Warning: This review contains some spoilers. We have tried to minimize it, but the contents of both books cannot be discussed without covering some spoilers in detail.
At the end of Volume 6 of There is something wrong with us, The protagonist Nao discovers that her mother was once romantically involved with Tsubaki’s father, and that Nao herself is her daughter. With that horrific revelation in hand, we head into book seven of the series to find out what’s next for the cast.
When we start the book, we find Nao thinking about how she can’t live out her marriage to Tsubaki and decides to leave the shop behind and start a new life before the wedding is scheduled. Meanwhile, Tsubaki again wonders if Nao is “Sakura”, the girl he loved as a child, but eventually decided to put these fears to bed—until his old fiancée Shiori arrives and speaks. killer…
Before leaving Tsubaki behind, Nao is still determined to find proof that her mother is innocent and that the opportunity may have just presented itself. Normally, the room in which Tsubaki’s father was killed is locked up, except on the evening of the anniversary of the founding of Kojitsuwan, when Tsubaki’s grandfather held a “Tea Meeting in Sundown”. During the event, Nao hopes to sneak into the room to look for evidence of her mother’s innocence, but she doesn’t know that this day holds many unexpected dramas for everyone.
The events of the second half of Volume 7 are a turning point in the entire series and significantly modify the track. Volume 8 was taken ten months after the events of Volume 7 where Nao is no longer in Kogetsuan and Tsubaki does not know where she is or how she is. But considering that about a year has passed, Tsubaki is starting to move on with his life and perhaps romance is in the air as he continues to visit his ex-fiancée Shiori for lessons at Wagashi and ends up working at the store.
Only halfway through Volume 8, we catch readers up with Nao and see what she’s been up to for the past 10 months. Without giving up anything, it’s safe to say that her drive to prove her mother’s innocence is stronger than ever, and the path she’s currently taking is still striving for it.
Overall, I like what author Natsume Ando has done between these two books. I’ve commented before that the series’ trajectory is getting increasingly stale as the plot twists. Now that it’s reset, there’s plenty of room to grow as Ando fills in new storylines that have been introduced. I also appreciate that Ando chose to trade Nao’s look with Tsubaki for quite a bit of Volume 8 because at the time he was in dire need of his character development.
I admit that the whole thing at the end of the seventh book is a bit melodramatic, which may annoy some readers but that doesn’t bother me too much because this series has a habit of being silly at times anyway. The most important thing is that it is an entertaining read and that you remain hooked until the end. Volume 8 in particular has rejuvenated my interest in the future of the story a lot, which is probably the best thing I can say about the series at this point.
There is something wrong with us Volumes 7 and 8 come to the West thanks to Kodansha and continue with their translation by Sawa Matsueda Savage. Meanwhile, writing assignments were changed from Sarah Linsley to Nicole Rodrik. The letters and translation are well read, and as always, there are plenty of translation notes at the end of the volumes that give more information about the sweets featured throughout the story. Volume 9 of the series is scheduled for an English language release in July.
In general, these two volumes of There is something wrong with us It revitalizes the series and dramatically changes the direction of the story. With so many new plot threads to explore and puzzles to solve, the future looks bright for this manga.