Forewarning: I’ve managed to dodge spoilers for the last 8 volumes but for volume 9 and 10, I will be acting under the presumption that the reader has knowledge of the characters and events up to this point.
“Come to the place where you and I first began.
To the place where you betrayed me.
Time to fulfill the promise.”
Welcome to the finale of When Hikaru was on the Earth.
“Hikaru- is a tragic child” summarizes this entire light novel of suffering and despair. Over the past nine volumes, we are hinted towards Hikaru’s secret anguish, the mystery behind his death and the feelings of his most beloved. But in this volume, we finally resolve those issues to much heartbreak.
While on the surface, Hikaru looks like a very lively and whimsical individual; but deep down inside, he is a very secluded and cynical person. The series doesn’t point out his flaws, mainly because of his nature of hiding his true thoughts and secrets. And even after meeting his beloved, neither side refuses to show their hand, and their true feelings. As more details gets added to the story, the two parties go further and further down into despair as they slowly grasp the scope of their tragedy. If not for Koremitsu and the other characters involved, acting as a listening board, conveying their emotions would be very difficult.
Mizuki Nomura’s descriptive writing is heavily emphasized in this volume. She expresses the various emotions coming from the characters and it accentuates the actions they do as well. A big part of Nomura’s writing in this volume is in Koremitsu’s thoughts, and often they are in the form of worse-case scenario questions. These predictions can be quite agonizing to due to the emotional weight and history Nomura sets up in this volume. And depending on how attached the reader is to these characters, these thoughts can lead to many heartbreaking moments. (It’s quite amusing how many different ways despair and shock can be expressed.)
While the conversations between Hikaru’s beloved and Koremitsu are expressed, a push is needed to force these characters to deal with their issue; and that’s where Rokujō enters. Rokujō again acts as the opposing force, and the true antagonist comes out in this volume. The secondary essence that makes up Rokujo adds to the conflict and becomes a key point in the plot as “she” reveals more to the mystery.
The illustrations are similar to the previous volumes, highlighting the various expressions of the characters. The color illustrations are dyed with the darker shade of purple, reflecting the melancholy tone of the story, along with the appearance of the wisterias.
“Fujitsubo” is a fitting (and heart-aching) end to the Hikaru series, incorporating themes of anguish, despair, and empathy. Yet at the same time, the volume expresses happiness, love, and optimism.
Rating: Strongly Recommended
Author: Mizuki Nomura
Illustrator: Miho Takeoka
Fan Translator: Teh_ping