Anonymous Noise Vol. 4

Anonymous Noise, Volume 4 by Ryoko Fukuyama

I feel a bit conflicted about this series. I found the first volume a bit uneven, but was gradually won over by all the performance scenes in the manga, even though some of the drama in the manga seems a bit far-fetched at times. This volume featured fewer performances, which maybe accounts for me feeling somewhat impatient in some of the plot resets that happened. In the first few pages of the book an event occurred that made me think, “Hell no!” and then I put the manga down and proceeded to read a few other things before picking it up again. Yuzu kisses Nino when she’s in the throes of emotional turmoil (her usual condition), and her reaction is to say “Don’t talk to me for awhile.”

Just a few pages later Yuzu clarifies that she was upset because she didn’t realize that being with her was causing Nino so much pain, and yet she continues to be fundamentally clueless about the idea that someone might have a crush on her. Yuzu promptly walks back on the idea that he has any romantic feelings for Nino, telling her that it is her voice that’s important to him. This type of emotional reset button with the storyline is what I find frustrating sometimes about this series. It just doesn’t seem like there’s a great deal of character change or growth five volumes in. In Everyone’s Getting Married, for example, no one is getting married, but the relationships between the main characters has grown and evolved so much over just a few volumes, I’m confident that the series is going somewhere, and all the drama will pay off for the reader in the end. I don’t have that same feeling for Anonymous Noise, but at the same time, it is still compelling to read.

Once I got past the romantic drama, I was able to settle down more with the secret backstory of the formation of Yuzu’s band. The next volume promises to have more of a focus on music, as everyone is gearing up for a battle of the bands. I think I enjoy this series most when it is emphasizing music more than romance, so I’m hoping for some dramatic scenes of Nino doing her rock star scream soon.

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