by Kaho Miyasaka; adaptation by Kelly Sue DeConnick
published by Viz; $9.99 US
After a fight, Karin and Kiriya aren’t speaking. Karin’s internal monologues hit on all the universal fears of a young girl in her first relationship. “Is he avoiding me? I don’t want to believe her but he won’t tell me his side of the story. Is he looking for someone better?” The discomfort of silence, of being unable to have the conversation she needs with her boyfriend, even if it’s for accidental reasons, is a common feeling.
Thankfully, her friend Nanri has the wisdom of an older woman and can calm her down when being alone with her feelings gets her into unhealthy loops. Karin’s so upset by being apart from Kiriya that she decides to give him what he wants, sleeping with him. He’s been apart from her, meanwhile, to avoid pressuring her, trying to deal with his desires by throwing himself into work. It’s sort of a modern O. Henry story, each wanting to give the other what they most want regardless of the cost to themselves.
Karin wants to talk to him, to try and get some resolution, but at the same time, she’s afraid of what he might say. She’s resorted to trying to read meaning into the smallest gestures, acting just like a typical adolescent trying to figure out other people when she’s still not sure of herself. It’s even worse when her parents get involved, forbidding them to see each other.
Unlike many other shôjo manga series, this one doesn’t have many comedy or any fantasy or exaggerated elements. It’s just a straightforward romance demonstrating universal emotions.