Anonymous Noise Vol. 12 Review

Title: Anonymous Noise Vol. 12
Author: Ryoko Fukuyama
Publisher: Viz Media
Language: English
Format: Paperback
Pages: 192
Genre: Shojo, Romance
Publication Date: January 1, 2019

The Story

After the cliffhanger ending in Volume 11, Volume 12 starts out with In No Hurry to Shout in complete disarray. Haruyoshi has lost his will to play the bass guitar and at the school’s opening ceremony, it really shows as he gave his worst performance ever. Despite the terrible display by the pop music club, they managed to reel in a brand-new member in a girl named Kanamari. She recognized Kuro from the time he cried in Osaka and had to play it off in order to protect the club’s true identity. In fact, Kuro actually gets the spotlight for the good portion of the first third of the volume as it seems a little bit of a relationship is beginning to form between himself and Kanamari!

The volume also focuses on Momo and Nino’s newfound relationship although it doesn’t seem like they’re dating at all. Nino lost her ability to sing as well as she used to and it all stemmed from the fact that they are finally dating. She sang to reach Momo this entire time but now that she has him, she has nothing left to yearn for. Just as soon as she realizes that Yuzu makes his long-awaited return… especially after he learns that In No Hurry to Shout is booked for the Tokyo Sailing event. Silent Black Kitty will also be there and with Yuzu back in the picture, Momo tries to pull a fast one to have Nino as the guest singer for the second track!

While I thought that would have been a great cliffhanger to end the volume on, they casually erase all of that drama with a simple decline. I kind of felt a bit cheated there as they could have really turned up the drama factor but Fukuyama decided not to do so, which is a bit puzzling. Instead, what I predicted is seemingly coming true. Nino and Momo’s relationship feels so forced that even Momo is starting to feel the strain of it. He admits that he’s getting more and more agitated over it every single day.

The end of the volume comes with Tokyo Sailing beginning. The big question here is that with everyone in the band pretty much crapping the bed with their practice and with Miou threatening to quit Silent Black Kitty over Momo trying to make Nino the guest vocalist, will both In No Hurry… and Silent Black Kitty bomb on stage?

This didn’t really deliver the level of drama I was expecting after the last two volumes. As predicted, everyone was down in the dumps about Yuzu leaving. Nino took it the hardest but still, as soon as Yuzu got back it seemed like the atmosphere did a complete 180. It’s like Fukuyama ignored all of that drama and went right back to awkward slapstick comedy to lighten the mood. I didn’t feel like the competition between Momo and Yuzu was renewed at all, despite Yuzu claiming that he still won’t let Momo have Nino. I thought that was a really weird thing to say because Momo HAS Nino. They’re dating. Even if the relationship is rocky, Yuzu still lost the battle. Sure, the war is far from over but it doesn’t make sense to tell Momo he won’t let him have her when he already does. I get the underlying message behind it.. I’m not that dense… but it’s still just a weird thing to say.

Characters

Our new character Kanamari is pretty fun so far. She comes off as a bit tomboyish but she also seems to be really attached to Kuro for whatever reason. Despite the fact that Kuro puts on a smile every time he drums, she took notice that he looked like he was wanting to cry. Kuro was pretty shocked that she was the only one who saw through his façade. I’ll admit… it’s been a LONG time since we had any development with Kuro… not since, what? Volume 3-ish? It’s been so long!

It’s really nice to see him get the spotlight because now he has a girl that actually cares for him right there. I know he’s been beating himself up all this time but now there’s an achievable goal for him and it literally fell right into his lap. Kanamari recognizing him from Osaka doesn’t help, either, though. Sooner or later, she will probably learn the secret that the pop music club is really In No Hurry to Shout but since she came in to try and replace Haruyoshi as the bass player, it makes you wonder if that will really happen once the secret is truly out in the open with her. She’s really adding a whole new dynamic to the story and it’s kind of refreshing!

The Momo and Nino relationship is just weird. There’s no other way to put it except that. Heck, they even still referred to themselves as just friends around others. Despite the two of them finally getting what they both wanted, they couldn’t come to terms with it. Nino finally broke the silence and said that Momo was her boyfriend and she got insanely embarrassed doing so. That’s not what normal couples do! Of course, all of the inner turmoil over her singing and Yuzu’s disappearance ate away at her as well. She felt that with Yuzu gone, it meant that Momo would leave as well, despite him having no intentions to.

Their relationship even caused Momo disruption when it came to songwriting. Now that he had Nino to himself, his next goal was to get Nino to sing one of his songs but he knows deep down that she only wants to sing Yuzu’s songs. This was one of the reasons why Momo was getting more and more agitated over their relationship. It’s like he finally got what he wanted but can’t bring himself to enjoy what he has. This is going to lead to the two of them breaking up. In order to get her voice back, I can see Nino breaking it off with Momo so she has something to yearn for again, which will leave the door wide open for Yuzu to step in… only to get shot down! It’s a bold prediction but I love reading new volumes to see whether I’m right or wrong!

Speaking of Yuzu, you really have to feel bad for him. He disappeared because it appears that they had a case of mistaken identity when it came to the death of his father. They finally were able to correctly I.D. his remains, bringing closure to the whole situation; however, his mother just can’t bring herself to sign off on the findings. This was the reason why Yuzu disappeared and it’s kind of heartbreaking when you think about it. Yuzu was prepared to disappear for years until he got word that In No Hurry got booked for Tokyo Sailing without his permission. Still, he’s not letting any of that affect him as he’s focused on the band… and back on Nino.

Final Thoughts

This volume was a bit different than what I was expecting. Yuzu re-entering the picture, coupled with Momo and Nino’s ailing relationship brings the romance drama back into the picture but this time around… it just feels a bit superficial. I don’t know why but I think it’s because Momo and Nino are already going out that it feels like anything Yuzu says and does is nothing more than a moot point. The fact that Momo is riled up about losing Nino to Yuzu… when he already has Nino to himself is a bit weird as well. I know it’s still a competition between the two of them but it just shows how rocky their relationship truly is. Nothing about it feels natural so Momo still sees Yuzu as a major threat.

Also, you have to wonder if Miou’s only point as a character in this series is to be that person who threatens to leave bands. She threatened to and, ultimately, did leave In No Hurry to Shout all because of Nino becoming the new Alice. Now she’s threatening to quit Silent Black Kitty because Momo wanted to make Nino the guest singer on a track… a track that was already going to have a guest singer that wasn’t Miou. This is going deeper than what’s on the surface as Miou has this really big underlying hatred for Nino. Of course, the dialogue doesn’t show it but if you think back to the very beginning, things were never really 100% okay between the two of them.

Even though Momo seemed to patch things up with Miou, it still makes the Tokyo Sailing event all that more interesting. We’ll have to see how it plays out next volume but I think this event shouldn’t be seen as just a sleeper event in the story. There’s going to be some big implications to come out of this!

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This item was provided for review by Viz Media