*Sorry I didn't comment as much as usual on Follow Friday or IMM this weekend. I may not be around too much the next few days. My purse was stolen Saturday night - the thief snatched it when it was sitting two inches away from me and ran off with it. Gone are my driver's license, Social Security Card, all my credit cards and debit card, my iPod, my cell phone, some jewelry, about $1000 of gift cards that I had been saving for something special, and a really nice Michael Kors purse that I saved up for. Now, not only do I have to deal with the horrible feeling of being violated, but I also have to deal with all the crap that comes with losing important documents - new drivers license, new social security card, new bank accounts, new credit cards, making sure that my identity gets stolen, etc. On the bright side, I think I'm going to reward myself with a new iPhone, since my iPod and cell phone are both gone.
Forgive my non-book related rant, but it's nice to just get all this off my chest.
Sand Chronicles vol. 10 - Hinaki Asihara
Twelve-year-old Ann and her divorced mother move from big city Tokyo to her mother's rural hometown. How will Ann survive her exile from civilization? Then, when her mother commits suicide, Ann has to grow up fast. As the years pass, Ann learns to trust and depend on her new friends--Daigo and aristocratic siblings Fuji and Shika. But when Ann moves back to Tokyo to be with her father, will she be able to maintain a long-distance relationship with Daigo? And do Fuji and Shika harbor romantic feelings of their own that might rip their childhood friendships apart...?
Daigo digs up the time capsule he buried twenty years ago when he was only ten. What message did Daigo leave for his future self? And what does it take to live life fully and without regret?(courtesy of Goodreads)
*Warning: Potential spoilers. My manga reviews tend to be more of a summary than a review. I find it hard to review manga in the same way I do regular books.
The final bonus volume of Sand Chronicles is more like an epilogue than a bonus. It continues the main story. Daigo and Ann are now 30 years old. They're happily married, although I don't think they have kids yet.
As the summary states, Daigo digs up a time capsule. This opens up many memories from the past and also many things to teach his students now. Daigo's teacher at age ten was Mrs. Koda. He admired her greatly - worshiped might be a better word. She believed in him and made him believe in himself. It was fun seeing snippets of Daigo as a ten year old. He was a big cry-baby. Always fighting with Fuji. Mrs. Koda told Daigo and his classmates that the most important thing they could do was to become somebody that they liked - to like themselves.
Daigo is thrilled to meet up with Mrs. Koda again twenty years later to open the time capsule. He still thinks of her as one of the most important people in his life. But Mrs. Koda has a secret. Can Daigo still accept her even if she isn't the perfect person he always envisioned? (Who are we kidding...of course he can).
Daigo imbues Mrs. Koda's strength. He imparts her words and wisdom onto his students. He believes in them and provides them with opportunities to learn and succeed. He is a great teacher.
We also get a few moments with Ann. She's more of an afterthought in this story - thrown in because she's a main character in the rest of the series - but I still liked having her there. We see how she's become an equal to Daigo. Able to stand on her own feet and support him as much as he supports her.
I'm very sad to see Sand Chronicles end. Every volume pulls at your heartstrings. Ashihara knows how to create characters you love and put them into situations that challenge them...and pains the reader to endure. I highly recommend Sand Chronicles.