Wave, Listen to Me! Volume 10 Review

Please note that this review contains spoilers for Volume 10 of Wave, Listen to Me!

Wave, Listen to Me! is a series by mangaka Hiroaki Samura (Blade of the Immortal) which centres on Minare Koda, an almost 30-year-old woman struggling with her personal issues and frustrations, who happens upon circumstances which lead to her becoming a popular radio personality.

Where we last left the story, Mizuho Nanba (Minare’s friend/work colleague and now flatmate) accepted an interview request by a publication known as Radio Noah, who have been dormant for a while but are starting up again in the spring. Despite her co-workers identifying this set-up to be a shady venture, Mizuho stormed off feeling belittled and subsequently ended up being imprisoned.

It is revealed that her captors are possibly in league with Shiomichi Itakura, an electronics repair man who became indoctrinated into a religious cult that have been putting his skills to  use in their sinister affairs.

Considering the cliffhanger ending seen before, Mizuho actually escapes captivity rather quickly by prying some of the wood from the shed she’s entombed within – it’s instead the dangers outside that pose a real threat, owing to the thick snowstorm and bears lurking amongst the wilderness. The result is that the first two chapters here are mainly dedicated to avoiding a “The Revenant” style situation, with Mizuho using a portable radio and flicking through the channels to keep herself calm as she maintains eye contact with the bear to refrain from being mauled.

Minare and Madoka Chishiro, meanwhile, continue their rescue attempt, using coordinates sent via text, but on arriving at the hideout, shotgun in hand, they find Mizuho has already escaped into the frozen tundra. Mizuho’s kidnapper, Otaki, is forced to assist with trying to find her out in the wilderness, but Minare’s (admittedly short) temper flares and she ends up knocking him unconscious after an altercation.

Where the story picks up in a more interesting manner is an almost battle-of-wits between Chief Director of Moiwayama Radio Station (MRS) Kanetsugu Mato, and the aforementioned tech-wiz Shiomichi Itakura. The two have a back-and-forth with Mato having the upper hand, despite giving into the demands of allowing the cult a slot to broadcast during the Valentine’s radio event.

Mato goads the eccentric electrician into coming to the station in person to give themselves up, stating that the police have already been informed and that the location of the cult will be found sooner than later, but is hung up on when a third woman at the scene is mentioned – as it’s revealed that Minare is the intended kidnapping target and Mizuho was simply used as bait.

Of course, with Minare being the way she is, a no-nonsense call between her and Itakura turns nasty as she admits to recognising him from her time dealing with the School of Wave Wisdom’s before, but the call is interrupted by some unfinished business with the bear from earlier.

I won’t spoil the sequence where Chishiro and Minare avoid a grizzly fate, but it’s very random and out of left field, while offering some character background for Chishiro – fitting for a series with an eccentric edge like Wave has.

The story takes a different turn when we are reunited with the eccentric couple that is Shinji Oki and Ritsuko Azohara. For a quick recap, Shinji was Minare’s neighbour and got embroiled in occult accusations that he had murdered his girlfriend Ritsuko due to a bizarre set of circumstances involving stored meat which fell through the ceiling.

Though this story had a happy ending it seems to have been short-lived as the two are now separated again with Ritsuko being seen to wander off towards the direction of MRS but with no recollection as to why, whilst Shinji ends up in the presence of a strange fortune-teller-styled person who insists she can recall Ritsuko’s lost memories, and whose partner is touted as a spiritual counsellor. It’s possible that both this lady and Ritsuko have ties to the cult that’s been causing trouble for our lead characters. 

Following this set of events (which feel like set up for later) the story quickly refocuses again on the locating of Mizuho, but also checks in on Makie Tachibana, who takes part in her first broadcast for HCB Radio, having been chosen to work as a comedy writer in a bid for independence and moving forward from both her overprotective brother and from Nakahara whose kindness she’s relied on for living arrangements for a time.

It’s nice to see this plot thread pick up again, though it is intermixed with the key plot of Minare, now joined by mountain police and guard dogs, tracking down Mizuho and falling into the same ditch she’s found in, leaving the two trapped in an inconvenient fashion. Whilst the plot to track Mizuho down is fairly engaging to read I would have liked more of Makie’s story here, though we do at least get reconfirmation that she accepted Nakahara’s Valentine’s invitation, much to the delight of their fellow Voyager employees.

Volume 10 concludes with the clock ticking down for Minare to get back to MRS in time for the Valentine’s Day broadcast, whilst Mato receives a sinister phone call from an unknown woman whom he recognises from 30 years ago owing to her distinct voice. 

Translation for Wave, Listen to Me! has once again been carried out for Kodansha by Adam Hirsch whose work on the series continues to be very solid, especially with the included translation notes and bonus in-character info for Minare.

Overall, Volume 10 was another mixed bag for me, something made more evident when both past and side-lined plot points come back into the fray, as they’re seldom given time to breathe amongst the main story of Mizuho being found in her snowy surroundings. The volume feels very transitionary with hints to a bigger story coming to the forefront with the remaining cult members, which is an engaging draw but I do miss the feel and vibe of the earlier volumes at times, as seen through the small glimpses into the supporting cast and their subplots. 

Our review copy from Kodansha was supplied by Diamond Book Distributors UK.

6 / 10


HWR enjoys anime and manga alongside a love for film, gaming, Classic Doctor Who and electronic music from the likes of Depeche Mode and more.

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