Takane & Hana Volume 6
I read Takane & Hana volume 6 about a month late. It came out at the perfect time, at the beginning of December, for its content, which starts with a Christmas chapter and continues to New Year’s Eve.
I gave up reading the series because we were supposed to believe the businessman and the teenager were in love with each other despite treating each other miserably. I didn’t find it believable or funny or entertaining, just mean. However, the situation in the opening — Takane expects Hana to still be at home when he says he can’t come over but isn’t good at surprising her — puts some context to them yelling at each other that makes it not so bad. They both want to give each other gifts but are so insecure about it.
The big twist this volume, which provides even more reason for a change in behavior, is Takane being tested by his powerful grandfather. All of his money and possessions and surroundings are taken away. (This isn’t believable, but very little about this series is. “How can you justify seizing money I’ve earned?” yells Takane, to which grandpa responds, “Your income is a byproduct of the opportunities I gave you. Confiscated.”) How will his relationship with Hana change as a result of him not being able to treat her or lavish her with gifts?
This is intended to test his ability to succeed on his own, but given the discussion of an earlier chapter, about how Takane should decide to either get married to the girl he’s been dating as the result of an arranged marriage meeting or pick someone else, I wonder if grandpa isn’t trying to move things along.
Anyway, we don’t see much about how Hana reacts, since Takane’s first response is to hide himself away, depressed, but the situation does allow for more comedy in the exaggeration of his responses, whether it’s not understanding how small a basic apartment can be or breaking down at work. And although the characters continue lying to themselves and each other about their feelings, the role reversal — where Hana knows how to survive without funds — gives the series new life. Particularly once other people tell them the right thing to do. (The publisher provided a review copy.)