It’s been two years since Konoha first met Tohko, the president of the Book Club and self-proclaimed book girl. As the day of Tohko’s graduation slowly approaches, Tohko confesses a secret to Konoha, leaving him absolutely stunned. As if that wasn’t enough to shake him, Ryuto approaches Konoha, warning him that if he doesn’t become Tohko’s author, Tohko Amano will disappear.
With the first chapter of this last arc, Konoha is in a predicament. During his weekend, Kotobuki asks Konoha if she can come over to his house on Sunday and he agrees. However later that day, Tohko decides to make a surprise visit to Konoha’s house on Saturday. So Konoha has to juggled his girlfriend and club president in one weekend in front of his family and manage the feelings of each girl. While this scenario is an comedic yet trivial situation for Konoha, this event is actually an accurate representation of this two-volume finale.
Konoha is going out with Kotobuki and for a newly established relationship, it’s a pretty rocky start. With Konoha’s situation with Miu quickly resolved combined with Kotobuki’s uneasy and anxious behavior, the conversations between the two are strained and awkward. It also doesn’t help that both parties keep their thoughts to themselves, not relying on each other at all. These scenes are also reflected within the text, as Konoha explicitly states the tense atmosphere within his inner thoughts.
On the other hand, Konoha’s experiences with Tohko has always been relaxed and cheery. Over the past volumes (and in the storyline–practically two years), we’ve seen the two banter together in the club room, with their discussion of Tohko’s looming exams and her snacks. Her eating circumstances gets brought up again causally but it gains a much more deeper meaning when you consider the context it takes on in this volume. Despite the adventures the two had together, it’s inevitable that Tokho would end up leaving soon, and Konoha is feeling dispirited about the whole situation. However, because of a big event that happens here, it may essentially undermine their entire relationship. It’s a great plot point that is so fundamental that it causes Konoha and the reader to question Tohko’s actions entirely.
It appears to be a problem should only involve Konoha and Tohko, but what Konoha doesn’t know is that Tohko harbors problems on a far deeper level, involving multiple members of her family. She’s just been too evasive about these topics in the past. This brings up a valid plot point in Book Girl. Despite Konoha having good relations with Tohko, he doesn’t truly know her and this is the result. In order to figure it out, Konoha has to investigate the core problem surrounding Tohko and her family, and Ryuto will force him to do so whether he likes it or not.
Immediately, Ryuto announces his opposition against Konoha and Kotobuki’s relationship for Tohko’s sake. Ryuto isn’t normally like this, but certain circumstances have made him get actively involved in their affairs, displaying hostility unlike before. Most of the events in this volume has been planned out by Ryuto. He’s been directing Konoha into certain situations to get him to reconsider his feelings and if necessary, force him to. Because as we soon get to find out, there is a lot at stake here.
While a classic love triangle makes up the main structure of the conflicts in this volume, The Scribe who Faced God: Part 1 also discusses the bond between a writer and the reader as supporting material. The plot was inspired by three works: Strait Is the Gate by André Gide, The Immoral Passage, an book created by one of the characters in this volume which takes inspiration from Strait Is the Gate, and Ole Lukøje, a fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen.
At the end of every chapter of this volume, there has been an ambiguous hook line that captures your attention. So it is no surprise that Book Girl and The Scribe who Faced God: Part 1 ends on a big cliffhanger ending, flipping the script on what’s been established in regards to Tohko’s family. And as if that wasn’t enough, Ryuto delivers Konoha a harsh ultimatum, leaving him only two options. The first part of The Scribe who Faced God will have you invested in this finale from beginning to end and leaving you wanting to read the next.
Rating: Highly Recommended
Author: Mizuki Nomura
Illustrator: Miho Takeoka
Translator: Karen McGillicuddy
English Publisher: Yen Press