Oh no, my crush is actually cute, life is so hard!
It’s summertime for gal Fujishiro and geeky Kurokawa, and while the former spent the end of the first volume worrying that Kurokawa’s makeover might’ve proven sufficient to dim her own star, she’s irked when the other girl shows up for a pool day in a swim cap and school swimsuit. But if she was worried Kurokawa had already lost her shine, she’s reassured when Kurokawa shows up for the new school term with contacts in and make-up on… which unfortunately manages to result in Fujishiro’s suspension from school after she hits a teacher who insults her friend. Lest that not be enough drama, the volume rounds out with the likely appearance of rivals for each girl’s affection in Kurokawa’s old friend Akazawa and Fujishiro’s former gal associate Izumi. Perish the thought, though, that either of our leads may’ve worked out yet that their interest in one another may be of a romantic hue.
I’ll eat my hat if Akazawa and Izumi don’t end up being paired off by the end of this manga; the paired rise in prominence of Izumi and the introduction of Akazawa make it seem like they’ll have to be if the author is to reach the cheery end which seems likely. And, yes, I’m sure that a cheery end is indeed what we’re going to get for our leads, although I am beginning to wonder just how much time is going to be expended on the spinning of wheels.
I was fairly unimpressed with the opening volume of this series, and I can’t claim that my initial sentiments have been entirely assuaged with this volume… as while I was getting more into its groove in the first half of this one, the introduction of Akazawa just induced an inner groan on my part. Maybe I’m just being unkind, but given the series’ penchant for over-reaction by Fujishiro and Kurokawa, introducing some standard-style melodrama seems uncalled for. It also strikes me as indicative that the wheels are going to continue to be spun for a while on the romance front. While I wouldn’t necessarily take issue with taking it slow, I would much prefer these two girls focused more on working out their own respective issues than space be given over to foolishness about potential rivals.
What else do I not like? Well, I am annoyed with the continued drumbeat that what makes girls worthwhile is that they can be cute, but that is probably on me for reading a series which had promised to spill a lot of ink on clothing and make-up.
Having said all that, Fujishiro does improve markedly in this volume even if her jealousy quite clearly needs to dealt with and fast. Her insistence on depriving Kurokawa of her prescription goggles at the pool was irritating as all hell, but her strong points manage to shine. Smacking a teacher with her schoolbag isn’t the most mature thing to do, but her refusal to back off on the underlying truth is admirable. (I’ll note that I appreciated that her homeroom teacher affirms her contention that the teacher in question was being awful – given how common horrible teachers are in manga, it was nice to come across one who wasn’t.) Kurokawa for her part is marginally better this time around, too, although less dramatically so… probably because she does, to some degree, come off as the slightly less important half of the pair, at least in terms of narrative focus. As for the two “new” additions, Akazawa is a bit boring as a character at the moment, as she lacks much depth, while I want to like Izumi but am a bit suspicious of her refusal to condemn the nastiness of her and Fujishiro’s other former friends.
The uneven editing in some recently released light novels by Seven Seas is not at all in evidence here, albeit probably as the manga and light novel teams are not identical.
Volume three is currently listed with a streetdate of February 2021; unlike has been the case with LNs from Seven Seas, manga from them has had the same streetdate for both print and digital, so I do not anticipate an earlier date for digital to surface. Despite my obvious vexations with the series, I’ll probably pick it up (there isn’t a pre-order date available for the Kobo release yet, so there is a chance I’ll change my mind closer to release). As was the case with volume one, whether you should bother picking this one up or not is probably best-gauged by your tolerance for schoolgirl yuri… but also of high school melodrama.