Light Novel Review: “Utsusemi” When Hikaru was on the Earth

At the end of summer vacation, Asai confronts Koremitsu about a secret regarding Hikaru. As she is about to reveal who is Hikaru’s most beloved is, Koremitsu stops her from talking, in consideration of Hikaru’s feelings. Later on, Hikaru decides tell Koremitsu about his beloved and the both of them decide to track her down at the local church. While searching for her, Koremitsu accidentally bumps into a pregnant woman. After apologizing, Hikaru gives out a small shocked whisper to Koremitsu.

The baby inside her might actually be his.

Welcome to Volume 7 of When Hikaru was on the Earth.

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The volume focuses heavily on Koremitsu and Sora, our main heroine. One of the themes in this volume is the concept of motherly love and that’s the key element that ties these two characters together. Sora appears as a simple character but as the story progresses, her behaviors and actions don’t make sense and that causes worrisome feelings for both Koremitsu and Hikaru. Her true temperament is reveals in the climax, reflecting the other themes present in the volume. But for the majority of the time, she acts as the key behind Koremitsu character in this volume.

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We were given a hint of this plot element back in volume 1 but it takes a big effect here.  Koremitsu has memories of his mother that affected him deeply and seeing Sora acting in contrast, reminds him of that very experience and gives him thoughts of what might have happened if his mother acted similarly to Sora. Overtime, Koremitsu slowly starts to break down due to the contrasts and resemblances to his mother. What most notable during this period is how everyone Koremitsu has met is starting to support him. Even past the misunderstandings, previous characters are going out to assist and encourage him in his time of need. This volume is part of the latter half of Hikaru, and this volume is the start of the results of all the relationships Koremitsu has built up.

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Readers of Bungaku Shoujo or Book Girl will recognize Mizuki Nomura’s writing style of comparing present and past characters. For most of Sora’s actions that Koremitsu recognizes, she references the previous actions of Koremitsu’s mother while giving what-if scenarios from the perspective of Koremitsu. This writing style is effective due to their contrasting behaviors and it makes up a substantial portion of the writing, although the constant repetition of the memory of his mother dulls overtime.

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The illustrations for Utsusemi were drawn by Miho Takeoka, and by this volume, her illustrations have improved quite a bit from the first volume. In the beginning volumes, the design looked a lot rougher in linework and the body proportions looked odd. However  in recent volumes, the art style became more expressive and the linework became softer and gentle. Something to point out, is the small lines creases used on the clothing as it adds simplistic details to the character’s design

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Utsusemi is a very heartfelt volume, balancing the topics of maternal affection and the essence of loving others; while showcasing the results of the development between the characters in this latter half of the series.

Rating: Recommended

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Author: Mizuki Nomura

Illustrator: Miho Takeoka

Fan Translator: Teh_ping

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