Manga Review: Tena on S-String Volume Three, Sesuna Mikabe

In this volume, we make some discoveries about Kyosuke and the actions of the Tuners become slightly more sinister. We open with Kyosuke and Tena looking for notes. Unfortunately, it turns out that there are possibly more tuners out there who are getting to them first. After some flailing and frustration, the pair head back to Kyosuke’s home.

We also learn that this competition is for the purpose of making preparations for some kind of event. Said event seems to have some sinister implications, given the lighting surrounding the Tuners talking about it. We get two scenes of the higher ups in the organization talking about their plans. We learn that this competition is to focus the Tuners on collecting notes to the exclusion of anything else. (Such as whatever it is the higher ups are up to, perhaps.)

From there, we go to Kyosuke’s music students. They ask for his help with arranging some music they plan on performing at a hospital for the patients. Kyosuke is reluctant due to Tena’s very strict working schedule, but the girls manage to sweet talk Tena into cooperating. Shortly after that Adagio (they…have not really introduced her by name yet that I have seen, after three volumes so we’re going with “Adagio” since that’s the name of her business) encourages Tena to help Kyosuke with the arrangement. Kyosuke is a bit confused by the sudden niceness and Tena makes like a tsundere and grumps about it.

Kyosuke and Tena turn out to be a great team, though the resulting composition is lacking a little something. (This is to say, it’s soft and soothing and therefore kind of boring.) Since Tena thinks the composition is perfect she doesn’t want any changes, so Kyosuke decides to take action and improvises the piece into something that is a little more energetic and uplifting. (And also silly, because he is making the most ridiculous faces while he’s playing.)

Meanwhile, Mezzo and Sopra discover that Kyosuke’s soul score has been tampered with in the past. The implications turn out to be fairly serious. Kyosuke has the powers of a Tuner, and at some point in time, that ability was tampered with. Kyosuke discovers this by accident when he is attacked by two Tuners who attempt to capture him. This leads to an altercation between the Tuners and Tena who is not happy about the Tuners trying to steal her notes and Kyosuke. (She does waver a little bit when the Tuners tell her that they will take Kyosuke off her hands without her losing any notes, but in the end, she can’t let them take Kyosuke.)

 Things begin to get serious until Arun suddenly shows up. She questions the two Tuners about whether Kyosuke’s consent had been obtained before they had tried to nab him. The answer is of course “no.” She is able to name-drop her way into getting the other two Tuners to back off, and proposes that she act at Kyosuke’s “keeper.” (Which Tena does not like at all.) The Tuners agree because they do not want to have to deal with Arun’s brother.

Just as the Tuners head off, Kyosuke’s students show up, and are extremely worried for him. Kyosuke manages to avoid having to answer any questions, and he, Tena and Arun head back to the house. Mezzo in particular is extremely dismayed to see Arun, who in turn appears about to spill the beans about something Mezzo would prefer to be kept private. From there, we go to a conversation between Tena, the other Tuners at the house and Kyosuke where it’s fully revealed to Kyosuke that there is something wrong with his soul score beyond the anomalous notes fused to it.

Arun proposes that they go to France where the Tuner headquarters is located. Tena does not like this idea as it involves staying at Arun’s villa. She does not really trust Arun and is a little jealous. (Okay, she’s a lot jealous.) Kyosuke agrees to go because this is apparently the only way he is going to be able to discover anything about himself and his recently discovered abilities.

This volume was fairly fast paced, though I think it could have used a tighter focus. There was a lot of skipping around and not enough exposition. (And again, there was the thing with “Adagio” and all the cryptic comments with the other Tuner.)

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Filed under fantasy, manga/anime, Review: Manga

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