Kaoru reflects on her past in the sixth volume of tMnR’s If I Could Reach You manga, thinking back to how she and Reiichi got together.
This volume contains chapters twenty-six through to thirty.
Now that Uta’s moved out, Kaoru and Reiichi realise there are so many things yet unsaid in their home life. It leads Kaoru to bring up something that’s been on her mind, but the reaction she gets isn’t what she expected. Then, a night out with her girlfriends gets Kaoru thinking about their school days, and the very chain of events that brought her and Reiichi together. Her past might be the prologue to the two’s present, but what could it mean for their future?
This is a yuri manga… but with Uta out of the picture, the main focus of this particular volume becomes Kaoru and Reiichi’s relationship. It’s pretty plain to see that it is strained in the present, which might be why Kaoru thinks back to happier times.
Although perhaps the events leading to her getting together with Reiichi aren’t exactly all happy, particularly with Reiichi confessing to someone else at first – and then said person accepting, even being aware of Kaoru’s feelings.
Honestly, Uta’s absence from the main story is keenly felt here. Definitely by Kaoru, but also by me – and perhaps other readers. I can’t bring myself to get invested in the story of how Kaoru and Reiichi hooked up, particularly with it being heavily hinted at that Reiichi is cheating on Kaoru.
There’s been no concrete evidence of that so far; all we have are Kaoru’s fuzzy memories. She’s torn between believing in Reiichi or believing in herself – I think she should go for the latter, but at least she has some faith in her husband. Although it seems to be rapidly dwindling away…
The best thing that happens in this volume is arguably what happens right at the end – because it means we no longer have to endure flashbacks, or the strained relationship between Kaoru and Reiichi. That thing on her mind she brings up feels kind of forced on her part, and Reiichi’s response doesn’t exactly do any favours for either of them.
With this volume, it’s made it pretty clear that Uta is the character who is keeping me most interested in the story. When she’s not around, my interest in it starts to wane. However, this volume was the penultimate one, so the story will be reaching its conclusion next time – my hope is that at least Uta can come out of the whole thing with a happy ending. It’s almost inevitable that someone is going to have to suffer in order for others to be happy, though.