The story of how Sakura came to join Konohanatei concludes in the ninth volume of Sakuya Amano’s Konohana Kitan. That is followed up with a return to the present where Satsuki gets some unexpected news.
When Yae agrees to sacrifice her soul to save her daughter Sakura’s life, she begins to lose her memories one by one… but Kiri swears to always remain by her side. This is the heartbreaking, emotional conclusion to Yae-san’s story and the mystery of Kiri’s past.
Then, in present-day Konohanatei, Satsuki suddenly faces unexpected news that throws all of her plans and goals into doubt. She always thought she knew exactly how her life would go. Now, she starts to wonder: how are you supposed to find yourself when you don’t know what you really desire?
This particular volume of Konohana Kitan really is a volume of two halves, so I’ll discuss them one at a time. First, we have the conclusion of Kiri’s flashback arc, and it is a painful experience. Yae’s sacrifice results in her losing her memories, and that hits the young Kiri particularly hard. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if that was an allegory for dementia.
Seeing Yae ask Kiri “who are you?” multiple times is a pretty heartbreaking experience. Whilst it is tragic, there are some positive things to be taken out of that whole situation. If those events had not transpired the way they did, then Sakura would not be around in the present day.
Seeing that glimpse into Kiri’s past throughout this arc has been fascinating, even if it ended up becoming a tragedy.
The conclusion of that particular arc is followed by a light-hearted chapter called “Konohanatei Anecdotes”, showing us some light-hearted interactions between the various characters. Something to bring the mood up a bit, before the story jumps immediately into another somewhat serious arc.
Once the story returns to the present day, it is Satsuki’s turn for the spotlight. She comes to realise that she doesn’t actually have any dreams, particularly compared to Ren and Natsume. That is sparked by some news from her sister, and leaves Satsuki somewhat at a loss.
Fortunately, her coworkers at Konohanatei are able to give her a push in the right direction so she can really start thinking about what it is she wants.
And Yuzu will be by her side for that very thing. Nobody is surprised that Yuzu wants to be with Satsuki, and even encourage her.
As for what it is that Satsuki seeks; well, that’s something that will be explored in the tenth volume. For now, she is only taking the first step.
Konahana Kitan continues to be a fantastic manga; Kiri’s past is a fascinating, tragic tale, and then we get on to the theme of one’s own dreams when the story returns to the present day. There’s always a lot to appreciate in this manga series, and Sakuya Amano does a great job at pulling the reader in.