Writer/Artist:Hideyuki Kurata / Tomomasa Takuma
Translated by:Christine Schilling
Adapted by:Mallory Reaves
What They Say
Arena, denied her final confrontation with Kevin, has agreed to go back to her grandfather's house! On top of this, the students have just received word that the Special Train will be closed for good! Everything comes to an explosive conclusion in the final volume of Train+Train!
I hate reviewing the final volume of a series, especially when it is such a good series. The thought of never seeing the characters again can really bum me out.
Arena’s journey is nearing its end, but her misgivings outweigh her desire to reach the Special Train’s final stop. She has spent so much time searching for Kevin, that her personality and maybe even her world view has changed since her journeys inception. Does she still desire to find Kevin? What if she can’t live up to her promise to him? What if Kevin doesn’t want to see her? These are all very tough questions, so it is no surprise that she has locked herself in her room. Still, it is crappy of her to not visit Reiichi while he is recovering from the beating he took on her behalf.
With a little urging from Reiichi, Arena pulls herself together and disembarks the train. However, the Kevin that awaits Arena is someone she never would have believed. I was shocked myself.
Reiichi needs to find a future for himself, but what? Hanging out with the old men on the Special Train causes something to click inside of him. Reiichi doesn’t want his journey to end, so he comes up with an idea. It is a big plan and he needed the inspiration of the Special Train’s founders to dream it up. Will he be able to convince people it is a good idea? Will his friends from the Special Train join him in his venture? What of Arena, what will she do with her journey completed?
I cannot say much more without ruining the ending of the series. However, I can share some of my thoughts on the overall series. Train+Train is about a journey from youth to adulthood packaged in a high-paced adventure series. The story follows the interplay of two very different people, timid Reiichi and brash Arena. Both characters can only succeed by learning to work together, which eventually builds a mutual respect between them. They also become more like each other as time passes, even to the point that they almost completely switch personalities. I think the most successful aspect of this series is Reiichi’s character change. A timid, dorky guy with glasses is nothing new to the manga world. However, where this story succeeds is following our dorky guy until he emerges from his shell. It is a journey we all make, hopefully, so it is nice to see Train+Train succeed where so many manga/anime series come up short.
Overall, I highly recommend this series to just about any manga fan. The art is good, the translation reads well, and the story progresses at a steady pace with a satisfactory ending and a modest six-volume length.