Title: Idol Dreams Vol. 3
Author: Arina Tanemura
Publisher: Viz Media
Genre: Sci-Fi, Romance
Publication Date: September 6, 2016
Volume 3 of Idol Dreams focuses on Deguchi, Haru and Tokita’s relationships. There is an obvious love triangle here as Tokita, despite having a girlfriend he wants to marry, still has hidden feelings for Deguchi. We did get some resolution to a part of Deguchi’s backstory. She cleared up a misconception that she rejected Haru’s confession back in high school when she simply couldn’t give an answer. In this volume, Deguchi finally tells Haru her answer, but before they can spend a night together, which was hilariously set up by Tokita and Deguchi’s co-worker, Tokita intervenes and crashes the party.
While this story does take up the majority of the volume, the last couple of chapters see Deguchi revert back to the 15 year old Akari persona. Here, she’s caught in another love triangle between Hibiki and Ru. Akari gets herself into quite the situation when Hibiki asks her to go pick up Sayaka, but Hibiki forgot to sign the consent forms. In order to get Haru to sign, Akari had to sneak into his school, but it’s here where Ru finds her after she’s forced to hide from the teachers. Ru confesses his love for Deguchi, but Akari needs time to think. Hibiki puts on an act and comes onto her to prove just how gullible she can be. Despite this, Akari accepts Ru’s confession and she now has her first official boyfriend after 31 years of being alive… despite the fact she looks like she’s 15.
Honestly, I could see something like this happening just from the way the two different stories were being set up; however, this is the most interesting path because the I-Dream drug allows Deguchi to do things without much consequence because nobody who knows her knows she’s running around the city as a 15 year old. While it does give Deguchi some freedom to do some things, like have a boyfriend, it’s painfully obvious that she’s only doing this so she can see what it’s like in preparation to go out with Haru (or maybe Tokita) as her 31 year old self. At least, that’s what I’m getting from all of this.
Either way, the story took a pretty interesting turn and I want to see how this plays out! Plus there was a little slip up by Deguchi and Sayaka kind of had the secret exposed to her! She may just be a little kid, but this could lead to Deguchi’s cover being blown!
It was no surprise that Deguchi would end up in a love triangle as her 31 year old self. Deguchi finally has a chance to get some as a 31 year old virgin, only to have the opportunity stolen away from her by a jealous party-crasher. I guess we’ll have to wait a little longer for grown Deguchi to have a normal life outside of work. Instead, she finds herself caught between her friend and her high school crush. I’m not sure if there is an obvious choice in this story. I suppose it could go one of two ways – in the next volume Tokita can break it off with his girlfriend, or he can just buzz off and let Deguchi have her fun with her high school crush. I would like Tokita to make up his mind. His indecision is irritating.
Deguchi’s 15 year old persona is also pursued. Ru confesses first and Hibiki later tries to date Akari only after knowing that Ru wants to date her. He pretends to like her to prove just how gullible she is. Then he reveals his kinder side by telling Akari that she should only date someone because she also has feelings. He’s spot on when he tells Akari that she’s stupid when it comes to relationships. After some deliberation, Akari decides to accept Ru’s offer. It seems as if Deguchi learned her lesson from the last time she was 15, deciding to take an opposite path during her second chance run.
I’m sure eventually Deguchi will get caught, since the I-Dream only lasts so long and she can only take one pill every 24 hours. If that’s not motivation to keep reading on, then I don’t know what is.
Deguchi didn’t get much in the way of character development with the exception of accepting Ru’s confession. The fact that she’s willing to try dating someone for the sake of experience could mean that she’s ready to move on in her 31 year old life with either Haru or Tokita. It shows that she is maturing just a little and is not so self-reserved about everything. I’m starting to like this new confidence that Deguchi is finding, however minute it is at the moment.
Tokita got the most development here as it’s becoming even more painfully obvious that he likes Deguchi, but he does realize his position having a girlfriend. Still, why is he making the I-Dream pills for Deguchi? Just to see her happy? Maybe that’s all there is to this relationship between the two and I’m reading too much into it, but the fact that he got Haru to back down for the time being says otherwise. There still something hidden there with Tokita that we haven’t seen yet and that’s making him the most interesting character in this volume by far.
Hibiki and Ru didn’t get much “screen time” to really develop outside of Ru’s confession. He’s definitely a bit cocky for thinking that he can make Akagi love him when she doesn’t really feel the same way. I’m more interested to see if Sayaka spills the beans to Hibiki than I am seeing the relationship between Ru and Akari.
Tokita has feelings for Deguchi, regardless of how innocent they might be. Josh mentioned that he could be producing the I-Dream pills for Deguchi’s happiness; however, he also can be giving them to her just because she’s a test subject. Unfortunately, she’s managed to tangle her test time up with a real life (being a pop idol) that requires she continue the Akari act even after rediscovering her high school crush. I think the ultimate development this story needs is for Tokita to confess his feelings for Deguchi.
I thought Hibiki developed in this volume, or at least showed his softer side. He calls Akari ugly but he always has her best interests at heart. He understands that she works hard and is naive. Despite being perceived as a bratty pop-idol, he doesn’t abuse people. He gives Deguchi genuine advice.
I enjoyed the volume because it cleared the air between Haru and Deguchi’s past and looked to pull the trigger early on their relationship, but Tanemura dialed it back pretty hard here which shows that there’s more development to be done before the trigger is fully pulled on the two of them. While Tokita seems like a strong contender, it still seems pretty obvious that the final pairing will be Haru and Deguchi. I just can’t see Tokita leaving the girl he’s with now for Deguchi. I know things like this sometimes happen in romance series, but I’m just not getting that vibe here. Unless future volumes develop Tokita a bit differently, it isn’t really feasible unless they turn Tokita into a bad guy. Like, he becomes so obsessed with Deguchi, he uses I-Dream as a blackmailing tool, per se. That’s just my guess, but that seems like the only path they could take him down and even still, he won’t end up with the girl in the end. The only logical pairing is Deguchi and Haru with Hibiki and Ru just ending up being practice for her.
This was a very exciting volume. I enjoyed Deguchi running into Haru – it was set up masterfully by the author. Together, the two seem like a perfect pair. I didn’t sense any awkwardness between them. At the apartment it even seemed as if Deguchi was into the idea of sleeping over. She was mildly surprised(or disappointed?) that Haru set a futon in a separate room for her.
Contrary to Josh’s thoughts, I do think Tokita can confess and still be a good guy. This may not be the ideal ending for him since he’s a good guy, but here’s my idea. Tokita leaves his girlfriend because he realizes he has feelings for another. Good guy Tokita decides it is unfair to drag his girlfriend down since she could be with someone who has feelings for no one else. He opts not to confess to Deguchi and lets her be with Haru.
That could totally work! Either way, I cannot wait to read the next volume in this series. I really love this depiction of a single, professional woman who is uncomfortable around people. She’s given a second chance to find happiness.
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This item was provided for review by Viz Media.