Year 11, Showa Era—Hikari, the illegitimate daughter of the Hazumi household, received a marriage proposal. While she still has feelings for Kousuke, a distant relative, she couldn’t refuse the proposal because she knew how Suzuko, the legitimate daughter, was feeling. She receives support from her twin sister, Akari, who is being brought up by another family. They secretly continue sending letters to each other, but what happens…?
Summary translated by Aerandria Scans
The reason why I'm writing this review (it might not even be a review) is because... The main story itself is so beautiful. So far there is no English scanlation yet, I simply have the Malay version; allowed by SHOGAKUKAN INC. to translate it into Malay. And it's the only, only shoujo manga I have ever read that brings me to tears, over and over again.
And, SPOILERS AHEAD. Don't read if you don't want to know what happens - from me.
As you have read the main plot there... It's not just that. It might sound so simple, but really; the whole thing is complicated. It took me two reads to figure out the whole thing.
It starts off with Hikari, about to head off for school and she was talking to her step-sister Suzuko; a fairly good-looking maiden but incredibly humble about it. Kousuke walked into the room, as he is the sisters' private tutor. The topic of Hikari's engagement with a military soldier, Junnosuke; was also brought up.
She knew that despite the fact she was a daughter to a mistress, she had to continue living even though she had feelings for someone else. She knew she should feel grateful for being engaged to a young soldier, who wanted her heart.
While at school, Akari met with Junnosuke and talked to him for a while, then sent a letter to Hikari, saying "I met with Junnosuke today. He's very cheerful," and Hikari ran to see Junnosuke and asked him if Akari said anything awkward or off. (Hint: Hikari having feelings for another person and not Junnosuke. And of course, Akari didn't.) They talked for a while, especially about Akari. Junnosuke said, "Usually when there are twins, one die and one continues on living. But you're lucky to have a living twin."
Returning back home, Hikari saw a note on her desk, saying, "I wish to talk to you," from Akari. Hikari frowned at this, knowing she will never see her.
Hikari reminisced on her past with them... The Hazumi family. She was glad, and grateful to have been accepted in the family 10 years ago (Hikari is currently 16 years old, so when she moved in to Hazumi family, she was only 6), but out of all, she fell in love with her tutor. All he did was say "Hikari, you are smart. You should get into an All-Girl's school. Your [step] parents will like it!" and she felt admired, loved.
The next day, Suzuko told her mother that she wanted to marry Kousuke, and it was sealed. Hikari watched her sister smiling happily at this but kept everything to her heart.
It did hurt so much. To lie. To not be able to love that one person you want.
Her step mother kept asking if there was someone she would like to marry. Hikari was pushed by this and in the end chose Junnosuke. With this, she wrote to Akari, saying "I can't be honest about my feelings". Akari read this and stumbled on Kousuke, who instantly thought she was Hikari. Akari smiled and had a quick tea with him, asked him what did he think of the engagement between Hikari and Junnosuke.
The next day, Junnosuke came to visit Hikari and one topic they talked about was death. It was a sensitive topic for Hikari; which made Hikari admit to him that she was a daughter of a mistress who died. Junnosuke felt pity for Hikari, but she told him she never felt worried, because she knew Akari was always there for her.
That night, it was raining heavily. Hikari remembered the night her mother died.
She ran in the hallway, searching for Akari; to find Kousuke who was marking their English papers. He handed Hikari those papers, and with the papers she hid her face.
Who will be by my side? Is it true that Akari is not here?
She admitted to him that she felt so left out in the house. That there was no one who would accept her because she wasn't a legitimate daughter. Kousuke tried convincing her that she is loved, because she is smart, and adorable (only as a younger sister to him.). Hikari will find her happiness.
Hikari was crying.
The one who will make me happy isn't Kousuke. It's so lonely, to have no family members... But because of Suzuko... I have felt accepted, even though I have feelings for Kousuke. But I can't have him, the one he loves isn't me. I know... It's so bitter... It's so bitter...
The next morning, Junnosuke recognized Akari when he saw her, and was glad by this. It was hard to tell Akari and Hikari apart. Junnosuke asked Akari if Hikari told her who she liked, Akari simply answered, "She loves someone else but she can't do anything about it. Even I can't. All I can do is listen to her confessions," and apologized for revealing this to him. Junnosuke understood, "You are her older sister. You are worried for her sake."
Akari felt guilty and told him, "Hikari is only honest with me... And only I understand her feelings."
Meanwhile, Suzuko was delivering good news to Hikari : she was officially engaged to Kousuke. They were going to make the marriage ceremony as soon as possible. Suzuko finished her education then and Kousuke told Hikari how beautiful Suzuko is. Hikari was startled, but regained her composure and congratulated them.
