It’s been a while since I really wanted to throw a book across the room. Which is a shame since the cover (and the art inside) is so pretty.
Now, I didn’t expect smooth sailing in regards to Maria and Rintarou’s relationship. At the very least, they’ve been separated for a couple of years, and Rintarou’s flirtatious cousin has been around in the meantime. But the drama for most of Golden Japanesque: A Splendid Yokohama Romance volume 4 is just so frustrating.
Maria received notice of Rintarou’s return last volume, but she’s completely taken aback when he shows up…I think the next day? It’s possible there were a couple of days in between, but either way, it’s very shortly after his letter arrives. He makes his entrance by throwing a wooden sword as Chiaki tries hitting on Maria. How serious he is, whether she realizes or not, who knows, as Maria instead runs away because she’s not ready to meet Rintarou yet! So first Rintarou has to spend the rest of the chapter getting her to look at him. Next chapter, after he controls the urge to kiss her, he requests Maria accompany him to a welcome home party where it will double as an engagement announcement.
Drama erupts at the party, but before we get to the chaos caused by other people, Maria completely drags her feet in going. She actually puts on the dress given to her by Rintarou (who previously expressed how much he was looking forward to seeing her in the gown), thinks she isn’t good enough, puts on her everyday clothes, and then tells her exasperated tutor she thinks she’ll just work at the party instead.
I know Maria doesn’t have any real friends and has low self-confidence, but seriously? And even though she changes right after, Maria still doesn’t formally enter the room. Instead, she grabs a curtain or large sheet or whatever and hides herself, and then when she sees Rintarou greet a foreign woman with a kiss on the cheek and a hug, she flees.
Yeah, irritating. Drama in general can be maddening, but at least what happens at the party is drama caused by others and not the heroine repeatedly running away. If so much of the volume hadn’t been spent on Maria being too embarrassed by herself, the manga could have better built up the tension during the party and even better shown the immediate reactions of the two leads instead of showing them as a quick flashback. Why does entering the party take up more pagetime than the disaster at the party?!
I do have more optimism for Golden Japanesque: A Splendid Yokohama Romance volume 5, as Rintarou and Maria are forced to regroup their relationship plans. But readers looking forward to their romantic reunion in volume 4 are going to discover that Maria’s actions ruin so much of it.