|▪||PUBLISHED BY:||DIGITAL MANGA PUBLISHING|
|▪||FORMAT/COLOR:||JAPANESE FORMAT / BW|
|▪||REVIEWED BY:||HOLLY ELLINGWOOD|
The final volume of this inspiring romance almost didn’t exist. It was originally slated for only two volumes but there was still one large chapter (about 65 pages) left over. A third manga volume was created and two bonus stories added to make a fuller, richer experience before the beautiful story draws to a close. Katsura has become more confident in his archery. At the Red and White Tournament it shows, and more than one young man takes notice of the maturing and good looking vice-captain. Much to Sou’s dismay, three young men want personal time with Katsura. First is the mysterious and mercurial Matsunae who was challenging Katsura last volume. Next is the appearance of a new student who is Sou’s age. He is handsome, difficult to fathom, and Katsura feels drawn to him. Could Sou have a rival? One thing is for certain, Kouichi has noticed Akira’s not-so-platonic intentions. And it may well force Katsura’s best friend to finally take a stand and confront Katsura with his long held feelings of romantic love towards him. Now Sou may have to deal with two rivals as Kouichi lays it on the line for Katsura: if you had to choose between Sou or me, which would it be?
A lot of emotional happenings are forced upon the growing Katsura in this final volume. As he strives to find a way to make his archery reflect his heart, he must first clear the field and his mind to make a decision of what he wants, and who he wants. Like stories such as Desire and Only the Ring Finger Knows, there’s a lot of emotional depth to the characters which makes for a more romantically moving piece. The outstanding art work, so clean, handsomely portrays the journey of Katsura as he strives to purify his archery and find the clean shot so that his heart can sail through the air and land to rest on the target of his love. He must first dodge a number of Cupid’s arrows from rivals left right and center. Although not all the final fates are given of these characters we have come to know and care about so much, the story concludes at a point where we see the goal Katsura has reached in his life, and feel satisfied with it.
The archery theme is worked splendidly within the manga series, giving it an added spiritual depth with its Zen philosophy of archery seen applied, or at least used as a metaphor, in many ways to Katsura’s journey of life, adulthood and love.
Rin draws to a romantic close in this final volume of the splendid yaoi series. Filled with romance and compelling introspection, it is an attractive and moving manga.