Now that college issues have been resolved, it’s time for Risa and Otani to tackle their next big problem. And this time, the person who’s causing the drama is going to be a little bit harder to get rid of.
Writer/Artist: Aya Nakahara
Translation: JN Productions
Adaptation: Shaenon Garrity
What They Say
Someone didn't make it into college, and it wasn't Otani. Suzuki, thrown by his family's harsh expectations, failed the college entrance exam. And now some bruiser who did get accepted wants Chiharu for himself! Otani jumps to the rescue by claiming Suzuki is a judo expert who will fight for Chiharu's hand! But is one week really enough time to turn Suzuki into a black belt?
Suzuki still hasn’t defended his right to stay with Chiharu, and our heroes aren’t putting up with it any longer! Risa and Otani, bless their meddling souls, provide some tiny measure of entertainment in this volume when they stir him into action, but the storyline ends just as mundanely and predictably as you would expect. A harder (and more entertaining) problem for Risa to solve is the one involving her little brother, who didn’t get into the high schools he wanted and is stuck going to her school. It’s made him so cranky that he even tries to convince Otani to break up with Risa. Thankfully, this is never as serious as it sounds, and it gives us some nice insight into the youngest member of Risa’s family.
And, having dealt with the youngest, it’s time to move on to one of the oldest. Risa’s grandpa is in town, and he’s far less thrilled with Otani than her younger brother is. Nakahara takes full advantage of this cranky, energetic character, providing us with lots of SD frames more reminiscent of the earliest volumes of the series. He might not provide too much to the plot--his determination to keep the young couple apart culminates in a slight new twist on a stock shoujo relationship problem--but his attempts allow us to see more of the solidity of Risa and Otani’s relationship. Plus, well, he’s pretty darn entertaining on his own.
Sure, the first chapter of this volume is still focusing on my least favorite couple of the series--Suzuki and Chiharu--but the rest of the volume is pure, unadulterated, Risa -and-Otani goodness. Even though the roadblock that is thrown in front of their relationship is a rather predictable one (and one we’ve covered a few times in previous volumes), the twist on it is funny and maybe not even that far away from reality. My favorite part of the whole volume was that we’ve returned to the relationship between the two leads and can actually see how it has strengthened over the last few volumes, even though it wasn’t in the foreground. It’s not perfect by any means, but it’s the Love Com that I know, love, and have been missing for the last few volumes. And that’s more than enough.