Ah…high school romance. It is a staple of shojo manga, and Shizuki Fujisawa adds another title to this list with Hatsu*Haru. Read on for the review of Volume 11! (For reviews of previous volumes, click here.)
Back Cover Blurb
The start of the school year brings unexpected trouble for Kai, as the new semester’s class assignments mean he’s no longer in the same class as Riko. Their time together has been drastically cut, but Riko is completely unfazed, to Kai’s dismay. Luckily, the school trip is right around the corner, and there will be plenty of time for relationships—even if it’s not their own they’re working on!
Most volumes in the series focus on one or two pairings, but Volume 11 gives three couples significant moments. First we have Kai and Riko. Lately, they’ve gone through different variations of Kai’s romantic plans getting derailed. This time, things get changed up when Riko unexpectedly asks him to go on a visit to Suwa and Akemi’s home. They pretty much dropped out of the picture since their wedding, so it’s a chance to catch up with the newlyweds and their baby. It also gives Kai the opportunity to earn points using his superior baby-handling skills. He does make one bungle, but his dismay over the mistake is way over the top. By and large, he demonstrates himself to be an excellent boyfriend and earns Akemi’s stamp of approval.
The focus then shifts to Misaki and Ayumi. Several weeks have passed since Misaki’s Valentine’s Day get well visit. Although the results weren’t immediate, his efforts made a definite impact on Ayumi’s heart and mind. It does drag on a little long, but the instant of realization for Ayumi is cute and very much in keeping with her personality.
That leaves us with one final couple-to-be. At this point, the timeline jumps to the class trip, so the vaunted city of Kyoto serves as the backdrop for Kagura’s attempts to be honest with Tarou. Because she is such a stubborn tsundere, Kai must give her an extra push, though his involvement seems more like that of a meddlesome aunt than a concerned friend. It’s a romantic comedy, so Kagura’s prickly nature of course interferes over and over. However, when it really counts, she is surprisingly articulate to Tarou. At this point, it’s unclear what will happen between the two because Tarou has never shown interest in becoming a one-woman man and Kagura is unwilling to do more than “wait” for him.
Extras include story-thus-far, mini-manga about Fujisawa-sensei and her assistants, and translation notes.
A lot of fun wins for our characters in this volume! Kai has an unexpected opportunity to impress Riko, and he manages not to get punched by her. Misaki’s efforts to capture Ayumi’s heart finally pay off in a beautiful springtime moment. Kagura also manages to make progress in her relationship with Tarou, but whether he returns her feelings in kind remains to be seen.
First published at the Fandom Post.