by Aya Nakahara; adaptation by Pookie Rolf
published by Viz; $8.99 US
I’m still enjoying this comedy romance series, as each new book brings more complications. After her realization from Book 3, Risa finds herself in the position of being in love with a good friend who can’t pick up on the most obvious of hints.
The gang heads off to the beach for summer vacation. Everyone but Otani knows about Risa’s crush, and they keep pushing her to do something about it. Her shy attempts in that direction are flustered, though, by Otani’s astounding obliviousness. The result is an amusing comedy of misinterpretation, made funnier by the realism of its underlying emotion.
It’s no fun to be young, unsure, and pressured by your coupled friends. Risa’s good intentions can’t stand up to the weight of being watched, which makes her more nervous about trying to make her feelings known.
The art’s light and easy to read, with enough background to establish setting. The characters are beautifully expressive, with every change of emotion flitting across their faces and realistic body language adding to the comedy. They’re goofy, but that’s typical of teens, where everything means so much to them. It’s highly entertaining to those of us with a more balanced perspective.
I’m rooting for these kids to find their happiness even while laughing at what they have to go through to get there.