Who Would Like this Series/Volume?
I can basically just point you to former volumes. Hey, it’s a sequel after all.
For: If you liked the volumes before, you’ll like this one.
Nothing’s changed compared to former volumes.
Translation: No for the light novel.
NOTE: These summaries can never give you an accurate impression on how the book reads or what the book is really like. It simply gives you the gist of the novel, but don’t judge the book by this alone. It can’t be helped that things read rushed and colorless in a summary. You can get an idea by reading the conclusion and, finally, by reading it yourself!
First of all I gotta say one thing: the illustrations in this series are getting ridiculously good. You should consider buying it just to admire the detailed and high quality illustrations, really. I doubt the anime did better (haven’t watched it yet) or that it lacks behind any other otaku focused light novel series.
In this volume, we finally get to know what’s been almost obvious already: Aika’s headed for win. He basically turns down Ery for no good reason at all. Reiko gets such an anti-climatic confession scene, that it hurts. Did Karen get anything? I mean, I wrote the summary so I’m the one who should know, but if there was anything I’ve already forgotten. Can’t be significant, then. I liked her present though. Reiko’s present was something a parent would give a child. Very impersonal. Haqua’s was the typical child present. And Aika’s was just dumb. So I don’t know how Reiko’s fits in, but the rest gave something according to the impression I have of the particular character.
The birthday party itself did picture the super rich stuff great again. In terms of comedy, however, I didn’t like it at all. Only the grayscale illustrations of Kujou got a smile out of me, the olympic fire, Obama, and whatever were just meh. So altogether I found the birthday party arc rather boring. It didn’t feel like it had any substance to it either. Kimito simply goes there, some rich-ass-stuff gets pulled off, he sits there like an idiot, gets the presents from the four girls, and that’s it. All this upbuilding for that. I would’ve wished for more stuff to happen with the other girls, yet it was just an excuse to repeat that past event with Ery.
And here I see another flaw. Ery’s problem is basically that her present’s very short-lived. But this fact doesn’t change. No matter whether Kimito eats one piece or the whole thing, it’s gone after. So why even settle for this present? Can someone be this short-sighted? When you try to think of a present, it should be clear to you right away that a cake’s very evanescent.
While we’re at it: did you guess right from the start that her amnesia’s at least party faked? ‘Cause I did. All the talk with her mum about how she should act like she did back then, and even her saying that maybe she should quit voice acting altogether were hints enough for me.
Putting it all together, there are, in my opinion, hardly any memorable scenes (Kuroe’s appearance was interesting, and Reiko’s attempt on a confession at least memorable ’cause rare), the comedy had little impact, the storyline was rather under- than overwhelming, and one “big” thing happened: “past” Ery confessed and got turned down (that’s what it means when the reply’s evasive, if you ask me), and Aika got crowned as the winner – and all that in a pretty anti-climatic fashion.
I read it pretty much in one go, because I was a bitch for the plot. After having read 9 volume of a series, that’s not hard. But in the end, it was disappointing. It’s the weakest volume so far. And after 9 months of writing this volume, I’m surprised it is.
You’ll certainly like this volume if you’re an Ery fan and want to see her go dere. If you’re not, then you’ll probably find the read very unrewarding. However, if you’re pretty damn fluent in Japanese and can just read it without effort, it’ll still be entertaining to a certain degree. In case you’re not, your efforts will probably remain unpaid.
Giving it a 6/10 feels kind of hard since it’s not boring at all, but it’s disappointing. And as it’s, in my humble opinion, the weakest volume so far, it’ll get a 6.
tl;dr: lacks inspiration, impact, balance.