I was super excited to read the final volume of Sweet Blue Flowers! Need to catch up? Check out my previous review here!
I was more than happy that this volume of Sweet Blue Flowers had a major focus on resolving all of its major relationships. Now as third years, Akira must juggle drama club responsibilities and her relationship with Fumi. Choosing for the older students to put on The Three Musketeers ends up being the easiest choice of her life. With Fumi though, Akira simply can’t figure out what she’s comfortable with. While on a school trip to England, Akira ends up meeting up with Sugimoto. She informs Sugimoto that she is dating Fumi, but feels like she’s leading her on. Upon returning to Japan, Akira breaks up with Fumi and the two drift apart.
Meanwhile, Kyoko reflects on her tumultuous relationship with Ko and her childhood. It turns out Kyoko’s mother was in an emotionally abusive relationship with Kyoko’s father. In an attempt to protect Kyoko she accidentally made herself emotionally distant, resulting in Kyoko relying on Ko for support and affection. An early betrothal and being the primary source of support for Kyoko is what made Ko drift away. Luckily, the two are able to reconcile and eventually end up getting married in their twenties.
It’s at this wedding that Fumi and Akira get a chance to catch up again. While Akira helps Fumi with her hair in the bathroom, she tells Fumi she saw her with another woman. As Fumi begins to tell Akira all about her friend, Akira stops her and drops a bombshell: she likes Fumi. The pair leave the wedding feeling hopeful about what the future holds for them.
As far as finales go, Sweet Blue Flowers nailed theirs. This latest volume had the perfect balance of drama and resolution. The pacing was great and held my attention the entire time. On top of that Akira and Fumi had an authenticity not often seen in manga characters. As we grow older, we gain a wisdom and insight into ourselves that we don’t possess during, say, high school. It was refreshing to see Akira recognize that the person she was in high school isn’t the person she is now, and that she’s now ready to be in a relationship with Fumi.
Speaking of their relationship, it was wonderful to see an LGBT work not end in a tragedy. Too often do stories with same-sex couples end with one or both of the characters dying, or never seeing each other again. Sweet Blue Flowers not only allows the main characters the chance to reconcile, it’s leaves open the possibility that the two will end up together.
Sweet Blue Flowers Volume 4 is currently available for purchase in store and here on the Viz Media website.
Note: Viz Media provided us with a digital copy of this manga in exchange for our honest review.