situations?

Let me take a deep breath, and try to explain my feelings for Stepping on Roses.  I love this series, and I love all of the characters.  Even the ones I’m supposed to hate.  The villains are vile, yet they are human.  The heroes are flawed, and sometimes hard to love.  This is a giant melting pot of angst, about how a lack of communication can destroy happiness.  Just rip it right out of your hands.  Because neither Sumi nor Soichiro can adequately express their feelings and fears, all they keep doing is hurting each other.  Of course, they have a little help from meddling outsiders, which makes the misunderstandings even more muddled. And even more fun to read about.

Nozomu makes it no secret that he is in love with Sumi, which is destroying Miu.  With all of these marriages of convenience, you would think that Miu would understand the cold hard facts of her union with Nozomu.  He only married her out of obligation to his family, and because he is in love with his former best friend’s wife, the chances of him finding happiness with Miu are slim. Even though she longs for his affections.  No wonder she takes out her hurt and humiliation on Sumi.  It certainly isn’t Sumi’s fault that Nozomu has turned into a stalking creep, though she could go a teeny bit more out of her way to avoid him.  He has already proven that he is both unstable and dangerous.  Sumi must have forgotten that.

Yea, did I mention that I really would like to pick Sumi up by the scruff of her neck and give her a good shake?  Maybe jar some sense loose in her head?  I know that she is gullible and trusting, but I find it so hard to believe that she would willingly go off with Nozomu by herself again, especially after the disaster the last time.  Sumi, please!  Girl, you have to start using your noggin!  Do not go anywhere alone with that Nozomu guy! 

I love how complicated life is getting for both Soichiro and Sumi.  Every time they turn around, there is a new complication or a new disaster waiting to derail their plans.  Nothing is simple in this series, and nothing seems to go smoothly – not for anyone.  That is part of the fun, and that’s what keeps me reading.  This is a very entertaining soap opera, with beautiful, clean art, and characters I want to hate – but can’t!

Grade: A-

Review copy purchased from Rightstuf