Light Novel Review: The Place I Called From [Volume 2]

Forewarning: This volume is intended to be read with knowledge of the events in the previous volume, The Place You Called From. Note that the events in this volume are spoiler-heavy.

Yosuke Fukamachi is able to successfully get some time with Yui Hajikano to stargaze- at the cost of Chigusa Ogiue and Yuuya Hinohara tagging along. He’s able to enjoy these calming moments, but when Yui  isgiving all her attention to Yuuya, he can’t help but feel unsettled.

Only half a month remains until the day Yosuke’s bet with the caller ends, and with the approaching deadline, comes more trouble and hardships for Yosuke.

On August 14th, as a result of Yosuke’s actions. Chigusa Oguie disappears, leaving only a letter.

On August 15th, unbeknownst to anyone, Yui Hajikano plunged into the sea.

theplaceicalledfrom_01

 

The Place I Called From is the second part of this two volume series written by Sugaru Miaki. In this volume, the truth behind certain characters are revealed as Yosuke’s deadline is quickly approaching. For a romance story, darker aspects like suicide and despair are further explored and it overall leaves a grim and melancholy impression. And yet, it presents many ways love between two teenagers can get challenged by hardships.

Continuing immediately from the last volume, Yosuke successfully told Yui all of his regrets over the phone. He then invites Yui to go stargazing together and she accepts. To further their connection, Yosuke asks his classmate, Yuuya Hinohara, to borrow his telescope. He agrees, but on the condition that Chigusa Ogiue comes along. Reluctantly, Yosuke agrees and the four of them go stargazing together.

It appears that a love square will be born out this situation but this only happens initially. The love square doesn’t have much of a presence due to the later events, but it does cause Yosuke to think about the possibility of Yui falling for Yuuya, placing him in Chigusa’s situation last volume. His jealousy towards Yuuya is one instance in which Yosuke suffers. His despair is apparent throughout the entire volume as each event constantly reminds him that he will die if he is unable to make Yui love him by the deadline. But despite that, his mind is filled with affectionate feelings for Yui. Yosuke will either live with his feelings reciprocated or he will die with Yui never loving him in the end. It’s a concept that definitely fits the “tragic romance” story, and the premise syncs up nicely with the story’s folklores, The Mermaid of Yaobikuni and The Little Mermaid.

Which would come first: the end of summer, or my death?

If possible, I wanted to leave this world before summer ended. Before the cumulonimbus clouds departed, before the cicadas went away, before the sunflowers wilted.

The most lonely thing was always being the last to leave.

Chigusa Ogiue starts causes trouble for our main two characters-but not in the traditional way. Her presence is necessary for the conflicts in the story and her actions make her a very interesting character. We were foreshadowed to Chigusa causing conflict between Yosuke and Yuu’s relationship in the previous volume and only because of that, we are able to piece together the unfortunate situation of Chigusa and how her state terribly affects Yosuke. And yet, her conflicting actions make her even more of an enigma till the very end.

And right at this point, the story starts to weaken a bit. I mentioned before in the previous review for the last volume that the story had a tendency to start events instantaneously. This volume is no exception. After the point when Yui tries to drown herself in the ocean, the ending result of that action feels like a cop-out and with the addition of a diary that Yui kept everyday, it defused the tension of Yui Hajikano’s character abruptly. For Yosuke, this is an another hardship he has to face but for Yui, these sequence of events lose the   emotional trauma of her character prior to the drowning, only to have it replaced by objective facts after the incident.

The fact that Hajikano kept a daily diary was surprising, at least to me. I thought she had long since lost interest in her own life. Does someone who’s planning to commit suicide soon write in a diary every day? Or maybe she kept a diary because she was going to commit suicide?

The Place You Called From and The Place I Called From is much darker than your typical supernatural romance story, having positive messages of overcoming hardships with love within the various concepts of suicide and despair. The story dulls in emotional tension regarding Yui’s character around the latter half of the second volume and has the same backstory problems from the previous volume, but overall, it’s a well constructed tale by the end.

Rating: Recommended


Author: Sugaru Miaki

Translator: vgperson

English Translation can be found here.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Light Novels and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s