With graduation just around the corner, it’s time for Love Com to get serious… Well, as serious as Love Com ever gets.
Writer/Artist: Aya Nakahara
Translation: Pookie Rolf
Adaptation: Pookie Rolf
What They Say
Risa's life should be perfect. After all, she's finally dating the guy she loves. But Otani's never actually said that he loves her, and they don't even act like boyfriend and girlfriend. Wasn't dating supposed to fix all that? To make matters worse, graduation is looming and Risa's not sure she likes the way her future with Otani looks. Could this be the end of her love and their friendship?
When their class decides to have a rummage sale for the school festival, Risa and Otani are assigned as volunteers in their typical luckless fashion. And as expected, they end up in one of their spats, which is resolved in the usual quick fashion. After the pair enjoys their time at the school festival, the story moves on to the much more serious matter of college decisions. While the other two couples have already planned out how they’re going to stay in their respective relationships while separated by college, Risa doesn’t even know what Otani’s future plans are. She’s surprised to discover that he wants to go to a university and become a kindergarten teacher, while she never planned to do anything more than go to vocational school.
This volume reminds us just how far these characters have come from the first time that we saw them. Otani benefits the most from this turn of events, as he becomes determined to show his friends that he can indeed go on and get into a good college. Even his job choice seems perfect for his personality, although it takes a few pages to see. In addition, the scenes where all of his friends practically gang up on him and try to discourage him from applying may put him in the most sympathetic light we’ve ever seen.
On the other hand, Risa comes across less likable than she has in the past. Whereas all of her friends are thinking seriously about their futures, she’s happy to take the road of least resistance. Graduating from high school can be scary even in the US with its less rigorous entrance exams (just listen to the group tell Otani there’s no way he can go to a college, and then detail what will happen when he doesn’t), but Risa doesn’t seem to be afraid. She does give us an honest assessment of herself, saying that there’s no way she could have made it into college, but I just kept expecting more effort from her in that particular storyline. Her fear of being left behind is sweet and realistic, yet she doesn’t do anything to prevent it from happening.
Compared to past volumes, there are a few plot threads that are hinted at, but never fully introduced. The short, younger cook at Risa’s after school job is given enough of an introduction to make readers notice him, but he has yet to be given a real role. Risa may be content that Otani won’t leave her behind for now, but that is sure to change if the separation actually occurs, and the all-too-perfect plans of Naoki and Noboru practically beg to be disrupted some time in the future. This is probably the most important decision that the characters have made during the series’ run, so it’s appropriate that the tone of the series shifts in that direction. It’s just a shame that Risa’s spunky charm, one of the main draws of the series, seems to have disappeared.