What’s with this? Two weeks in a row worth of chapters that are actually kinda good? In this week’s chapters, Haruto gets some bad news about his relationship with Yuzuki, but at the end of the school term sets out for Tokyo. Much of the chapters this week are about him getting ready to leave, and saying goodbye to his two closest friends, Akari and Takashi. But Nanami also tries to make a move during this period of time, though I’m sure that’s not going anywhere.
Summary of this week’s chapters: Haruto has been down lately, and in something of a cold opening we find out several pages in that Yuzuki broke up with him. She hasn’t been answering any of his calls or emails and he’s basically just accepted what happened. Seeing this and feeling bad for him, Nanami tries distracting him to get his mind off of things. But, as she reveals to Akari, she’s also interested in him again, even if he still might have lingering feelings for Yuzuki. She tries her best to get his attention, quits the baseball team manager gig to go to cooking club with him, and tries to literally and metaphorically take Yuzuki’s place by sitting on the back of Haruto’s bike on the way home one day. Prior to this, Rin had called Nanami telling her about how Yuzuki has a new boyfriend, someone that she’d wanted to date since middle school. Akari knows now too, but Nanami is the one to break it to Haruto. She even confesses to him, but he asks her to give him time to decide. Just like she did to him. But things stop pretty quickly when Haruto discovers a note that was in the bag with the shirt Yuzuki gave him. The note explains what Rin told Nanami, but Haruto isn’t buying it. From here on he’s determined to move to Tokyo ASAP.
Having chosen to leave after the end of the term, Haruto is in such a rush to leave that Akari and Takashi get pretty pissed off at him. Akari vocally and bluntly tries to get him to give up on Yuzuki, and Takashi takes a more muted but still hurt tone in telling Haruto how he’s leaving them suddenly. Takashi manages to help patch things up between the three of them when he runs into Haruto and they go fishing. He explains how he and Akari feel, and Haruto finally stops rushing around enough to see that he’s hurt his friends’ feelings. They head to Akari’s house, who calms down and talks to him. The three friends plan to stay at Akari’s house and talk all night. They reminisce, and there’s even a special chapter, chapter 78.5, that covers how they initially met when Akari moved to town in elementary school. The night before Haruto leaves, Takashi falls asleep, and outside on the veranda Haruto talks with Akari, and then she kisses him. Though it seems more sentimental than romantic, really. The next day is the goodbye, and Akari and Takashi see their friend off. Haruto goes to stay at his sister’s place, but as he’s cleaning a girl bursts in in a motorcycle helmet, wielding a baseball bat, thinking he’s an intruder.
Nanami didn’t remember switching her ringtone to this…
It seems like Rin is up to her usual antics. Haruto encountering her in Tokyo probably set things in motion, since she likely got the idea to mess with him and Yuzuki even more. She was way too nice and helpful when she met him that night to not be up to something. I’d bet on the letter being written by her anyway, though I couldn’t try and deduce anything from the handwriting because the scanslators completely replaced the text with the English translation. Still, if she didn’t write it, then she got her mom and possibly others to pressure Yuzuki into writing it and not meaning it. Rin telling Nanami about Yuzuki having a new boyfriend was just her way of generating drama. Though I think that by doing that, she intends for Haruto to come back to Tokyo. She likely knew full well that Haruto would come running back if he got that information, and she knew Nanami would tell him. Either way Rin wins, since she’ll get the drama of Haruto coming back to Yuzuki, or the drama of Haruto giving up on her and going out with Nanami, which she could then use to torment her sister with. A+ trolling.
You poor bastard.
Nanami’s interest in Haruto seemed to come along more from sympathy than anything, and it was really too little, too late. She was so clumsy and rushed in trying to cheer him up that it was almost sad to see. It was an unusual sort of clumsy-cute that this manga doesn’t really do otherwise, with things like Nanami hitting Haruto in the head with a book to get his attention, and messing it up by hitting him much harder than Akari would. Then the cooking club thing where she messed up both her own and Haruto’s food in her haste. The whole thing just sort of fizzled and didn’t go anywhere. I’d say that it was probably Nanami’s last shot, but knowing all the rage surrounding this manga, I’m guessing it won’t be the last we see of her.
Fixed that for you.
There’s also, you know, this. Haruto’s so stuck on Yuzuki that nothing will ever seriously challenge those feelings. Which, fine, whatever, he’s an idiot but at least he’s loyal.
Wipe that stupid Heero Yui look off your face, Haruto. You’re not cool, you’re not some resolute badass. You’re just making me laugh at you. That’s really the story of him and Yuzuki. Two people I don’t really care for, but it’s funny to see them plot and trip into each other’s arms. Yuzuki provides the high-level manipulation, and Haruto the so-dumb-it-hurts lulz.
These two really stole the show this week though. Most of the chapters dealt with Akari and Takashi saying goodbye to Haruto, and how Haruto mishandled it initially. The three of them had been friends for so long that Haruto’s singe-minded determination to chase Yuzuki left them feeling really hurt that he’d just up and leave them for some girl.
These chapters felt really good. The writing was much better when Seo was concentrating on the friendship between these three characters. It felt more genuine and relatable. It also helps that Takashi and Akari are the kind of people that you’d want to hang out with, people with the kind of warmth and developed personalities that Haruto lacks completely. They feel more like people than generic MC-kun Haruto. Akari getting in Haruto’s face and Takashi’s muted but still sharp anger at Haruto were the best emotions in this manga so far. And when they made up later, it really felt like a group of good friends moving past things and remembering how much they mean to each other.
I also really liked the flashback chapter. It gave us the backstory on how the three of them met, and it was interesting to learn that Akari isn’t Anime Blond, she actually is half-Russian and naturally has that hair color. It also explains a bit of her above-average height too. It was a nice story of how Haruto and Takashi went from picking on, and getting beaten down by, Akari, and then running to her defense when she got picked on by some older kids. A really sweet chapter.
These feels, man.
So then there was this. While the cynical side of me sees it as just another ‘everyone’s in love with the MC-kun’ thing, given the context, the optimistic and sentimental side of me sees it as more of a spur-of-the-moment thing that someone as passionate as Akari might do. One of her two best friends since she moved to town is leaving, so while it’s a bit sudden, I could see it as more sentimental than romantic, exactly. She’s going to miss him, he still means something to her even if it’s not as boyfriend-material, and she didn’t end the kiss talking about it meaning more or wanting it to go somewhere. I thought it was pretty sweet of her, and shows just how sentimental she is.
Speaking of the best character…