The dramatic climax of the previous volume might have brought everything that readers had been waiting for, but this one brings me exactly what I hoped for.
Writer/Artist: Aya Nakahara
Translator: Pookie Rolf
Adaptation: Pookie Rolf
What They Say:
Risa and Otani are totally dating! But it's totally weird. Risa is so used to treating Otani like a friend that she has no idea how to act like a girlfriend. Luckily, Otani knows just where to go to save a failing date. Could this be happily ever after? Not if Risa's new rival has anything to say about it!
What We Say:
With the dramatic happenings of the seventh volume out of the way, this installment of Love Com focuses on the calm after the storm--or, at least, the most calm that can be produced by a pair of self-conscious teenagers. Risa is determined to be the perfect girlfriend and make Otani love her as much as she does him, but her over eagerness only makes matters worse. To add to her worries, they run into Otani’s ex-girlfriend Mayu just as their first date is bombing. Otani shows himself to be surprisingly reliable in the end, proving to Risa that the only problems in their relationship are the ones she’s imagining.
Walking in on the happy couple in the second chapter and staying until the end of the volume is Otani’s young, tall, beautiful next-door-neighbor Mimi. She’s had a crush on him for some time, but always comforted herself with the fact that no one that short would ever date a girl as tall as her. It’s not hard to imagine her disappointment and anger when she discovers that a girl just as tall as she is has started dating the boy she’s liked since elementary school. Otani, on the other hand, treats her as a younger sister and reassures Risa that it’s not unlike the relationship she has with Haruka.
And so, Mimi’s arrival doesn’t ruffle any feathers until she starts showing the less pleasant side of her personality to Risa. It takes the rest of the volume for this storyline to play out, but Mimi has become one of the most developed side-characters by the time that it is over. Some of her more relaxed moments with Risa are a treat to see, and her determination in regards to Otani is admirable. Yet it is because of her incompatibility with Otani that we are able to see that there really isn’t anyone else out there for either member of our main couple. This knowledge isn’t new or unexpected, and nothing in particular is added to the overarching storyline, but it is nevertheless a welcome change. After all the ups and downs of the previous seven volumes, some solidarity is exactly what this couple--and the readers--deserve.