Anonymous Noise Vol. 3

Anonymous Noise Volume 3 by Ryoko Fukuyama

I’ve found Anonymous Noise both intriguing and frustrating due to some of the overly contrived coincidences (even for shoujo manga). However with the third volume either the storytelling has settled down a bit or it just took a couple volumes for my suspension of disbelief to kick in, because I found myself smiling more while I was reading this manga instead of feeling snarky.

One of the things that I found a bit frustrating in the earlier volumes is that there were some characters functioning in silos to a degree that seemed somewhat ridiculous. The love triangle in the manga is clear, but if the three sides of the triangle haven’t each had a conversation with each other, it seems like the reader is just waiting around for the plot to progress. In this volume people actually talked to each other! They might have been lying dramatically the whole time, but a conversation happened. First, Nino and Miou hash it out a bit, as Nino has taken on Miou’s previous role as singer in Yuzu’s band while Miou moves on to work at a more professional level with Momo. Nino starts learning the guitar after Momo’s (female) manager gives her an old guitar of his. Nino continues to be incredibly inarticulate about her own feelings, and Miou helps her out by pointing out that she’s jealous of any woman who is close to Momo.

Yuzu’s angst is dialed up to 11 as usual as he struggles with his hopeless infatuation for Nino, and when he and Momo meet they finally figure out that they’ve been obsessed with the same girl/muse all along. Nino and Momo finally have a conversation where they confess that they USED to have crushes on each other. I enjoy the way Yuzu is in tune with his feelings far too much and while Momo might be experiencing a torrent of emotions, she’s much less self aware. So much angst!!! While the pacing of all these plot points still doesn’t feel as measured and natural as most of the other shoujo manga I read, the scenes of the characters performing have a tremendous energy that makes up for a lot. Really, one of the main things that won me over was the name and the costuming of Yuzu’s new band, which is hilarious. I’m looking forward to a band showdown coming soon.

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