May Contain Spoilers
This series is really cute, and as a bonus, it’s only eight volumes long. Since some of the Shonen Jump series I’m following are over 20 volumes and counting, a short, compact story is appreciated. This is a slice of life romance about a group of high school friends, and how their friendships change and enhance each other. It’s funny and angsty and sweet.
I was a getting worried about Futami’s crush on Nao. He declares himself during the school sports festival, and Nao, not wanting to hurt his feelings, is confused. How does she respond without destroying their friendship? How can she gently make it clear that she’s in love with Onise, and not ruin Taiga’s friendship with Futami? Personally, I thought that both Nao and Onise were way to easy on Futami. He knew that Nao and Onise were dating, he knew how smitten they are with each other, and he still kept trying to interfere with their relationship. He monopolized Onise’s time, keeping him from hanging out with Nao and his other friends, and even though Onise valued his friendship, I thought that Futami really took advantage of the situation.
Then, to the shock of everyone, especially Misaki, it is revealed that Yashiro has a boyfriend. And better yet, it’s Ikumi, the same jerk who beat Onise up earlier in the series. The heck?? He’s a college student, and Yashiro has been dating him for two years. When Misaki sees Ikumi with another girl, he’s enraged. The jerk is cheating on the girl he might have feelings for. Misaki feels betrayed by Yashiro’s silence – she never really lied, she just wasn’t upfront about her personal life. And come to think of it, they all realize that she never really talks about herself. Hmmm.
Yashiro’s parents are always working, and they get irritated with her and accuse her of being spoiled when she asks them to spend time with her. Obviously they can’t, because they are too busy making money. When her new tutor Ikumi gives her the attention she craves, she thinks she’s in love with him. I felt bad for her. She seems so mature and put together, but she’s really hiding her broken heart because her parents won’t give her the time of day. No wonder she falls for an older guy, willing to accept the scraps of attention he throws her way. When Misaki argues that she deserves better, Yashiro isn’t ready to agree.
I really like the art. The lines are clean, there’s not a lot of background clutter, and the emotional turmoil is easy to understand. This is a cute series, and I have been loving the heck out discovering new series and artists through the library. I would never have picked this up otherwise. Hooray for public libraries!
Grade: 4 stars
Review copy borrowed from my local library
About the book:
Although Nao Kogure was once afraid of the delinquent Taiga Onise, she was soon touched by his kind soul. Taiga is dating Nao, and his friend Futami knows this but still pursues Nao anyway. After Futami confesses his feelings to Nao, can Taiga and Futami truly remain friends?