Story/Art: Naoshi Komi
Translation: Camellia Nieh
What They Say
It’s almost Christmas, but Chitoge’s not in a festive mood, because her mother, Hana Kirisaki, is visiting Japan for the winter holidays. Chitoge introduces her false boyfriend to her workaholic mom, who then decides to test his mettle – by making him work as her secretary! While laboring away, Raku can’t help but notice the strained relationship between Chitoge and her mother. Is there anything he can do?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Starting the volume off with a bang, Tsugumi’s past comes back to get her in the form of a girl named Paula McCoy. After Raku steps into a firefight to break them up, things settle down for a bit as we learn that the two used to work together. However, Paula’s frustrated at how girly and soft Tsugumi has become, and as such challenges her to a battle for Raku’s lips, with the condition that the boyish girl returns to the states with her if she loses. An intense battle erupts, but as Paula expected, Tsugumi’s crush ends up impeding her ability to follow through. Just how will this insane challenge come to a peaceful conclusion?
Next up, when the class point rankings pop up, Marika turns out to be right near the bottom, apparently quite poor when it comes to studies. Will she be able to focus enough to pull her grades out of the gutter, or will she be too distracted by schemes to grab Raku’s heart? Following this is a rather hilarious chapter in which Chitoge tries her best to catch Raku’s attention, failing at every turn. We then get a surprisingly endearing chapter in which Ruri loses her glasses.
Finally, we hit the big story of the volume. As Christmas approaches, Chitoge’s mother returns home. However, it turns out that she’s a rather intimidating business woman, and the way she hardly seems to pay attention to her daughter ends up getting to our heroine. When Raku gets roped into assisting her, will he survive the experience? And just how far will he push himself to mend the bond between mother and daughter?
Though a lot of the volume is spent on small, goofy chapters, there fortunately isn’t a dud in the mix. Pretty much every one of them makes for some solid laughs, along with a few touching moments along the way. There are also some nice bits of effort towards giving certain characters some more depth, which is much appreciated. Paula seems like a fun addition to the series as well, though it’s hard to tell how involved she’ll be in future volumes. The big event of the book, though, is of course the introduction of Chitoge’s mother. She’s appropriately outlandish in order to bring on the laughs, but at the same time her story arc ends up one of the much touching and sincere moments in the series thus far. This volume may not have any huge reveals or mind-blowing events, but even so it stands as a perfect example of how the series should handle a more low key volume.
Content Grade: A-
Art Grade: B+
Package Rating: B+
Text/Translation Rating: B+
Age Rating: 13+
Released by: Viz Media
Release Date: January 6th, 2015