Akari, Suzuko and Kousuke are now officially engaged. Akari... I'm okay. Thank you for listening to my confessions and understanding my feelings. And because of you...
That night, she saw Akari in her dream, crying next to her. And ever since then, there were no letters from Akari, nothing at all. Hikari was worried by this, and her health had gotten worse.
One day, Kousuke saw Akari in the streets; again mistaking her for Hikari. He brought an umbrella with him and asked Akari if she could go visit Hikari, just to make Hikari feel better. Akari kissed him on the cheek and said, "Someone loves you, but I have broken her heart. I'm sorry," and left, but Kousuke was insistent on telling her to bring an umbrella.
An accident occured.
Hikari woke up, to hear noises, people talking to one another. She sat up to find a letter from Akari on her desk, saying, "I met with Kousuke yesterday. My right arm is injured". Hikari was about to go look for Akari, but found Suzuko at her door instead. Suzuko told her that Kousuke was involved in a car accident, with critical injuries. Then asked for an explanation from Hikari, if she was with Kousuke the last night. Hikari denied this and said it was Akari, then showed Suzuko the letter.
Their mother stepped in and harshly hit Hikari's right arm, just so she'd release the letter and said, "You worked hard just to write that letter last night".
Suzuko pressed on this and revealed the injury on Hikari's right arm. Their mother revealed that she had seen Hikari and Kousuke, accused Hikari of being such a troublesome daughter and Suzuko said, "You and your [real] mother are just the same", with a hateful tone. Hikari released herself from Suzuko's grasp and ran outside to find Akari, screaming for her, to find her nowhere.
Akari is... Nowhere?
She fainted and Junnosuke brought her back home.
Junnosuke talked to Hikari's father about her situation, informing him that some people create an imaginary character to calm themselves. With this, they agreed that Hikari had some mental problems.
"Like her real mother, she might resolve to committing suicide. And I'm worried," was what Junnosuke said, "I want to spend one more week with her".
Fear... Loneliness... I'm left alone.
"Mother... Answer me! Anyone... I'm scared. Help me... God... Help me... Anyone..."
"It's okay... I'm here. I will never leave you, Hikari."
Hikari woke up crying, and found her step-mother sitting beside her.
"Mother? Where's Akari?"
Her step-mother hushed her, then put up her index finger, pointing at her head.
"Let's go to the hospital, we need to cure you."
Mother... Mother... Sorry... Don't leave me alone again.
Hikari insisted to not go to the hospital, she will never do it (exchanging letters with Akari) again, and it was all her imagination.
Hikari talked to Suzuko about Kousuke and apologized; admitting she had done nothing with Kousuke, it was simply a meeting. She also congratulated Suzuko for the wedding, once again; with a faint smile on her face.
With this, Hikari decided to commit suicide from overdosage of medicine.
Because we'll go to Hell if we commit suicide, humans have to continue with their lives, no matter how hard it is. If only we had holidays in life... Why does God control our lives...
"I'm sorry for having to do this," Junnosuke's father said, "we have to cancel the engagement." This left Junnosuke with no choice and left for his military school.
"I will come back," he said. Hikari heard the whole conversation and kept everything to herself.
I understand... He has nothing to say. I have lost my only friend.
A year later, Hikari received a phone call and it was Junnosuke. He said, "Hikari, I have thought of this deeply. I have talked to you and Akari... And it was fun. I hope you agree to this because I really enjoy being with you. I want to marry you and I want Akari's opinion."
Knowing that Akari was just simply an imaginary person, Hikari answered, "Akari doesn't exist." Junnosuke asked where did Akari go, then asked if she'll ever come back. Realizing how painful it was for Hikari, he answered, "Alright, tell her I want her opinion. You're always together, so I want the two of you to talk again; no matter how absurd your relationship may be."
Hikari was touched by this, "Are you sure? I have a lot more to say..." and Junnosuke replied, "I know, and I'm sure. All I want is for you to be happy, so tell her whatever you want. What you hear, what you see, please tell her everything. Talk to her like before."
It's a shoujo manga, trust me. But still, so beautiful. It touches the topic of Dissociative Identity Disorder, judging people due to status and love. Junnosuke's love towards her was deep and despite her disorder, he wanted her to stay that way; all just so she could feel better, that it was alright to be happy for herself.
I'm certainly touched by the phone call itself, whenever reading this manga, that scene makes me cry. Even writing that part made me cry.
Translation Malay --> English and summary by me and sorry for the crappy writing, it's 1:34AM.
I recommend you to buy the manga, at Kinokuniya or Shogakukan but it's in Japanese.
If you would like me to scanlate this personally, I would; but you will have to email me.
Sorry for the long post. ^^;;
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