Rascal Does Not Dream of a Lost Singer

By Hajime Kamoshida and Keji Mizoguchi. Released in Japan as “Seishun Buta Yarou wa Mayoeru Singer no Yume wo Minai” by Dengeki Bunko. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Andrew Cunningham.

As we hit double digit volumes for this series, and we start what is basically “Rascal: The College Years”, it’s probably a good time to ask ourselves what we really want out of the series. Let’s face it, I’d be perfectly happy just watching Sakuta interact with the rest of the cast, no plot or dangerous supernatural phenomenon needed. Add in 40-50 pages of descriptions of subway stations, which is about the average with this series, and you could say that we don’t NEED the main premise of the series anymore. The main cast, for the most part, has accepted their past and trauma, and made a good effort at moving on. Sakuta and Mai are adults in college, and even Kaede will probably be graduating soon. There’s no NEED for what has been termed “Adolescence Syndrome”. And so, until the last page of the book, I assumed that this was the point of this volume. That the problems Uzuki had were totally normal.

You can sum up the plot of this volume as follows: “What measure is a non-airhead?”. Sakuta and Mai are now at college, and living the blissful couple life (well, except they barely see each other due to her job). He’s also tutoring two students from his old high school at a cram school, and hasn’t had to worry about any supernatural phenomenon in a year and a half. Uzuki and Nodoka, from Sweet Bullet, are also there, and Uzuki is in a lot of Sakuta’s classes, as they share a major. Uzuki is, of course, her usual lovable ditz self, and seems to get along with everyone in the class. “Seems” being the operative word. Because one day, Uzuki shows up at class, and something is… off. She’s making efforts to fit in more. She’s picking up social cues. What the hell is going on? This is so unlike her!

There’s actually a whole new mini-cast introduced here, which no doubt will get more of a look-in in future volumes. We meet Miori, who honestly seems to be Rule 63 Sakuta a lot of the time, and her obvious attempts to insert herself into his life. Ikumi, who we briefly saw in the last book, is briefly seen again, and Sakuta is still vaguely uncomfortable around her. There’s the cram school kids. I feel the author is apologizing for a lot of the old cast only making token appearances, but such is life. As for Uzuki and her issues, I thought it was very well handled and sometimes very sad, and the climax of the book was excellent. The actual resolution, though, feels not QUITE as happy as I’d have liked… especially given the OTHER new character we see at the end, who implies that this really WAS supernatural, not just Uzuki suddenly maturing. Enter Touko Kirishima.

No, it’s Touko, not Touka, this is not becoming a Tokyo Ghoul crossover. Exactly what it’s becoming is still undecided. But I will admit feeling unsatisfied that the catalyst for Uzuki’s issues was actually a third party. I will have to content myself with the fact that the conflict and resolution of it was all Uzuki, and she did very well.

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