Story/Art: Kazune Kawahara/Aruko
Translation/Adaptation: JN productions/Ysabet Reinhard MacFarlane
What They Say
Takeo Goda is a giant guy with a giant heart. Too bad the girls don’t want him! (They want his good-looking best friend, Sunakawa.) Used to being on the sidelines, Takeo simply stands tall and accepts his fate. But one day when he saves a girl named Yamato from a harasser on the train, his (love!) life suddenly takes an incredible turn!
Takeo and Mariya are chosen to participate in the relay race for the athletic meet. While practicing together, Mariya ends up falling in love with him… Yamato is unsure of what to do about her new rival! Will Takeo and Yamato be able to overcome this crisis?!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
After finishing Volume 4, I felt that the conclusion of the Saijo arc lacked closure. Her “I like you as a person” confession left it unclear whether she really felt that way or said that out of consideration for Takeo’s girlfriend. As it turns out, that wasn’t the actual end of the arc, and Saijo’s story continues on to its real end in Volume 5.
Takeo, dense as he is, just takes everything Saijo says at face value, so it’s up to Suna (as usual) to pick up on the emotional nuances of what’s really going on. For those familiar with the anime, the corresponding TV episode lacks a few scenes that are in the manga so the manga actually provides a more complete depiction of Suna observing Saijo’s infatuation with Takeo in the classroom. One-sided teenage angst abounds, but it’s cool to see another girl recognize how awesome Takeo is. When the truth does come out, however, it pushes Takeo to a revelation that has a surprisingly positive impact on his relationship with Yamato.
Then it’s the end of the year, and as they say in anime, Christmas is for lovers. However, Yamato turns their first Christmas into a group event. They’ve organized a few of these mixers with their friends now so the time is right for a pairing to come out of it. The result is that Yamato and Takeo get to play Cupid together, which is fun to watch.
The Christmas chapter gets followed by New Year’s, which is also Takeo’s birthday. Yamato wants to make it special, and it’s hilarious when she asks Suna and Ai for advice about kissing Takeo and inadvertently causes Suna to have a horrific flashback. At any rate, Yamato and Takeo’s first kiss starts off like a stereotypical scene, but then things don’t go as intended. In fact, I can’t think of another first kiss moment that gets derailed in such a fashion. However, it only works because Takeo is the type of character he is, and he does manage to work things out a warm and fuzzy end.
Extras include story thus far, notes from the creators, and a four-page bonus manga.
Lots of heartache and laughter in this volume. The heartache, however, comes not from our main couple but Takeo’s classmate Saijo, who has zero chance of separating the two. Then the laughter comes when Yamato and Takeo play Cupid on Christmas Eve and again when Yamato takes the initiative to kiss Takeo on his birthday. All in all, another entertaining chapter from Kawahara-sensei and Aruko-sensei.
Content Grade: B+
Art Grade: B
Packaging Grade: B+
Text/Translation Grade: B
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Viz Media
Release Date: July 7th, 2015