Suzuka Vol. #03 (Mania.com)
By:Eduardo M. Chavez
Review Date: Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Release Date: Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Translated by:David Ury
Adapted by:David Ury
What They Say
Everything was going just fine between Yamato and his gorgeous neighbor Suzuka . . . until Yamato opened his big mouth and said the three most dangerous words a guy can utter: "I love you." Now Suzuka is giving him the silent treatment. In a desperate bid to get back on her good side, Yamato joins the track team. Far from being pleased, Suzuka is furious, believing Yamato will bring the real athletes down. Yet Yamato surprises her "and himself! "when he turns out to be a worthy contender. Now he's headed for victory at the track. But will he ever win the only prize he really wants: Suzuka's love?
Shounen romances always never seem to work out the way they should. You either have the tent-pole harems built around a character that surely does not deserve the attention or you have spineless good guys that tend to attract more abuse than affection while suffering through volumes of unrequited love. Suzuka's Yamato is one of those blokes who are unfortunate enough to have to suffer through both. He has naked women all over him but he cannot see these beauties for who they are. See Yamato is hung up on the devil of the track team and I feel has a thing for masochism.
In the previous volume of Suzuka, Yamato confessed his feelings to Suzuka while on a date in Yokohama. The scene turned out to be a minor disaster for the young man. Rejected by his classmate, he began to notice she was starting to avoid him at school and at the dorms. You would think he would move on with friends like Honoka, and later Miki, around him. Never! That would be too easy. Instead, he turns into a minor stalker. He resolves to become the man that Suzuka wants. Joining the track team he puts in hours of training to change his body and heart in order to be accepted by the high jump diva. However, this only further sours their relationship. Doesn't Yamato understand that track is an individual's sport. She wants to be alone and he should mind his own track time. Nothing, not records and not egg-sake will change that. Especially when Yamato is actually competing with someone with a record that will never be broken � the first person to have won Suzuka's heart.
This volume is called winners and losers. Have to say that is apropos in more ways than one. Don't know who I would call a winner under these circumstances. Maybe Del Rey wins if people are buying this book, as this series is tremendously over-priced in terms of quality of story and production. Losers are most of the characters that have to suffer through lead character Suzuka's abuse. David Ury's translation occasionally refers to Suzuka as a bitch. He's not far off the mark. She is self-centered, hurtful and short-tempered. She shows no sense of logic but then again when do the girls of Shounen Magazine ever do?! Yamato is obviously a loser; he is after all the lead male in a shounen romance comedy. No number of broken track records will fix that until he bones someone. And the other girls who fall for him are even bigger losers for having no taste in men. Biggest loser is the reader. Suzuka diverges from the stereotypes a bit with this latest volume. However, there is no denying this is a derivative and now dull sports title that is going nowhere.
Call me when Suzuka herself cares. Now that might be worth typing about.
Mania Grade: C+
Art Rating: B+
Packaging Rating: B+
Text/Translatin Rating: B-
Age Rating: 18 & Up
Released By: Del Rey
Orientation: Right to Left