A rival for Hanayu's affection appears!
Writer/Artist: Ayumi Komura
Translation: JN Productions
Adaptation: Stephania Lucianovic
What They Say
Hanayu's torn between working at her family's bakery, helping out at Sushi Hyuga, and keeping up with school. Something's gotta give, and when her grades start to fall she considers stopping sushi altogether. Hayato makes a romantic (and reckless) gesture to keep her at Sushi Hyuga... But he soon finds out that a past Patisserie Ashitaba assistant is back in the mix, and this handsome baker seems to have his heart set on Hanayu too! Hanayu Ashitaba is the daughter of the celebrated Patisserie Ashitaba, but all she wants to do is be a sushi chef. Hayato Hyuga is the son of the prestigious Sushi Hyuga, and all he wants to do is be a pastry chef! It's love and leftovers at Oikawa High School Cooking Department as these star-crossed gourmands do their best to reach their cuisine dreams!
You could see it coming from a mile away that Volume 5's overnight wedding cake project would be Hanayu's downfall, and she predictably leaves Sushidokoro Hyuga in shame after failing her last exam. However, as in many high school shojo manga, the reason for the drama isn't actually that big a deal, and after a bit of running around, Hanayu is reinstated back at the sushi shop -- but not before Hayato makes a rather bold (though not well-thought-out) declaration that shows exactly how he feels about Hanayu.
With our couple mutually in love and Hanayu back on track towards her sushi dream, something else has to give to make things interesting, and that comes in the form of Maezawa, Ashitaba's assistant baker. Introducing him as a rival for Hanayu's affection seems somewhat forced. Until now, the only people we've seen in the Ashitaba Bakery are the members of Hanayu's family, and all of a sudden, we have an employee there who also happens to be determined to make Hanayu his own. It's as if the mangaka felt she needed a love triangle and abruptly elevated Maezawa (who was first mentioned in the previous volume) to secondary character status to do that. At any rate, Maezawa's a bit difficult to figure out, and I find the relationship that is starting to spring between supporting characters Ichii and Matsuyama more interesting than Maezawa's ability to irritate everyone around him.
Not surprisingly, things work out such that Hanayu gets to stay at Sushidokoro Hyuga despite a failing grade. In the midst of it, Hayato makes a declaration that shows just how strong his feelings are for Hanayu. However, he soon starts doubting her feelings when a would-be a rival appears. If you've been wanting some semblance of a love triangle, you'll get it now as the focus shifts from our couple's culinary aspirations to the strength of their relationship.
Extras include a story thus far summary, five Side Dishes (one-page mangaka remarks in manga form embedded in the story), three pages of four-panel comics, two pages of end notes explaining the foods mentioned in the story, and ads for other Viz releases.