Fly Me to the Moon Volume Five has a strong focus on Tsukasa and on some of the characters trying to get to know her better.
Fly Me to the Moon Volume Five
Written by: Kenjiro Hata
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: May 11, 2021
The volume opens with Tsukasa offering to help Kaname get the bath house ready for the day. As they spend time together, Tsukasa learns just how much Nasa has modified various piece of technology for the bath house in order to make things more efficient. This helps to illustrate just how little Tsukasa truly knows about her husband and that she has more she has to learn about him. But Tsukasa impresses Kaname with how well she cleans the bath house. Through these interactions, Tsukasa and Kaname become friends.
However, there’s quite a focus on Kaname’s older sister, Aya, who had had a crush on Nasa. She finally realized in Volume Four that Nasa and Tsukasa are married, and she hasn’t taken it well. Since Nasa and Tsukasa are still boarding in the spare room at the bath house, this gives Aya an opportunity to get to know Tsukasa. The funny thing is, she goes into this thinking she’ll find something negative about Tsukasa, but that doesn’t happen. Instead, she finds that Tsukasa is a good cook and that she’s an almost equal match to her when it comes to video games. Of course, this result was predictable (which is something Kaname even comments on by breaking the fourth wall), but it was still kind of amusing to see. I was glad to finally see Aya get a storyline that focused on her, since prior to this point, she had been more of a background character.
We also get the occasional lovey-dovey story of Tsukasa and Nasa as they navigate their relationship, and it’s obvious that things are still a little awkward between them. One of these stories sees Nasa buying a smartphone for Tsukasa and taking her on a date to an aquarium. It was kind of amusing to see him think about the various things that could go wrong on the date that he’s seen in entertainment, but none of it ends up happening. Nasa has book smarts and is creative, but sometimes he seems to be lacking in common sense. But I think this is part of what makes him an endearing character to the reader. When Tsukasa gets the smartphone, she starts getting into various apps and learns about various ones from Nasa, Aya, and Kaname. I wonder if Hata will end up pursuing anything further with Tsukasa and her smartphone, especially in regards to social media. I can’t believe that the phone was bought just to be referenced in this one story.
Volume Five also sees the return of Tsukasa’s sister, Chitose. She discovers that the apartment Tsukasa and Nasa lived in has burned down. Just when Chitose is about to go searching for Tsukasa, she happens to come by as she’s heading home from a trip to the grocery store. Tsukasa knows that Chitose is gullible, so she tries to make it sound like she and Nasa are now living in a park nearby in the hopes of giving Chitose the slip. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work and Chitose tracks them down. This particular story doesn’t truly advance the plot, it’s just something humorous. Chitose tries to convince the two of them to move in with her, and the bargaining Chitose does to try to convince Tsukasa is what provides the humor. While it was nice to see Chitose return, since she was absent from the previous volume, her appearance here doesn’t truly add anything to the story.
An interesting story is Nasa running into his teacher from junior high. She’s been thinking about him, since he dropped out of high school and never graduated. They have a chance meeting, and when the teacher discovers Nasa is married, she declares that she will make a home visit (never mind that Nasa is no longer her student). As expected, the teacher is impressed with Tsukasa, and the interactions the teacher has with our protagonists convinces her she needs to slow down and enjoy life a little more.
The bonus chapter included at the end of the chapter is simply an extension of the awkwardness Tsukasa and Nasa have, especially when it comes to being more physically intimate. I was left to wonder why this was a bonus chapter, because this would have worked just as well as a regular chapter for the manga. Generally, it seems like when a bonus chapter is included, it usually is a story that just wouldn’t fit in or work well with the main storyline of the manga. So to me, this “bonus chapter” didn’t really feel like a bonus.
It seems that for me, at least, I’ve gotten to a point in the series where the interactions and lovey-dovey storylines between Tsukasa and Nasa have become less cringeworthy. Either I have become acclimated to this aspect of the series, or Hata has finally found a way to make these two and their relationship feel less saccharine. This is still a light-hearted manga, but this volume feels like it’s a little more rooted in reality. It’ll be interesting to see if this trend continues with Volume Six, or if we return to the more saccharine and cringeworthy aspects of the series.
The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media
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