Can Someone Please Explain What’s Going On?! ~A Sign-on-the-Line Wedding Story~, Vol. 5

By Tsuredurebana and Rin Hagiwara. Released in Japan as “Dareka Kono Joukyou wo Setsumei Shite Kudasai! ~Keiyaku Kara Hajimaru Wedding~” by ArianRose. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by Emily Hemphill.

For all those whose favorite part of this series is the disconnect between Viola’s opinion of herself and what everyone else thinks of her, I have delightful news: this book is entirely about that. Indeed, at this point I think the most interesting – and impressive – part of the book is how no one is really sitting Viola down and explaining anything to her. They’re content to merely praise her, let it flow in one ear and out the other, and watch as she slowly (very slowly) figures things out. Now, part of this is that the writer doesn’t want her to suddenly wise up, as that means the series would almost be over. But it also shows that it’s Viola who needs to make the change and realize that she really is a gorgeous, trendy person. This also applies to her marriage – Cercis continues to be content – mostly – in waiting patiently for her to recognize his feelings. She’s still not there yet.

The book begins still on their belated honeymoon, and the most important thing that happens is when they tour the Fisalis mines and Viola takes a liking to the sapphires that have been left behind (because the miners are after the rarer rubies). Cersis decides to make these sapphires – which he renames Viola Sapphires – the hot new thing, and to have her show off how gorgeous they are. Of course, this also means she finally has to go out to parties again, so sadly very little puttering around in her maid outfit in this book. That said, as the book goes on, Viola slowly realizes that fashion and tastes have changed since she was last at an event – and everyone is now following HER. Even the blond ojou, who’d dropped her princess curls and upped her tsundere. Viola also now seems to get that Cersis really does love her. As for her own feelings… work in progress.

There’s a lot of good humor in this book. Some of it is overt, such as everything about the sapphires and Viola’s embarrassment, or Viola, after her near kidnapping in the last book, learning self-defense (and finding her maids all have daggers strapped to their thighs, which she calls sexy). Some of it is more subtle, mostly as Viola’s constant self-deprecation has become both amusing and annoying. Again, all Viola sees when she looks at herself is plain, flat-chested, and gawky, but she fails to realize that she’s basically Twiggy, setting the trend that everyone else has started to follow. Her bafflement at seeing all the other young women at the parties wearing simple hairdos and dresses is really funny. That said… I really hope we are reaching the end of Viola’s endearing bafflement soon. There is only so long you can string this out. I realize that we may never see her have a good opinion about her looks, but maybe we could at least get her to fall in love a bit? (I’d wonder if she’s ace, but this is not that kind of series.)

Despite a bit of frustration, this is a strong volume in a series that runs on light froth, and for those who want to see Viola walking arounnd looking stunning, it’s a must read.

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